The first meal of the year seems important. Not so much breakfast, where the only requirement should be that it be fried and sprinkled with enough ketchup to start undoing anything that went wrong the night before. Really, I mean the first piece of proper cooking.
There’s something about pulling out a cutting board, searching for an onion, standing over a pot, and stirring while a meal slowly comes together. No matter what you’re cooking – a pot of soup or curry fashioned from whatever knocks still in the fridge, an old favorite like bolognese, a hearty pie or stew – it’s all about spending an hour in prepare something new.
My urge to cook on January 1st has been there since Christmas about 10 years ago, when I was given Nigel Slater’s Cooking diaries. I was mesmerized by the idea of reading it slowly over the next few months, the recipes taking me from New Years Day until next New Year’s Eve.
Since then, I have always wanted to be in the kitchen on the first day of the year. This year, I’m craving a large casserole of lentils, slowly simmered with a stick of cinnamon, chewy prunes, bay leaf and broth, falling somewhere between a soup and a stew. Thickened with a little potato and finished with a little red wine vinegar, they make the perfect vehicle for grated leftovers from your Christmas ham, roast goose or pork.
Italians regard lentils as good luck when eaten after the stroke of midnight on the New Year. Heaven knows we could all be doing a bit of that in early 2021.
Lentils are then. From.
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This notice was published: 2021-01-01 06:00:00