Rillette de Thon au Citron - the calm between the storm when you're still living a dream
Being forty three years old, I should know myself quite well by now. And I really like to think I do. These past few couple of weeks have been crazy, I'll admit, the kind of crazy I like the most. Dealing with all sorts of unexpected glitches with the self publishing of my ebook took precious time out of my hands, and has given me a couple of headaches which, to my amazement! would have driven me crazy just a few years ago and make me want to give the whole thing up. As it is, it came as a surprise how cool I was through out all the process and how I managed to take it all in stride. Safe to say that even despite the hassles, it was a pleasure going through the lot, which culminated in one of the best highs in my life - my son's birth and my wedding being the only two major highs to compete with this overwhelming feeling! - that still lasts, no matter how well or bad the book does. It gives me a sense of acomplishment and happiness just knowing it's there, out for the world to see if the world so desires.
Along with the process of being my own editor and publisher and whatnot in the process leading up to the actual publishing and announcement, I was also in the midst of a huge creative bout on my most recent novel - a vampire/witch story that has been playing in my mind for years and has seen earlier attempted versions that never saw the light of day nor came out right. I have been sitting down to write every single day, mostly all day long, blogging in between, yes, but finding myself pressed for time and not doing my rounds around the blogs I love quite as efficently as I like to do it. But I had to put to paper what was in my mind, and I have managed to pen down nearly two hundred pages of it, being so close to the end of the first volume. Let's hope I don't end up with more than two, really.
So, knowing myself as well as I do, I am quite aware that this kind of creative flood hits me from time to time, where I can do no other besides living and breathing in my characters' shoes, and I always tend to think ahead in case it happens. I usually try to keep a few shoots and recipes in my blog folder, ready to use on the blog. Normally I end up shooting a couple of recipes and sets over the weekends - Sunday being the perfect day for that - and all the shoots I happen to cram in during the weekdays are because I was suddenly hit in the head by an abnormally good idea for styling, or a recipe that I have wanted to try, or something of the kind that is imperious to go and do right there and then - cakes, they tend to happen a bit like that, and lunches for me and my son suffer the same fate once in a while. But if I'm writing, this will not happen. There's no space in my head for this. Hence the folder with trusted and tried and styled and shot recipes!! Life saviours, I tell ya!
Last weekend I was on a roll, when it comes to cooking and styling and shooting. The past Sunday was packed with work on my blog, and I compared it to a workout, as I managed to style and shoot two sessions in the morning and about four or five after lunch. I was sweating and panting at the end of it, but majorly satisfied with all the work I had put in, the food was yummy and good, the images looked pretty and evocative, the ideas in my head had all been great and I had managed to pull out what I had foreseen for every shoot with perfection - to me at least!! I felt really good with myself and couldn't wait until I started editing those images. With the writing coming to a trickle, not a flood, I was also able to cram in a few hours editing some photos - though there's still a lot there to tackle oh boy! - in between the writing of the novel. And I come to the end of each day feeling accomplished, satisfied, happy and proud of myself. For this is what I love doing, this is what brings me a sense of joy and self esteem, and maybe it brings me no money, but it brings me to life.
This recipe, contrary to what I have stated plenty of times, that I do not cook things to publish on the blog, I publish on the blog things I cooked, has been made solely with the purpose of publishing it in mind. I had wanted to post this for at least a month, but this is the kind of thing I normally cook for a Friday or Saturday dinner where we tend to eat this and that, finger food, appetizers, "petiscos" as we say here in good ole Portugal. We love this kind of meal over at the weekends, it allows us to sit at the table calmly, nibbling on good munchies and talking away, sharing stories and experiences, having fun and learning from each other. So when it came to shooting this rillette, I was always unable to do it, because I would prepare it near dinner time and the light would already be bad for the shooting - and this is one dish that really needs natural light! I would end up satisfied with the results of the cooking and dreaming of posting it to the blog.
Last Sunday I decided I was gonna cook expressely so I could style and shoot for the blog, and the rillette was the one thing I wanted. I told my boys they were having rillette for lunch along with a few other nibbles and we'd pretend Sunday lunch was Saturday night's dinner minus the wine. I don't drink alchoolic beverages over lunch except on special occasions, but I do partake of a glass of wine with dinner. For this shoot I actually used a bottle of spanish cider that has not yet been drunk - I do love my cider, though!! - because I believe chilled cider to work out very well with tuna fish and nibbles of any kind. Finger food and cider seem to go hand in hand so well, in my book! And this rillette will make a great adittion to a picnic table or an outdoor meal, it is perfect as an apetixer or an entrée, it is good for adults and children alike, it's fresh and tangy and more-ish at every bite.
So if you'd like to try your hand at it, couldn't be easier. You'll be needing this:
- one can of tuna, drained
- one natural yogurt
- chives, dill, salt and pepper to taste
- the zest of half a lemon and a few drizzles of lemon juice