Menestra de verduras often served in littles bowls in fashionable Madrid bars, but probabaly the best I have ever had was made for me by Raul Domingo, when I stayed with him and his family in the city. Raul is a history lecturer, his wife, Carmen, a photographer, lecturer and archivist, and their student daughter Livia is a jazz and classical violinist. The shelves of their home groan with incredible books and the walls are covered in extraordinary paintings, and when it comes to food, Raul is in charge of the kitchen and his cooking is excellent. While I was writing up recipe notes he brought me a Madrid tapa of fine crisps and escabeche mussels (see page 111) and then a little bowlful of this light, delicious, nutritious menestra.
It starts in June, my journal of the year of digging. The timing was important to me. I wanted warmth and light, green growth, new life as I started to unearth my own. My memoir would be the story of an old man growing food and flowers in honour of the old man who took him in as a child. My book would be dedicated to Dudley, my foster father, the man who taught me to grow, gave me a pocket sized piece of garden and a packet of seed. There would be new potatoes like we dug for Lilian, my foster mum, half a hour before lunch. There would be blackberries we gathered through our Devon lanes. There would be peas that tasted like safety. There would be loving memories.
Filmmaker and writer Adam Scovell delights in remixing and reworking the photographic techniques and film stock of the past to disturbing new ends. In his latest work, a trailer for a nonexistent 70s TV series of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise, he captures the novel’s atmosphere with brutal relish. Here he talks about Ballard’s impact on the television of that era.
It’s International Women’s Day 2017 and the 4th Estate team is celebrating the work of women who have inspired us through their writing. From teaching us that being silly is okay to enabling us to appreciate beautiful writing.