Saturday, July 30

Ice-cream hungry inner kids

Ice cream! Ice-cream for the kid in me” was the firm announcement in an email I’ve received. Pardon? I never received much in the way of explanation, but it got me thinking.

I’m not that fond of ice-cream (don’t like the brain freeze), I thought; I also don’t want to focus on nostalgia.

Then I remembered my son, aged two, wearing his ice-cream on his face & shirt, licking it ever-so slowly, with such joy & concentration... Surely there are some important lessons here about simple pleasures, or the enjoyment of food? It definitely has nothing to do with nostalgia. Or perhaps it has everything to do with it?

my son aged two demonstrating the joys of ice-cream

That night, on the BBC2 cookery series “Rick Stein’s Spain”, I watched the lovely chef search for the Spain he knew as a child, trying to recapture his earliest “gourmet memories”.

In the Basque country he visits a restaurant that has “the best barbecue in the world”. Victor, the chef, tells Stein that all the cooking in his childhood was done on open fire, so his earliest memories of food were influenced by the flavours of smoke & charcoal. Now, forty years on, he works to recapture those flavours from his youth.

Stein, visibly moved, then says: “the funny thing is that (I realize) from listening to that, that all I was trying to do is go back to my childhood & recreate those flavours from when I was little. It’s all I do. So I am totally simpatico with what he said.

Rick Stein realizing the influence his childhood food had on his career

Food for thought – excuse the pan.

For now, I’ll leave you ice-cream hungry inner kids with an ice-cream filled clip from the film "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", and with a request.  Please do tell me more about your childhood foods that still tickle the kid in you.

Tuesday, July 26

Furniture pebbles

Can grown ups' furniture be playful without being whacky? Yep. In fact, we could even litter our grown up living space with pebbles, yet look sophisticated. This is how.