02 June 2009

Serious Pig

After perusing Pot on the Fire, I pulled down another one of John Thorne’s books, Serious Pig: An American Cook in Search of His Roots . John Thorne’s books always list his wife, Matt, as the co-author, a generous move in today’s world of wanting to be the center of everything. He writes in his introduction:

“Matt has considered every word of every draft, reacting, suggesting, amending, and hence, reshaping, what appears herein…this means that the subjective self who speaks out of these pages is a larger, braver, much more interesting person than that which belongs to me alone.”

That is the heart and soul of cooking, is it not. The people for whom we cook, react and amend our recipes, reshaping them. I don’t like nuts, you don’t like Brussels sprouts; cooking evolves with the voice of those around us and it makes for a richer, braver cooks.

My friend, Paul, is a chef. Every time he ate something I made he would say, “You know what would make this really good….” His girlfriend would get apoplectic, but I understand. Cooks are always adjusting and changing. It is why one cannot copyright a recipe. Each cook transforms a recipe. People who cook are constantly asking themselves that question: What would make this better?

I have a lot of chives planted and I have been looking for recipes for chive blossoms. In Serious Pig, Thorne discuses his romance with the Shakers. He provides a recipe attributed to Eldress Clymena or Sister Abigail from Ohio.

Blue Flower Omelet

4 eggs
4 tablespoons milk or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon minced chives
2 tablespoons best butter
12 chive blossoms

This delicious omelet can be made only when the chives are in full bloom. Take the eggs and beat them just enough to blend the whites and yolks well. Add milk or water, seasonings, and the minced parsley and chives. Melt butter in a heavy iron skillet; pour in the mixture. When the edges of the omelet begin to set, reduce the heat. With a pancake shovel [i.e., a spatula], slash uncooked parts until the bottom is well browned. Then sprinkle the washed blossoms over the omelet and fold. Serve immediately on a hot platter. The blue blossoms add a delicious flavor and interest to the dish.

I can't wait for the chives to bloom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin