Seven is supposed to be an important number, right? There are seven days in a week, seven notes in an octave, and seven colours of the rainbow. There are seven seas and seven continents and seven wonders of the world. There are seven chakras, God rested on the sabbath, and Maya, mother of the Buddha, died seven days after giving birth.
I wrote my very first blog post exactly seven years ago today. For some reason this feels weirdly important right now. I feel like I have come full-circle: like I have completed a cycle, and now I am beginning again.
I have decided to revisit those original posts: to share them with you along with a few thoughts on what I wrote back then, as a small reminder (mostly to myself!) that we are all on a journey, and none of us know exactly where we are going. The important thing, along the way, is to maintain our spirit of curiosity and our sense of humour, and to try not to judge others too harshly for being at a different bus stop from the one we are at right now. In some ways I have come so far: in others I feel like nothing has changed.
My first blog was www.ellencooksmillennium.com and my plan for this was to cook my way through the two cookbooks from the Millennium restaurant in San Francisco. Going to Millennium was arguably a life-changing experience for me. It was the first 100% vegan restaurant I had ever been to, and the food was so good it completely redefined what veganism could be. It was also infernally complicated, used loads of ridiculously obscure ingredients, and took hours and hours to make. I learned a lot from this, including the value of simplicity! Anyway here are the two posts I wrote on the 28th August 2011:
Welcome to EllenCooksMillennium
“I visited the Millenium restaurant in San Francisco in January 2007. The food was amazing. I bought the cookbooks* and have been meaning to do this (a bit Julie and Julia**-esque) ever since…
Unfortunately a move from Brighton to Liverpool, a bit of poetry, a paediatric training rotation and twin babies all got in the way – but my girls are one now and hungry, so it’s time to get cooking!
*The Millennium Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine, by Eric Tucker & John Westerdahl (Dessert Recipes by Sascha Weiss).
The Artful Vegan: Fresh Flavors from the Millennium Restaurant, by Eric Tucker, Bruce Enloe and Amy Pearce.
**Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, by Julie Powell.”
Moroccan Filo Crescent
“My first attempt at a Millennium recipe – the one on the front cover. This is a Moroccan filo ‘crescent’ with curried golden tomato sauce, a red beet reduction and green beans.
It’s not quite as pretty as the one on the cover (a bit more work needed on my drizzling skills), but it tasted fabulous!
This was my first time using filo pastry – it wasn’t that difficult, once I’d worked out that filo pastry and puff pastry are not the same thing.
I’d never made a reduction before either, which was a bit scary initially but quite straightforward once I got going…
and in the end, after all that effort, a tiny amount of thick, sweet, deep red liquid.”