You can tell a book from its cover..

I’ve recently come to the opinion that we’re much more successful at preserving vegetables than we are at preserving youthful looks. In that half land of waking, this morning, the imagined strains of a childhood song, “With a face like a squashed potato….” sung to the tune of “Figgy Pudding”, served as illusory background music to images remembered from a programme on the very wealthy who live in ultra luxurious hotels. The rooms in these hotels and the faces of their inhabitants were similar in their overblown artificiality. Such was the shallowness of the concept of beauty or style, in both face and space, that the surgeon responsible for the facio maxillary work and the interior designer may well have been the same man. It’s bewildering to see such tightly stretched, unresponsive material both living and inanimate.tonno_fagioli_0098

The preserved lemons, that I used in a version of tonno fagioli for supper yesterday, are not as they were when on the tree. That part is over – the fruit falls or is picked. What they have gained from preservation is an intense and singular taste, that only comes with age and the skill of the preserver: which qualities are missing from the preserved and the preserver in the human version. We make the mistake of trying to put the fruit back on the tree.

The tonno fagioli was the same simple Italian dish, enlivened with capers, anchovies, preserved lemon and flat parsley.

Oh, and this is quite interesting as well –

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, anchovies, Art photography, beans, capers, Digital photography, Dreams, Emotion, Excellence, Excess, Flat parsley, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Illusion, Italian food, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, preserved lemons, Reality, Recipes, Tuna, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to You can tell a book from its cover..

  1. True, true but I’ll bet those are fresh beans from your freezer. Envy.

  2. “We make the mistake of trying to put the fruit back on the tree.”

    You’re becoming quite a philosopher. That’s twice this week I’ve taken note of one of your analogies (the other was “sweeping the beach”).

  3. … and don’t they look scrumptious – unlike preserved faces and places?

  4. Why is it that I often leave your blog starving, Roger? And it’s only 9 in the morning here.

  5. mad Dog says:

    Ha ha – I’m sure refrigeration and pickling would work on humans too 😉

  6. Mmm, you’ve reminded me I need to make some more preserved lemons as there are only one or two left in the jar. Beautiful dish!

  7. I’m going to believe you on the preserved lemons. I bought some for a recipe once, and I wasn’t a fan. They remain untouched in my refrigerator.

  8. I’m now starving too and it’s only 3 in the afternoon. That’s what I get for clicking on the photo to see it enlarged. 🙂

  9. Tandy says:

    I must try using my preserved lemons in dishes other than those from Morocco 🙂

  10. I’m very hungry now, thank you for the appetising photo 🙂 The first part of your text reminded me of my favourite quote from Roald Dahl: “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

  11. cecilia says:

    I have never preserved lemons, how remiss of me, though I cannot grow lemons here either.. I need to look into this.. c

  12. Roger, this post is one I shall tuck away in a favourite book and look out every now and then to remind myself that sometimes age can add something new. Thanks.

  13. ChgoJohn says:

    You’re a man of your word, Roger. This dish is perfect and a great use for the lemons I’m preserving. I’d seen nothing of the Korean beauty pageant contestants and that animated GIF was unnerving, though the comments that followed gave the practice some perspective.

  14. Another reminder that I need to preserve some lemons. Looks fantastic.

  15. Pingback: Mogettes in the Jar | Cooking in Sens

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