Posts Tagged ‘food’

Holiday Feasts

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Confession time. Last month I missed my turn on the blog. I was supposed to post the Monday before Thanksgiving, but I guess I was having a little too much fun with my son being home from college to remember things like blogs.

Youíd have thought Flash could have stepped in and helped me out, but heís still off in a snit somewhere because Iím writing about a boy named Zach instead of him right now.

Anyway, I was not baking pies and basting turkeys. I was packing my long underwear, hiking boots and polypropylene socks; preparing to drive eight hours to Moab, Utah. For four or five days every year we celebrate Thanksgiving by hiking in Arches National Park and the surrounding area.

We climb to the top of slickrock buttes that look impossible to scale, wade through freezing water in slot canyons, and argue over which wash will take us where we want to go. We stay in dumpy motels and eat our Thanksgiving dinner at Dennyís.

Thatís because we donít need a traditional Thanksgiving feast to make our holiday complete. We feast on togetherness, Godís amazing creation, and adventure. Many people think weíre a little crazy, but we wouldnít trade our annual Moab trips for all the turkey and dressing in the world.

Now itís the Monday before Christmas and Iím packing again. The last two years we left for a vacation on Christmas Day and skipped Christmas dinner, too. This year is a little more traditional. Weíre going to spend three days with extended family. I think weíre eating ham.

Eating Soup with A Fork

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

My son is a tweener; and his favorite after school snack is Ramen noodles. He steeps them carefully in a bowl of boiling water under a saucer, then eats them with a fork, with† much slurping and flipping around of bits of noodles and sauce.

(Yes-- I have had to chisel them off the armchair and the floor by the tv.)

Yesterday, I said,† "Logan, please find a soup spoon." He replied, "Mom, what's the big deal? People in China eat them with sticks!"

He's right, of course. In approaching any problem or task, it is really a matter of personal choice which tool or utensil one uses. But as† a mother, I thought I knew best. Being a parent of older kids has taught me that everything† I say is up for question, debate, resistance, even ridicule. It's their individuation process.

I might not like how he eats his noodles but experience has taught me that he has a reason that makes sense to him. So,† I asked him why he eats them with a fork.

Guess what he said?

"Mom, its because the water is boiling hot and if I wind the noodles around a fork, I can eat them quickly while the juice is cooling down."

So, there. All I have to do now is consider how† to convince him to slow down when he eats. Til then, I have the consolation of knowing that at least he can cook something that will keep him from starvation.

As a graduate student, I lived on Ramen noodles.† But I ate mine with a spoon, slowly.


Friday, December 18th, 2009

The food section of the Denver Post, Dec. 16 was the fourth in their ìStart to Finishî series in which they follow local ingredients from production to the table.†† Well, in many ways it told me more about the production of eggs in our country than I really felt comfortable with.† Then again, it helped me decide which eggs to buy when standing in front of the refrigerator case offering way too many choices.

In order to be labeled ìcage freeî, the chicken must not be shut up in a cage.† So the chicken is squeezed (crammed) into a warehouse with twenty thousand other birds.† The photo showed them pressed together so tightly that it would be a major undertaking to turn around. ††Regulations for this labeling by American Humane require that the birds have a place to scratch the earth.† The person interviewed said that only a couple of hundred birds use this area.† Weíll, I wonder how a foot high chicken can find this scratching area without a GPS unit and a bevy of bodyguards to push a wake through the crush of chickens between her and the bare earth.† By the way cage free chickens never go outside.

ìOrganic† eggsî sound the best to me.† These chickens get to go outside.†† However, my daughter told me that she heard that some companies allow the chickens to go outside only a few minutes a day to satisfy the requirement s to get this label.† Then it is back to prison.

Anyway, the whole thing of big business agriculture smacks of animal abuse to me.† †All I know is that the cheapest eggs have thin, uneven, grayish shells and the pricey eggs look and taste so, so much better.† †Also, I do not want to support abusing animals with my grocery dollar. †Eggs are a bargain even at the higher price.

Any Comments my friends?† †††††To comment, click on ìcommentsî immediately below, have at it, and then select one of the profiles.† You†CAN select "anonymous" (the last selection) and make a comment without identifying yourself ...† †or id yourself in one of those other systems (YES - to use one of the others you would had to have setup an account previously with them).


Saturday, December 12th, 2009

by Quinn Reed
The Artful Way

Do I like to cook? It depends. In the summer, I would rather be gardening, painting, hiking or writing. If I miss a meal - no problem - I can stand in my garden and munch like a bunny or live on watermelon.† This month, however, is a different story; ambrosia has been rolling out of my kitchen.† Because the weather has been so frigid, filling my house with scents of roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary and other wonderful smells (homemade oatmeal cookies with cinnamon, homemade chai with cardamom) is necessary to keep up the will to live. It is just too cold not to be eating grounding, nurturing meals.
My cooking style can be described as COOKING FROM THE PANTRY. I look in my refrigerator and pantry to see what I have and use it to create something nurturing. There is no following recipes which demand ingredients like watercress or gorgonzola which I do not keep around. But I may have buffalo mozzarella that is approaching its expiration date and so I conjure up something toothsome featuring the cheese. I learned to cook this way because I live so, so far away from a grocery store and I donít believe in adding to greenhouse gases to ìrun to the store for a small carton of sour cream.î
Iíve had great times watching peopleís eyes roll up into their head in orgasmic pleasure as they enter my kitchen and its enticing smells and bite into something I have made. Time seemed to stand still when my brother tasted the cream I had whipped and flavored to perfection for his pie. Another grown man nearly wept as he tasted my humble homemade chocolate cake made from scratch. I didnít have any cocoa powder in my pantry so I melted an expensive bar of European chocolate and used that. After a freezing afternoon outside with his snow blower, my cobbled-together cake was his fantasy of what is best about life.
I am (for this cold month only) turning into a blend of my Norwegian grandmother who could bake anything and my Italian grandmother who cooked food from real ingredients, and Merlin the Magician who conjured up delights from twigs and smoke.
You are what you eat, so eat well