Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Cooking With Practically Nothing

Are there any of you challenged and excited by the prospect of making something edible out of the last remains of a week's shopping? Somehow I think it's even more thrilling when you're challenged by space, equipment, all the seasonings you're used to having stocked, and especially the lack of familiar ingredients. Cooking while away is always like that. You cant afford herbs and spices, which are sometimes a crutch anyway, and as for equipment, its a pot and a pan, and a knife. Tonight was one such adventure. Not that making noodles is ever so hard, but I had a kind of raw spreadable salami that was pushed on me a few days ago a the market. A little disconcerting, but very tasty. And I thought, what the hell, cook it. With onions, some tomatoes and throw it on the noodles. German noodles no less. But no herbs, or garlic, or wine, I wasn't about to let that go into the pan instead of down my throat. And somehow it turned out marvellous. Shortcuts I would never have taken in my own kitchen, somehow made sense here. And letting the noodles cook in the sauce, something I practically never do, did the trick perfectly. There was so little of the sauce that it kind of lightly covered everything, and you could still taste the noodles. Which I admit rarely happens when I do my full-blown ragu at home. Maybe the change was good for a lesson learned.

So if you have the urge, tell me some stories of your own triumphs in adversity. Cooking in an unfamilar kitchen with no amenities.


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