keep it clean, Roger….please..


Whilst driving through the countryside this morning I was momentarily overcome by the unalloyed happiness that is afforded me by just being here. It’s the way that each day is spent not looking forward but just looking. An edible metaphor would liken each day to taking lunch in a favourite restaurant that offered a simple set menu with no choices. Occasionally there will be disappointment, occasionally there will be severe diarrhoea but most days I will thoroughly enjoy at least three of the four courses, which is standard fare in any bistro or cantine offering menu ouvrier, and on occasion all four. I have started to chew each day thoroughly before I start the next. The metaphor has more than a hint of truth as we eat at home from a very similar palette, although our own palates lost their taste for meat some time ago: mine still allows the occasional slice of butchery but it is rare….as is the cooking. Yesterday I had potatoes  and eggs with which to conjure….washing_line_0012as I look up from my writing I see the washing line stretching across the pool to catch the end of day rays. A still, white sheet is embroidered with the shadow of an olive tree, each leaf of each branch clearly drawn, black on white, the whole reflected in artificial swimming pool blue…the blue whitener.

Back to thoughts of food for supper. The choices that I have been busy denying come thick and fast when I am writing because writing reflects reading which reminds me of recently read words that have moved me. Alan Bennet’s “Writing Home” is, like the pool, something that I have been dipping into regularly over the past few weeks as summer starts to make a fist of being who it says it is. His piece on Andrew Motion’s biography of Philip Larkin has made me spit out my wine with laughter, made me wonder at the fluency and ease of his prose and made me lament the loss of the emotive “cunt” to the spoken English language. The zeitgeist would seem to find racial prejudice preferable to the abomination that Messrs Bennet and Larkin both use with care and wit….and back to the potatoes. Nigel Slater is more careful with the written word and it is from his pen that I give you the recipe for this mouth wateringly good recipe….with which we had oeufs mayonnaise and a very good tarte au citron for pudding.


Recipe by Nigel Slater from “Tender. Vol.1”

potato cake w thyme

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 2015, Bad Habits, Baking, Bistro, Cookery Writers, Cooking, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, Eggs, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Nigel Slater, potato, potatoes, Recipes, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to keep it clean, Roger….please..

  1. thomas peck says:

    That sounds just yum.
    And I too lament the passing of the more evocative anglo saxon words. Apparently in the mid 18th century cunt was known as ‘THE monosyllable’…

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Like Cecelia’s recent potato dominoes, that potato cake looks fabulous 😉

  3. Vicki says:

    Yummy! (is my word for all your blog posts).

    Looks very much like a method of baking potatoes I used many years ago.
    I found the freshly ground pepper was just as important as the salt in this recipe. Adds a little burst of peppery goodness in each mouthful.

  4. Eha says:

    Trust you to make one do homework again: the Andrew Motion bio sounds most interesting tho’ written awhile ago . . . must look !! . . . your morning title I SO find amusing but have to ask why should you? 🙂 !!

  5. In Spain the word is used by pretty much everyone in the same way we’d say “blimey” or “bloody hell” and is not considered terribly rude. Love this book and the recipe – he writes and cooks so much better than he presents tv!

  6. Very nice my friend. I was especially impressed with the dropping of the “C-bomb” 👍😁

  7. Michelle says:

    Oh, you sent me off to the LRB for that one and it was great. Despite all, “Lines on a Young Lady’s Photograph Album” remains one of my favorite poems. You really can’t top: “Not quite your class, I’d say, dear, on the whole.” But, yes, Slater is very “careful with the written word” and that potato cake couldn’t look better.

  8. Roger, you kept it clean and simple, I love that. It’s like a potatoe gratin without the cheese.

  9. Sally says:

    Wonder what your thoughts on Thug Kitchen are? Liberal scatterings of expletives seem to have catapulted them to fame. I’d rather stay home with your beautiful potato dish. And yes Nige – stay off telly.

  10. chef mimi says:

    Fabulous post!!! And a beautiful potato dish.

  11. I would add the parmesan too 🙂 Wonderful.

  12. Hello Roger. Do you mind if I post this fabulous recipe on my blog? Of course I would ping back to your magnificent site…

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