“My energy and curiosity may be renewed but the larder isn’t. There is probably less food in the house than there has ever been. I trudge out to buy a few chicken pieces and a bag of winter greens to make a soup with the spices and noodles I have in the cupboard. What ends up as dinner isclear, bright and life-enhancing. It has vitality (that’s the greens), warmth (ginger, cinnamon) and it is economical and sustaining too. I suddenly feel ready for anything the New Year might throw at me.” -Nigel Slater, Notes from the Larder: A Kitchen Diary with Recipes
The calendar year is a simple trick up nearly any kind of author’s sleeve: our lives are ordered by years, by seasons passing, and a writer can easily order a book in this way. I thought of this recently as I took down Nigel Slater’s Notes from the Larder, which begins tidily with his cooking in January as he runs smack into the New Year and considers his options, and continues with a gently torrential output of words about seasonal ingredients and recipes straight on through to December. Have I ever read this tome cover to cover? I haven’t, but I suspect the time to start is now.