Translated into English by Natalia Bukia-Peters and Victoria Field
In lieu of a foreword
During the Swedish parliamentary elections, one of the parties had the following pre-election campaign. They printed recipes by female members of this party in their campaign literature and distributed them among the population. Just imagine if something like that had happened in our country. The following day, there would have been an outcry. ‘They are mocking people who are hungry or poor. This is no time for gastronomy when the price of bread is going up’ and so on.
But in my opinion, sharing recipes is a very personal and beautiful gesture. It’s thesort of teaching that won’t get on your nerves like instructions can sometimes do.
But why am I writing all this? On my wedding day, I was given many colourful and glossy cookery books. They were all quality publications but none of them was any good.
Cookery books should awaken our taste buds, make us smell the aroma of dishes, and develop a desire to find out more. But these books weren’t like that. They were exactly like the formulaic maths textbooks of school. Recipes are one reason why I love people. One such person was a writer called Barbare Jorjadze who lived in nineteenth century Georgia. That lady is my muse.
I have disliked porridge since childhood, but there’s one version of porridge I always eat which is described as ‘sour porridge, very tasty, with gooseberries’. This is one of the recipes in The Complete Cuisine, Barbare’s cookery book. I love women like her, women who are not afraid of their passionate taste buds.
As well as liberty and a happy life, freedom of choice, love, opportunities for fulfilment and world peace, people also need vanilla cream. I learned this in my early childhood when once I attended a birthday party for my classmate. There, they had the most beautiful, dream cake, decorated with lilacs at a time when everyone was surviving on strange green bread and horrible margarine. I waited stoically for the cake to be cut. Finally, a slice was placed on my plate and... To this very day, I am unable to forget the taste of rancid butter.
God save us from celebrations that go disastrously wrong... (See PDF)
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