It might be generational, or, perhaps, philosophical, but there are, on the one hand, those who enjoy and appreciate handmade things, and the art and craft they require to make, and, on the other, those who prefer their things machine-made, reliable, and standard. The ‘things’ here could be quite literally anything. My father, who, to me, is the quintessential scientist and pragmatist, believes that most, if not all, advances for the betterment of mankind have come as a result of the increased use and application of machines, technology and science. In fact, he would argue, I’m sure, that this blog is evidence of the fact that even something as Luddite as cooking can be improved through the application of technology, though regular readers – with good reason – may not agree.
My mother was cut from very different cloth however, and, though a nurse who believed sincerely in the power of modern medicine, sanitation and inoculation, she was a true amateuse of a hand-turned chair-leg, a cut-glass goblet, and, much to the detriment of my appearance during my tender years, a hand-knitted sweater. She was also a great lover of gardening, baking bread and, despite the fact that it rarely worked, yogurt-making. I think it’s from her that I get most of my culinary instincts, as the very notion of spending three or four hours in the kitchen doing anything would horrify my dad. Continue Reading »