Why the Ordinary?

In the 18th century, an ordinary was a small inn or tavern. A traveller could stop there for a meal; somebody that worked in the city could stop there on the way home from a long day in the counting house. The menu was generally limited, the price was set, the food was simple and comforting. At least in my imagination this was the case.

Here’s Scrooge visiting an ordinary in the best filmed version of A Christmas Carol. (at 8:35)

Many times, an ordinary would be run right out of a person’s home. I like this idea…I like the idea of a meal being really welcome, really nourishing.

Why else? Well, I love food, I like to think about combining flavors and colors and textures. I like to cook strange but tasty meals. But I’m an extremely ordinary person. I’m not a chef in any sense of the word. I wouldn’t even call myself a foody. And I don’t shop at gourmet specialty stores – I can’t afford trendy and unusual ingredients. I like odd and wonderful kitchens and surprising and highly specialized kitchen gadgets, but I don’t have these things. I have an exceptionally ordinary kitchen. But I believe that with a little creativity and imagination, and a strong desire to make a nice meal, out of the ordinary can come something really wonderful.

6 thoughts on “Why the Ordinary?

  1. Good morning Claire, I love your blog. You put things in context which is always wonderful. And that you love to cook comes right through. We love to cook (and eat) too!
    Aren’t we lucky to live in such a beautiful town. Hopefully we can have a cup of coffee at Rojos one day. We are on a deadline right now but when we come up for air let’s meet.
    Keep cooking and writing.
    Thank you for your kind words about Canal House.
    Best, Christopher

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit here and to respond! I’d love to meet for coffee some day, when you have time. I find your photographs and writing very inspiring, in the way they radiate elegance and simplicity, and the way that they make cooking and eating seem to be part of a wonderful life.

    Thanks again, and good luck with your deadline!

  3. Looks like your Scrooge video has been axed by youtube.
    Obviously there was a lack of funds somewhere.
    Oh, the irony …!

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