Claudia Roden, how classic – she inspired me to cook when I didn’t even have a kitchen. At the time I was half way through my degree, living in a bungalow where my ‘kitchen’ consisted of a two burner electrical hot-plate that gave me heat options of ‘on’ or off’ and a tiny little toaster oven. My claim to fame was baking muffins in that thing. Needless to say I invested in an oven thermometer and literally sat in front of the toaster playing with the temperature dial to keep a steady 180 C while my mini muffins incubated inside.
On loan from the library I devoured Claudia’s book ‘Arabesque‘ introducing me to Moroccan, Turkish and Lebanese food. Addicted, I managed to scrounge enough loose change to photocopy some recipes and hand wrote out the rest. I never did buy myself a copy of Arabesque, I love my hand written notes too much.
But now I’ve fallen in love again.
This book! The Food of Spain: A Celebration.
Daydreaming about traveling Spain is my new past time. While I bide my time saving for a one way ticket, I’m getting my taste buds ready, savoring some of Claudia’s recipes. Doesn’t ‘Tarta de Chocolate con Nueces’ just make you wish you spoke Spanish? That’s Chocolate and Walnut Cake for those of us who can’t. Yep, this book has a dangerous amount of gluten free desserts. Hello!
Sweets aside, I’ve stocked up on smoked Spanish paprika and I’m hanging out to share some tapas with you. As always, I won’t share the recipes as they are in the book, (that would be unfair to Roden’s hard work) but I will share my adaptations. I’m going to try and keep the rule that Claudia shares in the first few pages of her book, “… that there should be a balance between the effort of making a dish and pleasure of eating it.”