juggling on radio…..

A blindfolded man is given a glass of dark beer to taste. He tastes the beer, licks his lips and nods in approval at which point the blindfold is removed causing the subject of the tasting to smile and say “….but I hate Guinness”; so ran a very popular commercial sometime in the misty past. Such was my experience with Richard Olney’s “Simple French Food” being substituted for the glass of Guinness. The blindfold was omitted for the same reason that juggling acts never succeed on radio. I have owned a copy of this book for a long time and yet, on account of some capricious prejudice, I have easily resisted any temptation to cook any of the recipes therein; until yesterday, that is, which is entirely due to doing something that I very much dislike doing…..looking at newspapers. There was a time in my life when I read newspapers with the same addictive urgency that led me to smoke several packets of cigarettes each day. I needed one or the other, preferably both, in my hands if my hands and mind had nothing specific to do at that moment…sitting on the underground, sitting on the lavatory, sitting on a bar stool, sitting in the studio, sitting in a restaurant…they were constant companions. Neither of them have been part of my life for a long time now but they have been replaced by the equally habit forming internet which is in my hand when I’m sitting on the underground, sitting on the lavatory, sitting on a bar stool, sitting at my computer, or cooking in the kitchen which is when, yesterday, I read Rachel Roddy’s Guardian food page which featured a Richard Olney recipe. A “con” of the printed newspaper was that one could only express one’s disagreement with an editorial opinion by the long, tedious, and thankless task of writing a letter to the editor whereas a “pro” of the current internet newspaper allows us, Trumplike, to make an immediate and, more often than not, ill considered comment directly to the author of the piece which, in my ill considered way, is what I did. I mentioned that “Simple French Food” was as far from simple as I could imagine and that the recipes appeared long, convoluted and unnecessarily demanding and not in the spirit of blah, blah, blah which comment clearly asked for, indeed demanded, a simple, crisp “whatever” in reply but which received a kind and persuasive suggestion that it may be worth trying.When one hears such words from the mouth of La Roddy one knows it fucking well will be worth trying and so I did and here’s the recipe……do it. I should mention that my on line conversation with Rachel brought comments from other  people who had wonderful things to say such as this” “All that said, recipes are like belts: you can tug them snug or wear them loosely, and in time take them off completely, cooking by eye and nose with the chance that your trousers might fall down”

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 2017, aubergine, aubergine, Cheese, Cookery Writers, Cooking, Cream, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, Eggs, Excellence, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, goat cheese, Mediterranean food, Photography, Photography holiday, Rachel Roddy, Recipes, Richard Olney, Ricotta, ricotta gratin, tomato, tomatoes, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to juggling on radio…..

  1. Mad Dog says:

    I just had a homemade tapenade, cheese, tomato and jamón serrano sandwich on St. John sourdough and thought I was in heaven …until I saw your photograph. That looks delicious, in spite of the complication 😉

  2. This is a good recipe….I used a fresh, wet goat cheese instead of ricotta. The next recipe in book interested me as it is a Sauté of Green Beans because, as I walked into the garden, I just noticed my neighbour has left a huge bag of haricots verts hanging on the back gate. Love the sound of St John sandwich…..really miss that place

  3. jmcheney says:

    I used to work on newspapers back in eocene- on women’s pages as a fashion editor & features writer. At the Milwaukee Sentinel, we had a wonderful food editor in our department, Rosa Tusa, who invited the staff over for Simple but Divine food she & her Bulgarian artist husband, Kyril, prepared together with love & flair. But Thoreau spurned newspapers, having “read one 10 yrs. ago.” It would be the very same headlines & news & world churning if he should read one again that very day. I have never been able to give them up, having been weaned on the funny papers, Ernie Pyle’s reports, & Eleanor Roosevelt’s My Day on my Mama & Daddy’s laps (while poking my pudgy fingers through the smoke-rings Daddy blew over my head). Your photograph looks divine too & might try it while aubergines & tomatoes are so plentiful if I can gather in the needed ricotta & double cream. I went looking for my Richard Olney, thinking I have one of his books, couldn’t find it but came across his sister-in-law Judith Olney’s “Summer Food” which has a simplified recipe for this dish with whipping cream, no egg & rigatoni. I do want to try Richard’s richer one. Merci beaucoup for the temptation!

    • Glad you like it.. I had no ricotta and used a very soft fresh goat cheese… we din’t have double cream soI used creme fraiche. It’s pretty adaptable so just make sure you season really well to get the flavours going

  4. Linda Duffin says:

    I love that final comment … clearly your trousers stayed up during the preparation of this recipe! And Rachel pretty much walks on water as far as I’m concerned. Lx

  5. catterel says:

    Sounds good, looks good and I have the identical oblong brown dish so that’s a start. Re juggling on radio – I once listened to an Austrian radio programme with a demonstration by the local fire brigade of their latest hosepipe. Similar effect.

  6. Eha says:

    Still love newspapers. Never had a real problem with cigarettes: well, did buy Gitanes awhile: to be smartypants, methinks. Adore La Roddy and have lost sight of her: investigations needed how to get her quirky brilliance automatically back into this computer again. Oh: love the recipe . . . . placed in a queue . . . .

  7. Perfect recipe…perfect quote…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.