I am of the recipe notebook school. I have a book which I started I guess in my early 20's, my first book, but it's since been filled and another larger version started. My mum and I both bought the same notebook at the same time and started to fill it with our favourite recipes and ones that we wanted to keep to try later.
I've mentioned before that I write a menu at the start of each week and shop to that menu. Anal as it sounds it works for me. I love to cook, but with the two little ones I just don't enjoy leaving it until the last minute to decide and shop. So this week I was feeling uninspired and turned to my old book for recipes that I hadn't made in a while.
Last night I cooked with Inma. Inma is a Spanish friend who lives in London with her family, we worked together at the same French bank. Although a Spanish tortilla is a simple enough concept, anyone who has had the real deal in Spain, knows that there is something magical about a great tortilla. Last night I made tortilla as I'd come across a note she'd written for me about her grandmother's recipe - so Tuesday dinner we had with Inma.
Tonight I'm making a recipe one of my dearest friends Lena made for us when we went to her and her now husband Peter's place for dinner the very first time. Lena and I also met at BNP - she moved to London from Copenhagen to join Peter, who was her boyfriend at the time. We went to dinner at their little flat in Chelsea, just down from Sloane Square and she made this meatball dish.
Neither of these dishes are gourmet delights - they're both a case of being as much a memory as a taste. It's not quite like the retsina Geoff and I drank in Greek Islands or the instant noodles that I used to cook over a camp fire in BC travelling with my old park ranger boyfriend - because they were never as good in reality as they were in my memory. These dishes both taste delish, but I love them all the more for being a trigger in bringing back even sweeter times.