Vegetable Confit

I’m not sure if this turned out more as a condiment or a soffrito. I guess it doesn’t really matter but the long and the short of it is that it can be used almost anywhere; you can add it to stews or casseroles as a great boost to flavour; serve it on top of grilled fish or meat, or simply toss it through some wholemeal pasta with lots of fresh parmesan and some parsley.  In the picture, I’ve used it a  topping for bruschetta along with some goat’s cheese.  The sweetness of the confit is a great foil for the acidity of the cheese.

  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 Stalks Celery (leaves removed)
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Sea Salt
  • 0.5 tsp Dried Marjoram
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 strip Lemon Zest (taken with a peeler, about the same size as the bay leaf)
  • Black Pepper
  • 0.5 cup Olive Oil

The preparation is basic, just a brunoise of the vegetables mixed together with the other ingredients and baked under oil in a low 110C oven for about 4 hours until the vegetables break down.  There should be a slow stream of bubbles escaping the oil as the water in the vegetables steams off.

No More Multitasking

I’m really trying not to multitask anymore.  How efficient can it really be to try and to do 2, 3 or 10 things at once – and even if it’s efficient is that really what’s important?  Surely it’s better to do something to the best of your ability, rather than just doing it efficiently.

Even when washing the dishes or cleaning the house I used to turn on the TV or put on some music, but after trying it without those distractions there’s something to be said for being alone with your thoughts.  That’s when my best ideas come anyway.

Some things I’m going to try:

  • One task at a time, no matter how small or how menial.  Any spare brainpower can just go into “thinking”.
  • Removal of “planned distractions” when performing simple tasks – listening to music, background TV etc.
  • Read one book at a time – start to finish – rather than starting 5, getting distracted and never finishing any of them.
  • One window and one tab for browsers – Not sure if this is going to be possible.  There’s 3 tabs open right now while I type this.
  • Closing desktop windows after I’m finished.  Of course, this anticipates actually finishing something before moving onto the next task.