Sunday, 13 July 2014
Why "The Red Book Cook'?
The Red Book or 'Liber Novus' is the work of Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung. It centres around his reconnection with the soul and the recovery of the meaning of life.
How is that relevant to me?
A few years back I bought a house with a garden just outside of Kiev.
I had always been interested in cooking and for the first time I was able to grow my own fruit, vegetables and herbs for use in the kitchen.
I began to feel much more connected with the ingredients I was using and to really value the concept of freshness and locality.
I could compare the taste of sun ripened cherry tomatoes picked straight off the vine to those bought in a plastic box from the supermarket. The difference is phenomenal. Simplicity became of much greater importance to me. Courgettes lightly seasoned and grilled within minutes of picking were a revelation.
This made me start to think carefully about the rest of the food I was eating. The striking contrast between the mass produced products and those which were home grown or home made was something I began to feel more and more strongly about.
This sparked a desire to expand my abilities in the kitchen and attempt those things which I had always avoided learning such as breads, pastry, pasta or cakes.
Being able to prepare a quiche from scratch using vegetables fresh from the garden proved incredibly rewarding. Homemade soda bread with butter I had made myself, salad leaves from the ground to the plate within minutes. Homemade pasta with a simple sauce of herbs from the garden.
It changed the way I thought about food and the importance of it. It brought back childhood memories of the real taste of food which had been lost over the years. For me it was a reconnection strong enough to make me want to change careers and make a living through the production of real food.
Carl Jung recorded his recovery with the meaning of life in the Red Book and so am I, as The Red Book Cook!