I am starting to feel the strain of not having a proper kitchen. I feel a bit bored and uninspired, and I keep doing all over the same joyless foodstuff – light, nutritious and boring. Of course then, I need to compensate and stuff myself with chocolate. Today however at lunch I prepared something surprisingly nice I’d like to share with you. My lunches are always very quick to make and have to be light – I start working immediately afterwards. I usually throw together whatever sits in the fridge in a big salad bowl, and that’s it (sooner or later I’ll forget any reservation and tell you of some crazy stuff I have cooked for myself on these solitary lunches – I’m sure you love as well the feeling of experimenting in total freedom just by yourself). However today I felt cold and sad and I needed something warm and a little crunchy – crunchy food always makes me smile.
aka: Can I burn bell pepper’s skin using electric plates?
I went back to Italy for a weekend. I brought home a kilo of local grower’s bell peppers, still in season (it is still summery warm, there).
My favourite way to prepare peppers is to burn their skin and peel them. It is time consuming but they are unrivalled that way. I must warn you that it is worth bothering only if they are fleshy enough, otherwise they just turn to nothing. Now apparently you can burn peppers by putting them in the oven, or over a direct flame; I have always used the second method, and I always make extra peppers when I have a barbecue, saving them for a rainy day. Then when all the skin is charred, you put the hot peppers either in a paper bag and then in a plastic one (mummy’s way) or in a container with a very tight fitting lid (my way, since I live in places where they don’t sell bread in paper bags, unfortunately). When they are nearly cold, or cold, you take off the skin, possibly with the help of some kitchen paper, or if the peppers are very strong, also under running water (quicker, but they do lose some flavour). You then cut them and remove seeds, and here they are. Great for freezing too.
So i left, in the end. There are things I know I’ll miss enormously, but for now, the obvious thing I do miss is … guess what? And now well, also Melissa, she gets in a new home and she bakes, and wow! thank you, I know, nothing like the smell of apple pie makes you feel at home, or if you really are Italian, smell of lasagne in the oven, or at most pastiera, but what if you have no oven? If you barely have a kitchen?