Thursday, March 17, 2011

Food is about love and nurturing.

On with the cooking. I've made risotto before, but only by baking it in the oven - no stirring stock in ladle-by-ladle for this girl..... Until now. I was in cruise-mode, wanted to take my time, make it last. I There was a little bit of fantasy involved too - I imagined myself doing this from a farm-house in Tuscany. I would love to live that kind of simple life, but here in NZ - I would love to visit Italy, but NZ is home.
 Of course I understand that the simple life is hard, hard work. But so is this life - not mine - I'm a stay-at-home mother of two cats for heaven's sake, but I'm married to a man who is married to his job. This has its advantages  - it meant, when I was made redundant, that I didn't have to get another job - and as my job had taken its toll on me (especially in the lead-up to redundancy), I chose not to.
I keep house for us, I do his paperwork, I try to make his life run as smooth as possible. But I worry about him. He works long hours. Even when he gets home he is still thinking about work. He works part of most weekend. When he's not working, he sleeps (it's called watching sport on tv). Last winter he had something of a melt-down. It was nearly the end for us, we survived, but I can see the pressure building up again and it worries me. It's not good enough. I want more for him. I want different for him.
And since he doesn't listen to me, the only thing I can do for him is cook something nice. He likes to eat nice food. This was nice.

Zucchini Risotto with Prawns

the white part of 1 leek - finely sliced
3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
300g arborio rice
1 wine-glass of dry white wine
1.5 litres of gluten free stock - I use the Massel brand - heated in a separate pot
1 medium-ish zucchini - thinly sliced into batons
80g parmesan, plus extra to serve - grated
50g butter

Heat some oil (about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil) in a large pan.
Add the leek, garlic and rice and cook a couple of minutes, stirring to coat all the rice with oil
Add the glass of wine and stir until absorbed
Add the stock a ladleful at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next.
Continue, stirring until almost all the stock is gone.
With a couple of ladlesful to go, add the zucchini
Stir to combine and continue adding the stock until it is gone. This should all take between 15 and 20 minutes.
Add the butter and then the cheese.
Cover and keep warm

Stir fry some prawns in a non-stick pan over medium heat until opaque 3-4 minutes.
Serve the risotto topped with prawns and sprinkled with some extra parmesan.


Anonymous said...

Girlfriend, do I hear you! I am in exactly and I do mean exactly the same boat! Only, I want to work, I love my job...working towards making that happen..fingers crossed it will. We too had some major melt downs...what to do? The only thing I know is to do my best to come from a place of loving kindness, and cook, and cook some more :) Wishing you both the best, Ina

Anonymous said...

I have tried twice now to comment on this post but I keep getting an error. Maybe because my comment was so long. So I am trying a small test to see if I can get this through.

Anonymous said...

Ah. so that was it. My comment must have been too long, so I will try to shorten it.
I mainly wanted to say that I know what it is like from both sides. I was a workaholic for years when I was a single mother with a 9 and 12 year old. I left my kids for 10+ hours each day to work and thought nothing of it. Poor gorgeous, innocent little kids. I have apologised to both kids as adults and both of them said they were happy having an unconventional mother and didn't mind but I still feel very sad and wish so much that I had of spent more time at home with them. My work didn't need me. I needed it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, here is one more. The only way that I was able to overcome it was when a new man came into my life (Haitch, 13 years ago) and he hated me working long hours. I resented him for a number of years for "making" me come home from work when I hadn't quite finished what I was doing but I succumbed begrudgingly and now, I thank him for it.
I just wish I could have seen what was happening while my kids were little.
Good luck to you both form my heart to yours. I know it not easy for both of you.