One of the things I am most enjoying as I review Sonia Cabano’s book, easy, simple & delicious, is the ‘staples’ chapter. Here she shows how to “stock up the larder with a cook’s a-z, from basic breads to zesty sauces”.
I have crystal-clear memories of my mother, tired at the end of a busy day in the hairdressing salon, arriving home and telling us she was ‘too wilted’ to cook supper. In those days we had nothing in the way of delis or convenience food stores and there was nothing for it but to toss a few lettuce leaves and tomatoes, open a tin of sardines and slice up a loaf of bread.
Nowadays we are fortunate enough to have the likes of Ina Paarman and we can pillage the supermarket shelves for handy standbys like salad dressings, pesto and marinades.
Yesterday was a day of unqualified horror and I had – with all good intentions of making a creamy pasta bake for supper – roasted some chicken breasts during my morning desk stint. My afternoon turned pear-shaped and it was almost dusk before my thoughts returned to supper, by which time I could well relate to my mother’s lament of wiltedness; I was pooped and in no shape to face my stove.
A little sachet of Paarman’s sundried tomato vinaigrette had been lurking in my grocery cupboard for some time and it proved a release from the tensions of my day to slowly rip the chicken breasts into shreds and toss them about with my salad ingredients.
“The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.”