Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And the moral is....

I was trying to cook oxtail in a hurry the other day, which is a mad pursuit because it takes about four hours minimum.  The recipe comes from The Silver Spoon cookbook - an italian bible that has dishes for every conceivable ingredient that might be in season - from lambs lungs to chestnuts.  The oxtail uses the old carrot, celery, onion, garlic base with some white wine.  I'm teetotal these days and there was no white wine in the house.  The folks are also partied out and their cellar was down to a lone bottle of spumante, so I took a big breath and used just a little bit of white balsamic.  The carrots came from Mum's patch. As I went up to the garden I felt, as I always do, that funny mixture of awe, guilt and inspiration.  A couple of carrots came up easily. Then I ripped the top off one.  In my haste, I went for its neighbour, and ripped the top off that too.  With the ends of two sizable carrots looking at me out of the dirt, I thought about slinking away, but deep down realised there was no escape.  I had to get dirt on
my fingers, hands, and right under my nails. Eww.  The soil was softer than I remembered, and a rich brown.  After a bit of poking around, the carrots came up.  What a pair. What form. No wonder they didn't come up easily. What a charming reward for such a small act of persistence.

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