I was just making breakfast this morning, something others might find peculiar as the way to start their day, but it’s something I enjoy, which is easy, has protein and vegetables, and quite often uses up a leftover. Today the leftover was a very wrinkly red pepper. I put a little olive oil in my small frying pan, a couple of grinds from the pepper mill which contains mixed spices, and when it began to sizzle very slightly, I added some of the wrinkly red pepper, cut in slices. More ground mixed spices, some salt, andwhen the pepper had softened, I cracked in an egg , and when it was cooked so the yolk was still runny but the white was set, it went onto a piece of toast.
As I was eating I was thinking about it and about how what you read influences and changes what you eat. I don’t mean cookery or recipe books, here I mean novels, and the novel I was thinking of as I ate my breakfast was ‘The Godfather’ by Mario Puzo. It was published in 1969 so I must have read it in 1970 or 1971 when I was camping in France. It was in France at that time that we first came across red and green peppers; I had seen them in shops, and maybe in that first year away from home I might have eaten one, but the dingy and dire student accommodation I was living in, and the tiny student grant I was living on (yes, we had actual grants in those days which we didn’t have to pay back) didn’t lead me to be very experimental in cooking anything, just whatever was cheapest and filling.
Back to ‘The Godfather’. There was a scene near the beginning when although women did the cooking, one of the gangsters poured olive oil into the pan and quickly sliced a green pepper into it. I think he used bread to scoop it up and eat it, or maybe just a fork, but it was eaten straight from the pan. This was before my love affair with olive oil, and it sounded awful… except somehow it didn’t, and the image or idea of it hung around in my mind for many many years, even after I began to regularly cook with red and green peppers – and eat them raw too, of course! It was probably only in the last few years that I’ve started having peppers and egg for breakfast, but I never do without thinking of ‘The Godfather’!
My thoughts on this continued, and I began to think of other things I eat which have come from something I’ve read in novels, and some things going back to reading as a child! I must ponder some more on fictional food which has become a reality on my plate!
My featured image is a fried egg with ground spices, no red pepper, but the yolk leaked into this rather pretty halo!