Sunday, June 14, 2009

beyond Ramsay and another box of oranges

Karl Quinn, in The Age, is suggesting the Ramsay-Grimshaw stoush was a set up. Call me cynical but I get the feeling the senior writer for Fairfax is trying to create his own controversy.

What I learnt from seeing Ramsay last weekend is that most of the audience didn’t find him particularly charming or even funny but some will do almost anything to win a small appliance or have their few seconds of fame. To be in the proximity of a celebrity is what it is all about.

But it has nothing to do with cooking. The guy for all his ugliness can cook. Uncouple the dreadful banter and infamy from his demo in the celebrity theatre and just let him create good simple food. Free him of the expectation to perform as anything other than a chef and I would have been happy to pay good money for the experience. After all the bloke used tahini for goodness sake and for me I can find redemption in popularising deceptively simple, healthy food.

You see we, the viewing public, have created Ramsay. We are the ones that demand the swearing (people left the theatre actually disappointed to not hear a single f*ck from him). We are the ones getting our jollies from the fallout with the ACA host. We are the ones that have turned cooking into reality television. Yes, we are the monster that created Masterchef (tune out, let the ratings drop and we will be free of it next year, I promise you).

This week I have cooked and eaten an awful lot. There has been quinoa pilaf, a simple chickpea curry made from imagination, a hearty bean and vegetable soup, an unexpected lunch at Cookie and generally lots of shared food around the table. Not much is what I would call “blogworthy”, mainly due to it being just regular simple fare, no bells and whistles or because I have documented here on these pages before.

Everything has a season. It is June, the SE’s birthday and with it comes his family from Sydney and a box of home grown oranges and lemons. There will definitely be another jar of preserved lemons, the orange cake might even get made this year but inevitably at least half the citrus will simply be squeezed and drunk. Sure there might be an intense orange jelly set with agar. There could be the spiced lemon pickle I didn’t get around to making last year. But you know, it doesn’t matter because merely squeezing it and drinking it straight is a delicious, simple experience in itself.

I know that if I miss messing with the fruit this year, the opportunity will come around again. Everything has a season – the anticipation, the first taste of the year, the inevitable glut that turns the sort after into the every day. Round and round it goes.

Enjoy the zesty citrus, roasted chestnuts and hearty soups that make winter what it is. For now, I am loving a bowl of steaming hot porridge with a dash of maple syrup before work, almost as much as anticipating bed with a hot water bottle at the end of the day. I can wait for spring to fall in love with asparagus again and summer for my first mango of the season but for now an orange grown with love is fine with me.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Ann oDyne said...

I eat tahini again (1970's macrobiotic phase was the last time)
because I read it was beneficial for arthritic bones; but nut-love won't impact on my feeling that The Age journo must have read my blog comment last week (somewhere in melb) that Channel 9 are loving that other media are writing up two of their shows.

winter is so good for the enjoyment of food. feed the spirit as well as the body.

5:19 pm  
Blogger Anh said...

I admitted I used to like G.Ramsay. but I got tired of him after a while. And as for Master Chef, it was so boring I could not watch a full episode (how many times do I have to hear they say "passion" or "how much do you want this"). I much prefer reading food blogs :P.

The home-grown oranges should be nice. I love oranges in any form.

10:09 pm  

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