Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Food For Thought, or: My dear old friend, how I love you

Food For Thought, F4T, my dear old friend. I first met you in June 2000, when London seemed to be blooming from its concrete and bricks, as pubs festooned themselves with artfully planted flower boxes and hanging baskets, colours chosen for complement as much as cheer. F4T, I loved your stoneware crockery, your stools for those with short and stumpy legs, and your genuinely communal tables (take note, Wagamama!). Your hot, simple, unpretentious food has had me coming back ever since.

Today's dishes reminded me of why I am so perpetually fond of you. Your stir-fried veggies with ginger and tamari atop brown rice, although lukewarm at best, retain the taste of each vegetable without making me feel like I'm eating a raw salad. I season from your darling little stone pinchbowls full of salt and pepper, which remain on the table customer in, customer out, oblivious to any potential health risks - but that's the beauty of you, F4T.

But today, my treasured friend, I want to tell you how much you outclassed yourself with your vegan apple, pear and rhubarb crumble (as if 'class' means a jot to you, you egalitarian heart-of-my-heart!). Your crumble was full of chunks of fruit, each determinedly retaining its own flavour but forming a perfect whole, and steaming, piping hot under its cover of sweet, crumbly crumble. F4T, your crumble was honest, decent home food par excellence (although you'd never be so gauche - oh I did it again! - as to use French phrases like that) ... Your crumble was spring, it was summer, it was a cottage kitchen, it was climbing fruit trees, it was an apron dusted with flour, it was Britain and it made me happy.

I love you, Food For Thought, and I promise to keep coming to see you as long as we both shall live.

Food For Thought Cafe: 31 Neal Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9PR, ph. 0871 3328808

1 comment:

Princess too said...

Hello Princess,

Do you think that the crumble could be re-created, even if not to perfection, by the home cook? Wearing an apron?