I’ve been on a cooking and documenting the process hiatus for a few weeks. It’s truth. I cannot deny that I had Rubio’s fish tacos last night, crepes on Monday, and a ridiculously cheesy and pesto-y lasagna on Sunday. Okay, so that last one was pretty good, and I loved that I just whipped up a batch of ricotta when I realized I didn’t have any that morning.
Instead of cooking and domesticating, I’m reading and planting seeds. I know I’m a bit late, but I finally started my cabbages, broccoli and broccoli raab, brussel sprouts and some peppers and huckleberries. But that’s easy stuff, really. Dirt. Seed. Water. It’s whether they live or not, now, that really matters.
But reading … reading … reading. I’m reading two books. One fiction. And one non-fiction. It’s the non-fiction that matters here. Let me start by saying that I introduced my friend Michelle to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I think it has changed her life. She now has to figure out how to live on a farm while her husband needs to live close enough to a full-time symphony. Tricky.
I love AVM. I think it touches on many of the things I believe about food, although I did buy bananas, grapes, and a cucumber today. So not local. But the book I am reading now is this one.
And you need to read it. It will change, confirm, or help reshape the way you feel about what is “healthy” and what is not. I have a guilty pleasure, I admit, in watching The Biggest Loser. I don’t know what it is, but I love watching people change their lives for the better. I love seeing them succeed. But I don’t love everything about it. I don’t like the way they talk about food. I know these are people that need drastic turn-arounds, but for the most part, the average American is not overweight and unhealthy because of eggs and milk, or even good beef for that matter. I look at Matt’s dad and grandfather who have been drinking raw whole milk their whole lives and I’m quite sure that “all that fat” from the milk has done nothing but keep them healthier. Matt’s younger brother has astronomically low cholesterol, and you know what? His doctor said it was probably the whole raw milk for most of his life.
I suppose I shouldn’t rant and rave too much, because our understanding of “healthy eating” is constantly evolving. But it grieves me to see people substituting low-fat or non-fat milk or yogurt in perfectly good recipes. It never tastes as good. I feel like we have over-scienced our food and we no longer enjoy it. We had a missionary in our home a few weeks ago and he swore he loved food, but when I offered him something he didn’t recognize (a curried potato wrap with chutney), he declined and accepted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead. I don’t think we need to be fancy with our food, just real.
If you don’t believe me, read at least the first chapter (or even just the brief introduction on her website) of Real Food. You may not agree with all of it, or any of it, but at least you will understand why I profess what I profess.
Until then, I will continue in my quest for local raw milk at a reasonable price (I’m still incredibly thrifty so it is probably good I haven’t gotten to the grass-fed meat sections yet). I’d even be happy with just non-homogenized milk. These are probably pipe dreams, but what are dreams for if not to be chased?
*Editorial comment: I do realize the paradox I live as I want real food and yet manage to eat things like fish tacos from Rubio’s. But in my defense, it was taco Tuesday yesterday and they were cheap and pretty good, relatively speaking.