I had a fun chat yesterday about whether the 2008 crash has changed people’s understanding of money. My friend Michael made the argument that people are now more aware that we are already over-saturated with consumer goods, so we will buy less and value money less. This is certainly true of my friend. But I suspect that the rest of the world still wants a lot of consumer stuff and always will. Though we will alter our preferences according to budget and cultural trends.
Still, something has changed a bit for me since 2008. I am less in love than I was with the idea of over abundance. Growing up in the sixties, we over-indulged with gusto. It was supposed to be part of the good life. And I still do this, though not on a Roman scale. But as I sauteed mushrooms with cherry tomatoes last night with a hint of vermouth, I noticed that the real pleasure of this was in getting it just right. Getting the mushroom flavor out, rather than adding a lot of other stuff to it. So this quote from caught my eye article at Saveur about Diana Kennedy
Honest food. “Comida casera,” she calls it, home cooking of the very best kind. The attention to detail and technique, to doing things properly, that she’s observed in Mexican home cooks has earned her highest admiration. “To me, the interesting part of cooking is cooking,” she says, “bringing flavors out of ingredients, not having to put flavors in.” Fronting, in other words, only the essential facts of life.
I like that phrase too “fronting only the essential facts of life”.