I now feel quite political about food. Real food. And cooking. And eating. And what those things mean for how I feel about myself and my loved ones.
It’s heavy stuff. But it’s also just food.
So most of the time, I try to contain the ranting to my kitchen and, sometimes (much to Dave’s chagrin), the car when we’re driving on 290 to hit up Sprouts for grass-fed meat.
Next weekend is Dave’s birthday, and we’re using that very special occasion to celebrate with homemade treats prepared with best-quality ingredients and extra scoops of love. I ordered a stash of his favorite ice cream from Ohio, and I’m making Momofuku’s Crack Pie and homemade hot fudge sauce. (Dessert is going to be totally decadent, but for dinner, Dave chose salad and homemade chili. Even when being indulgent, we’re also somewhat sensible.)
I foraged the wilds of the Internet today to find a homemade hot fudge sauce recipe and was horrified to find that even on some of my favorite foodie blogs, the ingredient lists included corn syrup.
I simply cannot bring myself to make something in MY OWN KITCHEN that includes corn syrup, so I dug deeper. The winner? Wolfgang Puck. His ingredient list, while by no means dino-chow-friendly, is completely comprised of real food: butter, cream, honey, rum (yum!), and bittersweet chocolate.
Feeling smug about my commitment to high-quality ingredients, I hit up my RSS feeds to see what’s happening, and found this article about a packaged potato salad recall. It made my stomach do a cartwheel (and with my completely absent gymnastics ability and generally cast-iron stomach, that is no small feat).
For the love of Sunbutter and all that is tasty in the world, if people are going to eat (nutritionally bankrupt) potato salad, I wish that they would at least make it from scratch. It’s so easy: boil potatoes, chop onions, mix with mayonnaise (preferably homemade). Done.
So I found myself feeling rant-y. Because 1) so many people think they don’t have time to cook; and 2) modern life seems designed to make us feel that way; and 3) convenience food is often priced cheaply and filled with “poison;” and 4) and and and…
I wish I could magically join each of you in the kitchen for a fun-filled cooking fest, followed by a frenzied feast (ranting brings on the alliteration) so you non-cooks out there could see how much joy can be found stirring a pot – and you other cooks could teach my your tricks.
I’m not sure how to wrap up this rant, so I’ll just hand you off to the Tipsy Baker. This post about a chicken pot pie taste-off represents the entire food spectrum and highlights the best thing about home cooking: it brings people together to eat and talk and laugh.
Cook. Eat. Love.
[Addendum to the rant (30 minutes later): I spent the first hour of my day in the kitchen making breakfast, dealing a head of red cabbage that needed to be cooked, and packing my food for the day (lunch plus two snacks so I can happily avoid the pizza, champagne, and cheese platter invading our office for various celebrations today).
I will not lie to you, dear readers: I wasn't happy about it.
It was pretty annoying to wake up and immediately start working in the kitchen.
But as I washed the last cooking utensil and stacked my containers of food in my commuting bag, I did feel a small sense of accomplishment and peace of mind knowing my food was covered for the day.
Yes, real food and home cooking can be a chore – not every meal is the heartwarming, stomach-warming chicken pot pie taste-off. But those special food occasions are the "dayjob" portion of the "rock show" meals that grace our table from time to time.
Seems worth it to me.
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