Nigel Slater and a simple salad of dates and thunderstorm celery

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Maybe it’s the end-of-summer-something-blueish but I always feel a certain heightened sense of awareness this time of year–clouds gathering, the light slants a certain way, rendering the shadows long and myself longing…

What to do but take a bit of time out of the day to read Nigel Slater’s thoughts on something like a simple, quiet dinner preparation.  You are probably familiar with his 2004 memoir, “Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger.”  But I also love “Notes from the Larder: A Kitchen Diary with Recipes” and “The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater.” Slater offers small prose poems as introductions, vignettes of a life well-cooked.  In an interview with The Guardian, he offers some insight into how food was a refuge and a rare place of happiness.

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Channeling Slater, I pushed my deadlines aside and allowed myself a quiet moment in the kitchen, using up the produce from the weekend’s farmers’ market.  Here’s my celebration of celery tips and parsley leaves.  Recipe for Celery and Parsley Leaf Salad with Dates. And a of Slater’s bits on cooking:

-“I still meet men who never, ever cook. They think it’s their wife’s job. They are living in the dark ages.”

-“People who are good cooks are often good in bed.”

-“The first bite of pizza is always the best. Ditto sip of cold beer.”

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