How often do you serve a whole fish for dinner? I’m talking the head, eyeballs and tail?
I was at a big lunch this weekend and they had huge salmon that people were carving. Some poor kids looked like they were watching a horror movie. Which got me thinking, shouldn’t kids know where fish come from? They’re not caught as perfectly shaped, breaded sticks.
But it seems that nature is no match for science. We have the technology to extract vitamins and antioxidants, so we don’t have to waste time eating the real foods. Just take some pills. I am not discrediting vitamins- many people need them. But not all. And not all kids, especially if they’re eating properly.
Author Michael Pollan, who wrote the Omnivore’s Dilemma, said it perfectly: “The food industry has gazed upon nature and found it wanting- and has gotten to work improving it…I realized that the straightforward question ‘What should I eat?’ could no longer be answered without first addressing two other even more straightforward questions: ‘What am I eating? And where in the world did it come from?’” The fact that we can’t easily answer these questions is indicative that we are getting farther from the source.
Maybe instead of spending time researching which DHA pills have the highest concentration of DHA and least fishy taste, research how to cook poached salmon in dill sauce.
Somehow my husband convinced me to buy a case of mangoes. He’s been eating them everyday, and there are lots left. Like a ridiculous amount of mangoes. I’m worried he’ll turn orange. So I’m going to use them up sneakily.
Black Bean, Mango and Corn Salad
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1/3 cup diced jicama
1.5 cups of cooked black beans (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
1 cup corn
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint (optional)
Juice and zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Place salad ingredients into a large, colorful bowl. Whisk dressing in a small bowl and pour over salad. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to work their magic.
Make double the dressing and mix everything with a few cups of brown rice for a quick, healthy dinner.
It’s been one of those weeks. And it’s only Wednesday. Children are oblivious to the tribulations of adults and when they want dinner they want it now. Well, here you go kids.
Eggs in Hell
I’ve slightly adapted the original recipe by M.F.K. Fisher. It is scrumptious over quinoa. Not to mention fool-proof, as I’ve several times forgotten about the pan entirely and the eggs were still delicious because the eggs and thin layer of sauce got crispy on the bottom.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 onion minced
2 cups of Italian-style tomato sauce
1 teaspoon each of chopped basil and parsley
Fresh cracked pepper
Heat oil in a saucepan that has a tight cover
Add the garlic and onion and cook until golden
Add the tomato sauce and herbs
Cook about 10 minutes, stirring often
Into this sauce break the eggs. Spoon the sauce over them, cover and cook until the eggs are done, about fifteen minutes.
When done put the eggs on slices of dry toast and cover with sauce or spoon over cooked quinoa.
Optional: sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
At last! My favorite farm has opened for the season. After shopping for an assortment of goodies ranging from parsnips to a case of mangoes we decided to visit the animals. Or, my son decided and I went along. The black and white spotted pig was amusing, eating his squashed lettuce with such fervor I had to wonder when the poor thing had eaten last. Then I looked at his belly dragging in the mud and decided that perhaps he’s just enthusiastic about everything, including eating.
We then came across a band of three innocent-looking geese and I thought “great photo opp!” I’m clicking away, inching closer, when the head of the posse starts to hiss. Not wanting to cause a disturbance I took a step back and continued photographing.
Then came the ambush. They charged. At me. And my 3-year-old. Hissing and flapping, the hooligans just kept at it and I began to panic. Inwardly, of course. I didn’t want my son to get concerned that we were under attack or anything. He was quite distraught at this point so I backed up quickly, giving lots of space between us and the ruffians. Surely this would be enough to put the geese at ease? Not quite. Let’s just say that the heroic farmer who heard a frantic lady screaming “HELP! HELLO??” saved the day. With a broom.
As my blood pressure normalized itself, we walked back to the car. We were almost there and I looked up and saw a sign. Beware. The geese have attitude.
I was visiting my sister. From her kitchen was wafting such an alluring aroma that I had to ask what is this heavenly smell and please give me the reciepe. She’s a vegan, but I think everyone should eat cabbage, meat-eaters and vegans alike. I’ve altered the recipe slightly.
-in olive oil on low heat fry a big onion, 2 chopped apples, and chopped garlic, partially covered until translucent
-add rosemary, salt and pepper, 1/3 cup each of apple cider vinegar and red wine and 1 head of shredded cabbage
-stir to coat and cover for a couple minutes to soften the cabbage
-transfer to oven dish, drizzle honey, add some golden raisins or fresh cranberries and a dash of nutmeg and toss
-cover and bake at 325 for about an hour, stirring once in a while
- enjoy with a glass of merlot
String cheese anyone? Not me. At the moment we have 6 kinds of cheese in the fridge, ranging from parmesan to feta. How do you expect your kids to grow up and attend wine and cheese parties if they never try anything more exciting than good old mozzarella. Well, maybe not old. The answer is that it’s unlikely. I mean they will grow up, but it’s unlikely that they’ll attend wine and cheese parties. Host a mini cheese tasting party with your kids and let them explore the different flavors. If they don’t like one, just keep neutral and say something like “maybe the next time you try it you’ll like it a bit more”. Describing the flavors and textures is also a fun way for growing connoisseurs to learn the ropes.
And I must say, James Beard’s take on cheese is thoroughly indubitable:
I am grateful to have learned young that cheese has an important place in a menu. It isn’t something to serve with apple pie, and it isn’t something to cut into nasty little cubes and serve with crackers. Early in life I learnt to see the beauty of great slabs or rounds of cheese on the table, and I still respond to the sight of a well-stocked cheese tray properly presented. Cheese must have warmth and time to soften. Too many households and too many restaurants ruin every bit of their cheese by keeping it under constant refrigeration. Cheese that is served cold and hard is not fit for consumption.
From Delights & Prejudices by James Beard
When the sun comes out in Vancouver people go crazy with excitement. Life just stops. Or maybe it starts. However you look at it, there’s a tangible change in the air and people come out from hiding because they don’t know when they’ll see the sun next. It’s likely to be in July. Our family followed suit and yesterday we continued on our gardening adventure (read time to get dirty) and finished the weeding. While we were on the search for worms and centipedes we came across an oddly-shaped, orange root that resembled a short carrot. And then I realized that, in fact, it was a carrot. We found three in total. We had planted carrots last spring and I forgot about them (surprise surprise) and amazingly these knobbly nuggets were still there, patiently waiting to be discovered. Three peewee carrots, one for each budding gardener in the family. How sweet and crunchy they were!
Now the only problem is, what the heck are we going to plant this year?