A Painter’s Kitchen – the book


This humble little book has me pining for my little patch of dirt in the Community Garden. Margaret Wood met the painter Georgia O’Keeffe when she was ninety and Margaret twenty-four. O’Keeffe taught her to cook simple, delicious food with many fresh ingredients.

A Painter’s kitchen talks to me, but it is deceptive. It looks as if there’s nothing special going on with the recipes, but read between the lines and everything that promises deep goodness is there, mainly the fruits of the garden translated with a sure hand into, say a salad of torn herbs or a soup scented with lovage.

The hand is austere to be sure. No dish is encumbered with complicated embellishments: there are no intricate layering of flavours and textures. Rather, the elemental minerality of garden vegetable stands solidly next to the warmth of grains, the occasional blunt meatiness of a steak, or the sweet-tart bit of an apple pie. There is nothing to mess them up . Oil is , in fact, just “oil”.

Maybe time to put Ottolenghi on the self for a bit….

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