Some folk are just too cool for words. Although not seeming to actively pursue perfection – that would be incredibly UNcool, their every move thrums with beta-test brilliance. Pile of pre-Man Booker/Pulitzer prize short-listers: check . Tickets to the next big thing in live music: check. The predicted must-paint colour: check (emerald green, apparently). All of this effortless, osmosified, probably genetic.
I was never that girl. And truthfully it doesn’t bother me. I’ve always, unfathomably, been comfortable in my own skin. Still am. I blame my parents But I secretly hate to be left sitting on the curb when it comes to food and food trends. Just not for the reasons you may think.
Trends are for insecure people who can’t get dressed without consulting Grazia magazine. Like the unerringly au courant and fabulous Diana Henry, I would like to imagine I am above trends. Sadly, I am not. But I am back to front. I read trends to confirm and pat myself on the back for how groovy and with-it I am (see, I just can’t be cool. I don’t even have the language for it), not to tell me what to do. And then I immediately want to move on. Unless it is kale. Kale is a keeper. Kale is above cool. When I read or hear that something is cool or on-trend – hate that phrase! – that’s my time to move on.
However, having been sucked into reading a few 2013 food trend lists, I realise that if I did what instinct tells me, and abandon trends I am accidentally following, well, I would starve. And you would as well. You see, most food prognosticators are predicting that vegetables will be in, with cauliflower and its stinky but tasty flowers leading the way. Kale is still in there but chard, beet and mustard greens are muscling their way past. 2013 is the Year of the Vegetable. All Hail Kale, AND beetroot AND mooli AND rutabaga…
Apparently last year was all about comfort food, meatballs and offal (really?), and this year we are not only going to go ga ga for vegetables but also pursue all things southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, Brazilian and pickled (Ms Henry has you covered here, see Ren Behan’s review). Other ahead-of-curve trends I have unwittingly been a party to are meatless, free-from, Szechuan, homemade and artisan bread (a humdinger of a recipe up soon), natural, chilli, and sweet and savoury. Oh, and allegedly foraging will be passe, so no more free wild garlic pesto or dandelion burgers for you. But no problem because artisan producers will arise to take the place of things we find and let go mouldy. So, when at your weekly farmers’ market (a big trend still) expect more of the likes of maple syrup cheddar, Satan’s Blood hot sauce and kitchen sink pasta from which to choose.
So, by just being me I am suddenly a bit trendy. And as you read this and also like vegetables and real food, you too are cool. So, let us celebrate our place in the sun, because rumour has it that 2014 will be, whisper it, the year GMO goes mainstream. You heard it here first. Shhh.
What do YOU predict will be big in 2013?
salt and pepper to taste
Bring the stock to a rolling boil and add all but the watercress, mustard and seasoning. Bring back up to the boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the watercress and mustard, and blitz with a hand-blender/immersion blender/stick blender. Check the seasoning (you may find it needs no additional seasoning if your veggies are top notch) and adjust as needed.
Serves 4 generously