Sad little empty plate.
Each year many of us say the same thing.
"I'm going to eat better, healthier."
Then we get busy and life happens.
This year, I'm attempting something different.
Actually, it's the same goal, with a different focus.
"I want to eat like my great-grandmother."
Honestly, I never knew my great-grandmother.
Most of us don't.
Sadly, I don't even have memories of my just plain "good" grandmother.
So, what's the point?
"Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food" Michael Pollan suggests about 26 minutes into this very insightful video lecture and Q&A. I highly recommend it. Michael is the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food.
The second title is a very common sense book.
Matter of fact, Michael jokes that the premise can be summed up in 7 words.
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
Avoid the "edible food-like substances" in our stores.
You know, the guy has a point.
Granted, my Mom remembered days when she only had bread with lard to eat.
I don't think I'll be making that for tonight's din-din.
And, I won't be seasoning with some of the unpleasant realities from the Chicago stockyards.
But, the fact of the matter is, I remember my Aunt's backyard in Chicago and it was filled with lemon trees which she had smuggled in as clippings from Greece. (Ssh, don't tell the FDA.) They grew amazingly well in Chicago and we would walk through her tiny backyard garden rubbing the lemon leaves and smelling the wonderful citrus scent.
Eat more lemons. Check.
And, I have no doubt that my great-grandmother would have eaten lots of olives and feta.And, you can't have spanakopita without a little onion and spinach.I am certain my great-grandmother lost no sleep over the cholesterol in an egg yolk. And, fresh fowl was definitely available to my grandmother. Mom took pleasure in grossing me out as a kid telling stories of her mother swingin' chickens out back to break their necks.And, finally there's the milk and butter. My mom remembered bottled milk and blocks of ice from the ice man. Geesh, my great-grandmother, who still lived in Greece...she might have milked her own cow, or goat. And, as for that butter...she might have made that herself. I'll be content with getting my butter from the grocer. But, I am seriously considering getting my milk from the local dairy - commercial as it might be. The milk tastes wonderful and they test their supply to weed out antibiotics. (Something my great-grandmother wouldn't have had to worry about.) Butter. Yum. Brown butter...poured over pasta. I remember my Mom doing that. And, my sister remembers our grandmother making it and placing the bowl right next to my sister. I bet that made it taste extra special. Warm food memories - like hugs from the past.
So, that's my goal.
Eat real food.
Make real food.
And...savor every bite.
Happy new year.