It’s been raining. A lot.
Last week London was glossed with a grey tint. Its lungs gurgled with water running into drains and the trees’ green leaves remain unnoticed by the folks who trundled past, heads ducked, umbrellas up. When we got home we bypassed the salad and strawberries and whacked on the oven, although only after stripping off our coats and cursing the English Summer.
It doesn’t bother me too much though, this weather. My mind and body aren’t allowed to wonder too far away from my computer and the rain suppresses any urge to runaway from revision. Well, it might not encourage me to step outside but it does pull my imagination a little further afield, across the ocean, to balmy Italian evenings eating nutella filled bombas. Or to Venice, in that moment when evening hangs lifeless in the summer air and you can breathe, and there’s silence, and then it falls, crashing down, turning the city into a completely different animal in the darkness. When such images twist their way around my soggy and damp brain I have to shake my head and look at the rain falling outside and more often than not, a mental conversation runs in my head. It usually goes something like this.
Myself: Come on Alice, snap out of it. You have exams and you have to R.E.V.I.S.E
Myself: Nooo, what are you doing?! This is not the time to be googling cheap flights to…Canada?! Why Canada, I thought the focus was on Italy…ooooh look, a cute photo of a pair of sea otters holding hands.
Myself: . Now seriously Alice, you have to work. Lay off searching for flights, lay off that packet of biscuits you’re devouring and lay off the sea otters…there’s revision to be done.
10 Minutes Later…
Myself: OH MY GOD, a baby penguin being tickled!! So CUTE!
And then I might…Just about…if I’m lucky…do some revision, for about half an hour, before the whole cycle starts again.
So yes. For the last month I’ve been caught between dreams and a hard place, so I’ve been in need of a realistic, nourishing (revision time coincides with binge eating season) form of escape. How lucky then, that on picking my random recipe for this month’s challenge (set as always by Dom at Belleau Kitchen), I fell upon Nigel Slater’s bruschetta in Real Fast Food. The rule of the game this month was to pick any cookery book at random and choose either the first or last recipe in the book. I chose the first, especially considering a simple bruschetta, consisting of juicy tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic infused good bread, is absolutely heavenly.
I made this on Thursday and on Friday, the sun peeked its head from between the clouds to say hello.
It also coincided with a very tempting and utterly unexpected offer of another Italian Escape…but more on that later….
Now just bask in the glory of this evening’s supper: lemony polenta embellished with asparagus, poached egg and a sprinkle of zesty sumac. Now that the sun has decided to make a brief reappearance I feel one step closer to summer, and all that it will bring…
Bruschetta al Pomodoro (From Real Fast Food)
4 slices of white bread, cut from a crusty loaf, 1cm thick
1 clove of garlic, peeled
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Grill the bread on both sides. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut edge all over one side of the toasted bread.
Spread the tomatoes over the garlic toast and sprinkle a little salt and a grinding of black pepper. Trickle olive oil over the tomatoes and eat the toast while still hot.