Recipes


From The Journey Home, by Olaf Olafsson:

…I think there is a certain arrogance in precise recipes and I’m uncomfortable with laying down the law about how people should prepare their food.

The day before yesterday, for instance, I sneaked a few figs into the chicken I was about to roast. I did it at the last moment because I had a sudden intuition that Anthony would appreciate the flavor of figs when he tasted the bird. Somehow I sensed it in his expression when he came trailing back from the tennis court. Sometimes I’m moved to cook snails in honey for the simple reason that I’ve seen bees buzzing in the sunshine; sometimes a bird singing on a branch will give me the idea of putting blackberries or currants in the sauce I’m preparing; sometimes the breeze billows the curtain over the little window in the corner and I think perhaps I’ll serve baked cinnamon pears with the veal I have in my hands. Why? Did the breeze waft me the scent of spices from distant lands? Did it bring me a message from someone who was thinking kind thoughts about me?

How could I possibly put these feelings on paper without running the risk of spoiling the pleasure or revealing what should be discovered in peace.