It is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you. People's failings, even major ones such as when they make you wear short trousers to school, fall into insignificance as your teeth break through the rough, toasted crust and sink into the doughy cushion of white bread underneath. Once the warm, salty butter has hit your tongue, you are smitten. Putty in their hands.Slater has a real economy of language, with a seemingly effortless way of conveying a lot using the fewest, but best, words possible. I could not put this book down, and I look forward to rereading it.
Now, on another note, Nigel and I are on the same wavelength about March. In his really amazing and absolutely unpretentious cookbook, Appetite, he writes that March is the "lowpoint of the cook's year." Tired of roots, citrus, and apples, Slater copes by eating "golden fruits from tropical climates" and seafood, such as mussels, to get through the end-of-winter doldrums.
I can't look at another clementine. We have eaten six boxes since November, and I've eaten at least three of those crates with no help. In an effort to add some variety to my citrus consumption, I have recently purchased minneolas (the rind is such a deep, rich orange color) and honey tangerines, and to my great disappointment the pulp has been shriveled and dry. Blessed relief: each of the three grocery stores I frequent has piles of luscious mangoes and the pineapple looks promising.
Slater also writes, "I might make the last truly winter casserole...Something light and stewy, like braised lamb with carrots." So, my March menu is shaping up. Every wintery meal that I've dreamed of making--stews, braises, cassoulets, another batch of chili, heavy pasta sauces--will make the A list over the next few weeks. March 31 marks the last day of winter for Hambone and Spice. That's the day we go tropical for a week in Costa Rica. Once we touch down on Minnesota soil, with visions of fruity drinks and fresh fish swimming in our heads, no one will be able to stop me from storing the stew pot and cleaning off the grill. Just you wait.