The first thing I think of when autumn arrives is mushrooms. Then pumpkins. And then, celeriac.
But for some reason, they were not stocking it anywhere near us. I kept peeking at the vegetables section each time I visited the shops, and all I saw were sad swedes (the roots, not the people) and tiny squash and potato cubes. No! That will not do!
So I finally braved the rain and wind, walked to a supermarket further away, and found celeriac there. At last!
In the quest for the most extravagant and spectacularly looking dishes, we often overlook the basics. What a shame!
So here’s one of them: bollit (in Valencian) or hervido (in Spanish). Which literally means… boiled!
This dish is extremely simple, consisting of boiling vegetables in salted water, and then having them with a bit of fat of your choosing. I know—it sounds “unappetising”, and it looks “ugly”, but it can be oh so comforting, especially when the weather is cold or if you’re feeling not so great and all you need is some simple food that doesn’t require extremely sophisticated skills to prepare.
I went on a tiger nut frenzy last week, as I made a batch of horchata and then I also turned the leftover “pulp” into “flour” for making biscuits. Absolutely ZERO WASTE! I was very pleased.
This time I used just tiger nuts. No cinnamon or lemon zest as in my previous attempt. And it tasted better than ever! So tiger nutty. I find it hard to describe this flavour; you have to try this type of horchata to understand how it tastes—it’s quite unlike Mexican horchata.
My friend and prestigious Horchata Connoisseur Belén has asked me to share the recipe for the biscuits, so here it goes!
I was walking on the street on the 21st of December (and yes, I do write way after the fact), reflecting on the fact that the idea of winter solstice was fabulous: after that night, the days would be getting longer, the nights shorter, and eventually the weather would get warmer… and then my eyes noticed a branch on the floor.
I was standing outside a garden/flower shop, so I figured it must have been trimmed off a Christmas tree. And then I remembered what my grandfather used to say:
Lo que a mi casa viene, es porque me conviene.
(“Whatever comes to my house does so because it’s convenient for me”)