Friday, November 04, 2005

It Is ALL About Food

I think really, it IS all about food. I mean, we eat all the time. Our health and well-being (or ill health) are tightly tied to our eating habits. The health of the planet as well as our fellow planetary travelers is tightly tied to our food producing practices. It all relates to all.

Both husband and I cook, enjoy cooking, enjoy food, enjoy each other and cooking together, all that jazz. And we each have our “specialties”. One of husband’s specialties is tamales. The other night he made the most amazing tamales, with masa freshly made from our own red hard corn, and filling from an old culled chicken nicely chopped and spiced, with toppings of freshly made chili sauce (from dried chilis) and freshly made sour cream and mozzarella (from the cow).

And it got me to thinking how people eat. You won't make tamales from your own corn if you don't make them from store bought masa and you won't make them from store bought masa if you don't like to eat them in the first place.

But another aspect of that is that once one really makes a step in one direction, one is unlikely to make a step backwards. (“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” Dr. Phil) Taste a real homemade tamale and the ones in the glass jars, or the ones in even the fancy restaurants, are not ever again going to taste the same and will be at best mediocre.

It takes a bit of effort, a bit of time, and a bit of thinking ahead to have a meal of totally homemade tamales. But what else are we doing? I mean, could going to town to work to make some payment for some plastic piece of junk possibly be more interesting than playing with the chemistry of cooking? more fulfilling than nourishing with love your own family? more fun than talking and laughing and playing with each other in the whole kitchen and dining dance? Would I really rather be thinking of or doing something else?

Which makes me think again of priorities, and what & where are they really? We can look at what we actually do in our day to day lives and see what our real priorities are, no matter what we say they are.

Last night I made one of my quick specialties: a curried alfredo. It is an absolutely beautiful color on pasta and really sets off pasta with some fish (like salmon) or primavera. Just heat some butter and some cream and some garlic (everything is better with more garlic), spice with curry, adding some paprika for deeper color, add a bit of parmesan, a pinch of salt, and then, if you want the sauce to have a touch more body, add some arrowroot slurry to thicken.


Deb said...

You are making my mouth water! The tamales, and the curried alfredo, sound wonderful.

What I dislike most about my current living situation is that I don't have the time to prepare homemade specialties as often as I would like, and my kitchen is currently in a shed separate from the house so cooking is isolated from the rest of family living. That will change in my new house, though, where the kitchen is the center of the universe!

the Contrary Goddess said...

We did design our house really around the kitchen. Except that should be plural. There is an area in the as yet unfinished downstairs that will help and expand the current kitchen, and plans for an outdoor shedded kitchen for being able to cook with wood in the summer months (and a hearth oven for my breads).

I have tried to be very conscious in working even just a little outside the home that our diet doesn't suffer for it.

Ah, but really, you should have tried the pumpkin soup!

Walter Jeffries said...

Food is important and learn about NAIS - the National Animal Identification System. The government is about to take away our right to freely raise our own foods. On the pretext of protecting the national food supply they are making it illegal to own or keep unregistered animals. You will have to registar your home as a farm even if you just have a chicken for eggs for yourself. This is going to kill off small farms and give big business and government control over our food supply making it a whole lot more expensive and less secure.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Sorry Walter. Two things: One, fear of NAIS is most likely a bunch of hype. Those sorts of regulatory things are pretty much totally unenforceable in the way the fearmongers fear. Two, if it IS everything the fearmongers say, it is still impossible to stop and then the only hope is to subvert it, go under it.

No matter what, they can't number my chickens. OTOH, my cow HAS a number now.

Relax, grow some food. They can't control that.

Oh, and welcome to the farmstead.