In today’s world, most of us are time starved. From the moment we wake up, to the minute we go to bed, we tend to be in a hurry. No longer do we start the day ingesting a leisurely bowl of porridge, steaming hot and topped with a comforting dollop of honey, accompanied by a rejuvenating mug of coffee or tea, pondering the morning papers – no, we’re checking our email, tweeting on twitter and keeping up with the domestic and professional tribulations our friends go through on facebook. Neither Mr. Stephenson nor Mr. Duess are strangers to these pressures.
This kind of life then leads to the publishing of a plethora of recipe books and magazines, for those of us who can still be bothered to cook, promising culinary ecstasy in 30 minutes or less. Which is of course utter nonsense and the path to disappointment and mediocracy.
The truth of the matter is that good food takes time. Good anything takes time. Time, not unlike bacon, makes most things better. Wine, pickles, cheese, vinegar, bread, sausages. Even fish, if you decide to hang it in the smoke.
The good news is that once you’ve paid into the time bank, by curing bacon, smoking fish, feeding a sourdough starter or canning tomatoes, you are then able to withdraw deliciousness. And get a proper meal on the table, in ten minutes or less. A loaf of home made bread will not just still hunger, eating it will be an emotionally and sensually satisfying experience. It will make you happy the way a TV dinner never can. A basement full of shelves groaning under the weight of preserves, pickles and canned vegetables will warm your heart on a cold winter morning. And a slab of smoked bacon, wrapped in cheeseloth, will fill you with joy and anticipation.
And all because you’ve added time, the secret, and most precious of ingredients.