risotto

with (wine and) music

Every time we say goodbye

by John Coltrane | My Favourite Things

I’m a fairly recent (the last couple of years) convert to the art of making risotto. I started with pea and mint, moved on to asparagus, then mushroom. I’m still not brave about throwing in left-overs ~ I’m a bit too precious about it yet.

I love the slowness of it, the ritual. A glass of very cold white wine helps it (and me) along. And I have to listen to ‘Trane’ as my jazz-loving friend Laura calls John Coltrane. Almost nothing else will do. When I shared this fact on Facebook last year, a friend, Grace, said she was impressed that I had different tunes for different recipes. At the time my repertoire was very limited (risotto, omlette) but has now expanded to include kedgeree, bread, yogurt, exciting things with sweet potatoes, lasagna, lots with spinach, and much more.  It’s still Trane for risotto though.

I Heat Up Some Leftovers

An advert on Classic FM advises listeners to store their leftovers in clear plastic boxes so they can see them.  This evening I tipped the remains of last night’s risotto out of a blue mug and heated them up in a non-stick saucepan.

Arborio rice is grown in the Po valley. I found this out from Wikipedia.  I also found out that its high starch content  makes it particularly good for absorbing flavours.

I tell my students never to cite Wikipedia in their assignments.

 I first read of the Po valley in the Don Camillo books by Giovannino Guareschi.  The hot-headed and muscular priest, Don Camillo, spends his time and emotional energy trying to outwit the Communist mayor, Peppone.  And all this under the scrutiny of the never-to-be-fooled Christ who looks down on him from a cross above the altar in the village church: a wonderful characterisation of conscience.

As long as I have rice, and an inch of leftover white wine, I can usually find the wherewithal – however empty the fridge – to make risotto.  This one included mushrooms.

by Liz Lefroy, poet, blogger and maker of risotto. Thanks, Liz.

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