One of the first recipes I ever made was a risotto from Nigel Slater’s Real Cooking (my first cookbook, actually). With all the fretting and insecurity over letting the risotto boil too hard and cooking the rice to al dente (yes, you can read some pretension into that italicization, not to be attributed to Nigel however), it was a laborious two hours. Since then I’ve whittled down the process to half an hour, I let the broth probably boil too hard, and I still don’t know if I’ve cooked the rice to it’s appropriate tenderness, but it doesn’t really matter: I am still brimmed with private joy when I make something to eat for just myself, which was one of the reasons I got hooked into making food in the first place. The cycle of nourishment, the transformation of ingredients to a meal…mmm, fuzzies!
And, I get to eat more parmesan.