As a home cook, nothing gives more pain in the a than cooking risotto.
Once you get over the prepping and heating up the ingredients with the rice, you have to slowly add the stock, ladle by ladle, while stirring the pot every fifteen minutes or so.
I’ve even seen restaurants pre-cook and freeze them, and reheat when it’s ordered.
Even they couldn’t be bothered with cooking everything ‘fresh’.
Until I found a mushroom risotto recipe online using a pressure cooker.
I simply need to brown the mushrooms, add the garlic, onions and rice and bring it under low pressure for five minutes.
Then I depressurise the pot and stir. That’s it.
During the five minutes, I had time to brown some butter and pan fry some scallops as garnish.
Now somewhere, there’s an old metaphorical nonna shaking her head.
That’s not real risotto, she said in her thick Italian accent.
But I made a risotto dish in thirty minutes.
I could’ve done fried rice, a congee, a bowl of udon, even a mash potato.
Yet mouths were fed, arborio rice was consumed.
I’m now excited to try different varieties of mushrooms. Maybe even porcini?
As long as I’m cooking, does it matter?
Does it matter what form of photography you do – film, digital, lomo, medium format, crop sensor, dark room – as long as you are producing the work?
As long as you are expressing yourself, keeping track of time, making progress, rejuvenating yourself?
Is there such a thing as pure photography, like pure cooking?
Is it worth hindering your own progress in search of ‘authenticity’?