December Reflections 13: delicious

Pale green mashed potato spread across two pieces of toast

I am feeling pretty miserable today. I’ve picked up a cold, including a horrible sore throat, which on top of the ongoing fatigue has more or less wiped me out. So a dish that would slip down easily, and which I can make in my sleep, was called for. This is Leeks Lucullus (known more often in this household as Green Mash) from Katharine Whitehorn’s Cooking In A Bedsitter. As she says, it ‘looks like pale green mashed potato, but tastes delicious’.

I often find that cookery books that assume the cook is operating under some set of restrictions more inspiring and accessible than those that assume they have at their disposal all the kitchen gadgets and delicatessens the heart could desire, even if I’m not in fact bound by those restrictions. If I could theoretically make something delicious on a single gas ring with a hostile landlady prowling (as Whitehorn was) or create a delectable creation entirely out of the contents of tin cans (Jack Monroe) then surely I can manage it with all the advantages of a kitchen of my own and a regular veg box delivery. Actually, the veg box delivery helps a lot, too. It’s much easier to think, ‘oh, leeks: what do I do with those?’ than it is to start from a blank sheet.

I do have How To Eat (Nigella Lawson) and enjoy reading it for the sheer pleasure she gets from food, but I very rarely cook anything out of it. Though she has more in common with the other two than you might think: all three think that food is good and people should be allowed to enjoy it. Which is a sadly and surprisingly rare attitude in cookbooks.

2 thoughts on “December Reflections 13: delicious”

  1. David and I treated ourselves to a Chinese lastnight, oh the joy of Thai Green curry. Didn’t do too badly the previous days, I find that the addition of a green stock cube and a tin of coconut milk raise practically everything to sublimity – even lentils and tomatoes. I’ve had my first cold for 3 years – it almost felt like coming home after the dreaded C time

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    1. Oh, Thai green curry sounds good. Maybe tomorrow! These have been the first sick days – other than Covid itself, obviously – I’ve had since the first lockdown. Really can’t say I missed this!

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