Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Headline: Minnesotan Travelled in Spain

There is nothing equal to world travel, to inspire my interest in food again. Ten days in Spain, cooking lessons from the best of home chefs, and lovely meals with new friends... it was all very eventful and memorable for me. First, gazpacho. In Spain, I met at least 5 really good cooks. I tasted gazpacho from 3 of them. I don't know what was their secret, but it was so much better than the gazpacho I make at home. Do you have to be a Spaniard to make really good gazpacho? Quiza. It's the same recipe! What is it that makes the gazpacho in Spain taste so wonderful that a shot glass full of it as a tapa is enough to satisfy? I investigated. And, I came up with the only possible answer: the vinegar. It must be the specific type of vinegar that makes that concoction irresistible. I asked; they said, "Wine vinegar." Alas.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I have been out of the blogosphere for a few months. I haven't felt like writing. My cooking became very banal and un-noteworthy. I gave in to hot dogs, sliced apples, tiny apple sauce containers, canned olives, and canned oranges for my kid. She went from an adventurous eater to a bland eater (as kids do), and I just gave in.

For myself and my husband, I stopped cooking almost altogether. The weather here has had a huge impact on my attitude. Making food is a chore, and in the spring & summer I want to devote myself to more fun pursuits (like laying around).

We were in Oregon for his family reunion the week before last. We were treated to a very special anniversary party for Ted & Harriet, a couple that has been a cornerstone for many area families. They ran an adoption agency for most of their adult life, and themselves adopted countless kids, who now have kids of their own. Their 50th wedding anniversary was especially sweet and touching because they both have a different form of cancer. And, the party was in a barn.

It was catered by vegan caterers (though not all the food was vegan), and naturally, talk turned to eating styles. It's very interesting listening to people talk about this topic. It's a more passion-filled discussion than talking about politics or raising children. I love it. It's like, when a person makes a decision to conform to a diet that isn't the norm, people feel compelled to question it. And they even act like it's some freaky thing. Like vegans are freaks.

So I questioned myself: What is it about the vegan diet that turns me off? Is it:

1) That vegans seem so righteous
2) No cheese
3) Way too much tofu and tempeh
4) Too difficult to make food taste good without the aid of animal fat?

Well, I decided I had to find out. So I have been to the library, and have vegan cookbooks. I am going to look into this. I want to expand my diet, not limit it. There is no way I'm giving up cheese as a matter of principal, nor for health. No way.

Please stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

What's The Opposite of Green?

Have you heard about these families that decide to "go green" for a year or so? They stop driving their cars, attempt to not use any kind of fuel for anything, grow their own veg, and maybe, I don't know, wear dirty clothes every day? Anyway, I have been thinking. Instead of "going green" for a year, I might just try going the opposite of green for a month. Like a vacation from giving a shit about the planet. This would take a lot of pressure off of me, I think. Here's what I plan to do:

Use paper for everything: paper plates, plastic forks, everything disposable. Lots of trash, no dishes to wash or put away.

My daughter and I would wear just a few outfits that will get washed all the time.

Showers twice a day.

Cleaning the house with the most powerful, harshest chemicals I can find (I'll need help on this one -- I don't know anything about the products that will actually work on soap scum, pit stains, and odor. Except Rachel told me that Fabreeze actually works!)

After a long, long, cold winter, using a lot of Miracle Gro on whatever I plant. Yes, I will still plant flowers and vegetables. And I will buy a lot of them too.

Dinner: hot dogs, instant meals, microwave popcorn.

Actually, this is sounding like a really bad idea.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Don't Be Scared

Midwestern food can be challenging for an east coast/west coast foodie. I understand those challenges, but please, open your mind.

There's a little cafe in Longfellow that serves basic food to people who eat basic food. Meat, potatoes, and gravy for lunch. The one time I was there, the clientele was senior citizens who go there to have lunch and converse with friends. It was very midwestern, and if you don't get it, well, you are missing out on seeing the beauty of that.

I ordered a barbecued pulled pork sandwich, and it came with blue cheese cole slaw. I just HAD to try the cole slaw.

"I'm sorry. We're out of the ingredients to make cole slaw today. I can give you a substitute," said the waitron. Oh, no! Oh, well. That's okay.

Then, a few minutes later, "It turns out, we DO have the ingredients to make the cole slaw, if you still want it."

"Oh, yes. Yes, please! I want to try the cole slaw!" I kid you not, this is how I act in a restaurant.

I was there with my daughter, my mom, and my dad. Now, my mom and I eat this cole slaw often. Maybe it's our Danish roots (blue cheese, anyone?), maybe it's our Minnesota roots (milkfat, please).

BLUE CHEESE COLE SLAW: Sliced/chopped cabbage, blue cheese, mayonnaise, salt & pepper.