La ratatouille à ma façon..and hand me the scissors!

Ratatouille is such a versatile dish – there are more ways than can be counted to do it nowadays and everyone swears by his/her way. The traditional  way takes takes far too long(for me in any case!) and the vegetables are too soft and juicy to my taste. So I do it the quicker and crunchier way and so far, nobody has complained…on the contrary…everybody finds it fresh and enjoys the crunchiness still present and the appearance pleasant. It is a perfect little vegetable starter for the festive meals that await us!

La ratatouille est un plat assez commun et pourtant, chacun  fait sa ratatouille a sa façon. La façon traditionnelle veut que ce soit cuit longtemps, comme tout les ragout. Pour ma part, je trouve ça  pénible! Et de toute façon, je préfère mes légumes toujours plus croquants avec ces couleurs encore vive! Donc, je fais ma ratatouille vite et croquante et personne ne s’en plaint. Au contraire!  Tout le monde la trouve très bonne!Voilà une bonne petite entrée aux légumes pour les fêtes qui nous approchent.

Suggestions:

  • Ratatouille can be used as a startert or an amuse bouche or as a side accompanying chicken, fish or red meat. If it is to accompany a meat dish, cut the dice a little bigger…perhaps 6×6 mm.
  • Don’t overcook, so the texture can still be crunchy, which makes it different from the traditional ratatouille which is simmered for a longer time to have the vegetables really tender with more sauce than I have here.
  • Add some garlic and provencal herbs to the ratatouille like thyme, marjoram, oreganum.
  • It can be served warm or at room temperature.
  • Serve with freshly shredded basil over the top for a nice fresh appearance.
  • Serve on a canape(small slice of bread) for an amuse bouche, or serve in a little bowl or glass and toast some brioches to serve with it.
  • If you want more special flavour to your ratatouille, add some chilies and spices to give it a kick.
  • Add some langoustine, cut in chunks or mussels, oysters or shrimp to your rataouille along with chervil or dill.

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..and hand me the scissors!..

I don’t have any fond feelings aboutf scissors, in fact, I pretty much associate them with pain and blood, of which I have first hand experience.

But then again, if I think of life without them..?

I had a pretty little old one from my mother which I kept in my handbag and forgot to take out before we had to board at the airport.  I still have another one left, a very ancient model, frequently used by her and even though it lacks performance, its beauty stays unsurpassed. No psychedelic colored plastic in sight and the handle shows signs of hard use and yes, the blade is full of rust spots, but the lines are sleek and graceful and the grip allows for good comfort. Just a simple but beautiful, old pair of scissors from my childhood, one that came from my mother’s sewing kit and is now not so much a utility as a connection to the past.

scissors-bedroom

Like everybody else, I also have  scissors everywhere throughout the house. In the bedroom.. a small pair for removing labels or a loose thread here and there. In the bathroom for cutting and trimming hair, my husband still only trusts me to cut his hair. In the atelier where hundreds(well, almost a hundred!)have to cut anything from plaster to paper.

..scissors-coiffeur..

Then there is the handyman that cuts just about anything, although I don’t believe in this all-round-scissors. I want one for every purpose – one for cutting hair and one for cutting paper, another for cutting plastic and one at close hand when I can’t find the hammer, or the screwdriver or the can-opener…The sewing kit has a few of its own, and to my dismay, the huge fabric scissors is in high demand at Christmas when all the others scissors have magically disappeared.

..scissors-all purpose..

The kitchen is an interesting topic. I have yet to figure out the system there – one for every task? But that would leave neither time nor place for anything else in the kitchen!

..scissors-la cuisine..

My pièce de résistance is my  giant, heavy pair of fabric scissors that I acquired years ago with every cent we owned and woe to the one who dare use it for anything else! It has never been sharpened and after almost 30 years still cuts through a piece of fabric like a hot knife through butter!

..scissors-sewing kit..

And let’s not forget the garden scissors…those very important pruning tools and the small scissors for bonsai that I use to cut string for tying and staking in the garden. Do you keep your garden scissors clean and oiled? Not? shame on you!! the same goes for cutting flowers for the house…clean them, oil them and they will serve you a lifetime.

..scissors - garden... and ...flower arranging..

It seems I can actually conjure up some images of pleasure and so maybe I do have fond memories of scissors after all….

..old scissors..

…à la prochaine!..

..Ronelle..

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18 responses

  1. I love ratatouille! Yours looks lovely. I make mine according to my mood (sometimes traditional, oher times with exotic spices).

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    24/11/2010 at 13:31

  2. Pretty post as usual. Ratatoille is a marvelous dish and I like it a lot à ta façon!
    Bonne journée!

    24/11/2010 at 14:31

  3. I meant ratatouille :)

    24/11/2010 at 14:31

  4. What a charming post! Did they keep your maman’s scissors at the airport?I have a pair of old ones too and a pair of my mom’s..Not a collection like yours..but yes quite a few pairs at our home too..You can be sure my husbands are perfect and mine are not:)

    Your little stars shine in this post too..
    Love ratatouille..I am certain you saw the movie? Cute cute..
    Les aquarelles..comme toujours..superbes Ronelle.
    I even like the fabric very much..

    24/11/2010 at 14:32

  5. Trust me Ronelle,it is only you who can take something as ordinary as a pair of scissors and turn it into beautiful art like this!!

    24/11/2010 at 16:19

  6. Dear Ronelle, I totally agree with Nina and could only smile reading your post on all the different kinds of scissors because I can identify with everything you said…! I love the way you look for shortcuts in your cooking…why not?? …it saves so much time! Miss you!! Ixx

    24/11/2010 at 21:35

  7. Bonjour Ronelle~ What a lovely post and that little painting is just gorgeous! I have only 2 pairs of scissors that I use _ the others are -in hiding- who knows where!!
    I must make your lovely ratatouille- looks superbe!
    xx
    Dianne

    24/11/2010 at 21:49

  8. I am also fussy about my ratatouille. It may not be cooked down to mush! That’s not the point! And speaking of points… your scissor scharm. I feel so pedestrian.

    25/11/2010 at 02:07

  9. anh

    another great recipe, and thanks for showing us your scissor collection :)

    25/11/2010 at 04:56

  10. heerlike pos – dankie vriendin!
    die mooiste foto’s oor ‘n alledaagse onderwerp -Die sker)het status gekry in jou skrywe soos net jy dit kan doen!! en natuurlik die resep, soos altyd inspireer om dadelik te gaan probeer.
    dankie vir jou tyd en deel hiermee. Liefde Colette

    25/11/2010 at 06:29

  11. J’ai aussi des ciseaux dans toutes les pièces mais pas d’aussi jolis que les tiens ! ;o) Quant à ta ratatouille, c’est bien, comme idée, de la servir en entrée avec une tranche de brioche …
    Bisous
    Hélène

    25/11/2010 at 13:33

  12. Loved this post, Ronelle – not only for the ratatouille but for the scissors! I grew up with multiple pairs, each of which had a very specific use. There were little rounded ones for us as kids to use; a pair that was ONLY for cutting fabric; a pair that was ONLY for paper; my dad’s very stylish & 70s designer scissors for his desk; the kitchen scissors (kombuisskêr) and the poultry shears (that were inexplicably christened Omm Kobie se skêr, even though we had no such relative!). Thanks for the happy memories!

    25/11/2010 at 18:06

  13. Now we know for sure, you have an immaculately organised home, with all those pairs of scissors in place. Lovely recipe, table settings and photos, Ronelle!

    25/11/2010 at 18:50

  14. Eva

    I love the photographs and the drawings, so lovely. I feel the same way about ratatouille, mushy vegetables were never really my thing, I will definitely be giving this recipe a try very very soon!

    27/11/2010 at 03:42

  15. I love all those old scissors. I’ll bet if I look around the house I have some of these. The recipe looks delicious and healthy.

    Eileen

    27/11/2010 at 13:43

  16. Scissors! A tool we use almost every day without really thinking about all the different kinds there are. What a fun post!

    Your Ratatouille sounds wonderful! I think of it as a warm dish but this would be delicious as a cold appetizer – much like bruschetta.

    28/11/2010 at 15:54

  17. Hey Ronelle, I associate scissors with bodily harm and pain too:). They are, however, a wonderful tool that are horribly unappreciated around here at least…
    Oh, and your ratatouille sounds wonderful. I’ve only had this dish once, and I loved it. I might make yours since it sounds so good and is so very healthy! Yum yum…
    XO,
    Stella

    29/11/2010 at 20:21

  18. Good evening Ronelle,

    I love the simplicity of the recipe, which I promise to try this week. It is cold here for us and I love closing the house, lighting the fire, and bending to work at the stove. Very cozy for me.

    Scissors? What a great piece about something we overlook and take for granted. My favorites are a small pair of crane scissors I bought with the money from the first sale of a weaving. I used those scissors to cut my son’s curly red hair until he was 8 and went to a real barber, not a Mom wielding her cranes.

    Love to you,

    Sharon Lovejoy WRites from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

    01/12/2010 at 04:21

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