It's the last bite of 2017 and I'm happy that I started writing.
Hoping that you will make good plans for 2018.
It's common to make fun of New Year resolutions. As a non-follower of Christmas, Hanukkah or other, I'm pretty moved by the New Year. This holiday period is our accepted time for people of all beliefs to rest, gather and connect with family and friends. It loosens inhibitions. I love this. It's very spiritual for me. Why not have a chance to forgive yourself and try again, and again and again?
Truisms but... Nothing changes by staying the same and asking is the first stage in getting.
Google happiness and there are lots of suggestion on how to define it and or find it. I like it summed up like this...
Look after yourself. Cook and read and watch and make and sort and....
Nurture relationships. Keep up contacts. Best way is to cook and trap people around a table.
Think of others. Cook for them. Consider what they might need or even crave at the moment.
Do something you love. Cook and play and experiment and push the boundaries but stay sane.
Live in the moment. Cook what's here for now and also with an eye to the future.
Be curious. Cook and play with what might happen if this went with that.
This year, make more time to gather together.
Food dislikes, allergies, cultural differences and fads
It's very important to let people know what you can't or won't eat. Cooks have a pathological desire to please. If you're invited, either speak up ("By the way, I can't eat peanuts." "By the way, I don't eat pork.") or be prepared to eat what you're given.
Reasons for not eating food (real, fresh and local).
Moral - vegetarian (pescatarians eat fish) - I will probably become vegetarian eventually, on ethical not health grounds however. ( I'm cautious of vegans. I've known too many with hang ups that hint at body issues and food phobia.)
Cultural - Often against pork. Not logical but understandable. I would not eat dog.
Allergies -Seafood allergies are dire and I've seen the ravages from true gluten intolerance and it's not pretty.
Fads - Where do we start? Fake health (like fake news.) Nutritionism, denial, ritual play a large part.
Just common dislike - A true gastronome enjoys good food, simple or complex, and can feast on a potato as lusciously as on a white truffle.
Common Food Dislikes
I don’t eat endangered species or human beings and I’m not wild about mucilaginous things like okra, in case you’re asking.
Oysters, just opened, old, French, slightly pearlised oyster plate, no markings.
Orrefors champagne coupe c. 1960. Not "politically correct" but I love the way the coupe allows the bubbles to dance on your face.
Rug on table - half kilim, half pile.
Warning - some images may offend.
Jicky tries to help but can't get the hang of the napkins.
(Jicky - named after the Guerlain scent worn by Jean Cocteau and Colette, both of whom loved cats.)
"More people are hurt by starvation, hunger, verbal abuse and domestic violence than cats and the love they allow us to lavish on them." quote from yours truly - CK
I'm not good at casual but this is set modestly for a Friday meal with friends - only one wine glass and simple cutlery.
Plate - A whole blog could be given over to this beautiful service. Czech pre-1938. (Eichwalder Prozellan). The Jewish owners were "sent away" and the business placed under German administration. I would love to know more (& replace a plate).
Usual Christofle silver-plate.
Glass, modest, (believed Belgium) from Izzi &Popo, fabulous Melbourne shop, sadly no more.
Mini soup tureens for S&P (Pillivuyt)
Salt spoons, silver Birmingham 1910 (Hobart Salamanca market stall)
Red Hawaiin volcanic salt (tastes like salt!) & freshly ground pepper.
Red bottomed glass (pair) - present from Meryl, from china. I like to intersperse them with others.
Linen napkin (12) from, antique shop, Place des Vosges, Paris.
Portes-couteaux (knife rests) from a vast "brocantes", held in a farmer's field, outside Bordeaux. Cheap, cheap, cheap and one is chipped on a corner (so I smoothed it over with several layers of clear nail varnish).
The next morning, in the cold, harsh light of day - not pretty but I've seen worse. The caption to this could be...
"Between the dream and the reality falls the shadow" - T.S. Elliott (The Hollow Men)
"Après moi, le déluge" attributed to Louis XV
-Tired so I didn't co-ordinate the post-prandial cups well - black & gold over the-top-cups for tisane (c. 1955 Foley Bone China) and Susie Cooper (c.1970 Wedgwood Corn Poppy) for coffee. The teapot by Heinrich Löffelhard, follows the Wagenfeld Bauhaus design. Central filter removed, it's filled with lemon verbena leaves from the garden. The plates are Sarguemines majolica (c. 1935). My mother loathed them and as a child, I adored the realistic leaves, apples and pears.