The idea of candid food, appetising and nourishing just as it comes from the kitchen, appeals to me a great deal more than beautiful food posed for the camera that promises to have the taste qualities of cardboard. I freely admit that it makes me quite sad to be at the park and see a bin full of birthday refuse that includes many beautiful-looking muffins with hardly a bite taken out of them – the taste obviously didn’t keep up with the look. So a good example of my “sometimes gnarly but always tasty” approach was chutney from the bags of tomatoes brought by a friend who grows their own – every cook needs a friend like that!
Chutney is a great way to preserve excess vegetables, and that tends to shape our way of thinking about it – so its often not the first thought to make chutney for immediate use. I had some nice pork steaks to barbecue for dinner, so today I used a similar range of spices – smoked paprika, hot paprika, ground cumin seeds, a little cracked pepper – to cook down those tomatoes into a nice sticky chutney. A few potato wedges and presto, legendary dinner!
Of course, I am a photographer’s daughter, so I do try to have the image do justice to the taste – call it candid food that is what it is, beautiful as real food and so delicious it doesn’t need to put on a party dress for company.