Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Monday, November 06, 2006

On writing (about food) well

I have Critical Mass for to thank this article, which, forgive my saying so, offers ample food for thought.

One of blogging's perils is the need to post regularly or lose readers. But the need to get words up three to five times weekly means speed, which in turn can affect quality. I am not a full-time blogger. I haven't the luxury of hours at my desk, polishing every word. This has forced to me think carefully about how I write about books. I had given less thought to food writing, though I should have known better. Powers's article is a needed shove.


Prior to reading Powers's review I intended to write about peppers. Now I am having a complete writerly crisis. Maybe the topic is dull. Laurie Colwin already wrote about peppers, and did a much better job. Maybe my take on peppers is utterly pedestrian and represents the worst the blogoshpere has to offer.

On that note, I will admit that peppers are not a favored veggie in the BK/Hockeyman household. (I refer here to fresh peppers like Gypsies or green peppers, not dried or high scoville like habaneros, with their specific role as palate burners.) Hockeyman won't eat them at all. I think they're okay, but I'm not wild enough about them to singelhandedly consume the bagfuls arriving from the farm. But the sight of all those beautiful peppers--red, yellow, green--slowly softening and rotting in the fridge made me terribly guilty. I resolved to find a way to eat at least some of them.

I found a recipe for Sauteed Peppers in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Basically, you take peppers, onion, and garlic and cook them down in olive oil. Add tomato paste diluted with 1/4 cup of water, cook that down, then add some balsamic vinegar and cook until glazed. The resulting sludge can be stirred into whatever your imagination decides. Mine opted for polenta. I made a batch, stirred in the peppers, and now have a week's worth of lunch.

The result is okay. Not magnficent, but fine for lunch, cheaper than eating out, probably healthier. I wish I could like peppers more. They're so pretty, and so good for you. But like rosemary, they have a way of crashing the party and taking over before you remember why they were invited to begin with.

I still have four peppers left, though. They taunt me from the vegetable bin. Peperonata's next.


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