FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012
Flowing with seasons defines how I operate in the kitchen. Cold, grey days trigger a nostalgia for warm, simmering stews spiked with a vibrant spoonful of parsley pesto. The first sign of grape hyacinths tells me it’s time to sauté spring greens in garlic and top with soft goats cheese and a sprinkle of pistachios. Summer means the lightest of touches; most ingredients shine all on their own. Roasted squash and buttery mushrooms tell me it’s fall.
Within this rhythm is a toolbox of flavours I keep close at hand. It’s these tools – lemons, vinegars, oils, maple syrup, flaky sea salt, roasted tomatoes, garlic, ginger, toasted spices, to name a few – that are the constant in my kitchen. I can’t control the seasons, but I can play with what they bring. My tools allow local golden beets and white sprouting broccoli to become the focus of a Thai green curry. Sweet potatoes and parsnips become a Moroccan tagine. Quince becomes a jelly served with goats cheese.
These tools create harmony in my kitchen. They create balance. They allow food to sing.
I also must add that I am a mother of three. I cook meals on the fly for boys who are hungry. My food isn’t complicated, but the tool box is essential. It can transport even macaroni into something fit for, well, the parents.