Monday, March 17, 2014

sing out louise

I hadn’t planned to take Spring Break off from the kitchen or this blog, but I accept that I probably needed the rest more than I needed to work on my pate a choux technique. The plan was to get a bunch of baking done, the reality was me doing as little as possible to still put food on the table and stick – roughly - to my lifestyle plan.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, but today I cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage with fresh homemade Soda Bread. I had to drive some distance to get to the nearest Wholelfoods to pick up a nitrite and nitrate free brisket, and it was $10 more than anything I could get in town, but it was worth it to be able to serve up one of my husband’s favorite seasonal treats without making us sick. By sick, I don’t mean having a long term negative effect on our health, I mean sick in the immediate sense of the word. Next year, the plan is to get ahead and cure - or corn - my own. For this year; however, it just was not possible.

I’ve spent a good deal of time  worrying about this blog. It seems to me, that these days you have to have a gimmick to get any attention at all. Whether it’s being a Beer Bitch, or having an encyclopedic knowledge of every Pizza in Pittsburg, or cooking up vegan vittles in full Death Metal costume, it seems the more peculiar the twist the more attention it receives. The trouble is this is cooking, not burlesque, and this blog has no gimmick. It’s just me and an ordinary home kitchen, doing my best to cook and serve delicious and healthy meals to my family while also learning the art of bread, and pastry baking.  Frankly, I haven’t got the energy to try to maintain something more attention-grabbing, and it wouldn’t be true to myself or my approach to food if I did. 

I am a slow food guy. I believe in referencing the past and eating whole real food: reared, produced, and cooked with care. It takes time. It is real work. It has actual value. No Gimmicks! I have a tremendous amount of respect for those chefs who are trying to push the boundaries, but a perfectly constructed morsel suspended in a smoke filled cloche just isn’t the food that will hold up to the test of time. Cucina Povera, Cuisine de Grand-Mere, this is the stuff that we’ve eaten for hundreds if not thousands of years and we still enjoy, crave, and are comforted by, today.

So ok, this might be the Gypsy Rose Louise of the blog world. Tessie Tura, Miss Mazzeppa, and Miss Electra may have a fun song that always brings down the house, but no one wrote a whole score about them either. This blog, and I, are only part of a bigger story. One that, I hope, continues to be told. Of how we all turned back to real tangible values, put food and people first, and moved money and possessions back where they belong: further on down the list of priorities.   

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