Daily Prompt: Call Me Ishmael

“In the early and uncommitted hours of a bright summer’s morning, shaded by a prim row of poplars.”

This is the beginning of Fast Ed Halmagyi’s The Food Clock. Today’s Daily Prompt says: “Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.”

You might think this is a strange sentence to begin a cook book, and you’re probably right. But it is a wonderful start to the accompanying novella that is interspersed throughout the book.

I read a lot, and my tastes are somewhat eclectic, so I am not able to pick a favourite book. However, my favourite at the moment is ‘The Food Clock’. My good friend DB gave it to me, he said, to thank me for dinner the previous weekend as he cannot return the favour.

The recipes are organised into 16 chapters following seasons of food availability from “hot o’clock” (summer) through to “warm o’clock” (spring), including ‘quarter past’, ‘half past’, and ‘quarter to’ o’clocks. The photographs are definitely food pornography and these are tempered with graphics and illustrations to give the book a worn albeit glossy feel – complete with red wine glass stains.

So far I have made:

  • Rhubarb Pudding
  • Chocolate Almond Pinwheels
  • Chicken with Black Olives and Oregano

And, I am making the Red Onion & Lentil Soup tonight.

All dishes that I have made have been superb, so much so they have been repeated over and over. Which is funny because the inside fly-leaf reads “Most of us cook the same few dishes over and over again because we′re busy and have lost our connection to the changes of the seasons”. I think it is going to be difficult to try all the recipes, without getting stuck on some of them :)

I took the rather heavy book on holiday with me, planning to read the novella from beginning to end. But we ended up having a rather active and full-on time away, that I only read the prologue and first chapter. It is the story of Henri Petit-Pois who is somewhat reflective while working in his garden, shopping for ingredients, and preparing food for himself and guests. Perfect for a holiday read, but it is definitely the wrong format to read in bed, on a plane, or on the beach!

What is great about the book, is that it is about eating seasonally which is what I try to do to keep my food miles down.

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