Monthly Archives: November 2020

Classics never grow old

In a world full of trends, I want to remain a classic.

– Iman

Being a foodie, I’m always on the hunt for new flavours, new combinations of tastes to create and share. But I was struck by an interview I heard recently with Nigella Lawson and Yotam Ottolenghi.

They spoke about the possible disservice done to us by having so many recipe options to cook. They keep publishing new recipes. We want to keep trying new things but then we never have a chance to perfect any one thing.

I will admit to falling into that pit. It can be fun to embark on a cooking adventure; but when I’ve had a few less-than-expected results in a row, I have felt discouraged. Chasing trends is a risky business.

I guess it’s like trying to wear those leg warmers when everyone is into wide leg pants. Or anytime the trend just didn’t work for you. No one needs more of that awkward feeling in their life.

When I’m feeling down, I look to set myself up for success. Before I throw in the towel and go for some kind of order-in comfort food, I look for a classic recipe I hardly need to look up to accomplish well.

Of course some of this is nostalgia. The recipes my Mom made week after week, the first ones I wrote into my now-weathered journal – those are often my go-to classics.

Mom and I have been chatting weekly since the first lockdown in March, and she reminded me of one childhood classic a few weeks ago. The reminder brought that taste top of mind, like a tickle in my nose.

And so, this week we had a classic snack with dinner. Our lovely BLTs showcasing the last few tomatoes and bit of arugula from the garden sat beside celery sticks with Cheese & Pimento. I even put the spread in one of my Dad’s handmade ceramic bowls with one of his carved wooden spreaders.

I have made all kinds of spreads, and I have dipped celery in plenty of flavours. I suppose you could argue that retro dishes have become somewhat trendy again, but this classic has been with me through its low points too.

Comfort food is a good thing. But a classic recipe gives us the chance to create a comfortable world, not just a comfortable meal.

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