Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I’m frugal to the point of cheap. So I was at the grocery last week and they were having a sale on non-fat yogurt in a brand I like. I normally eat full-fat yogurt, though I will occasionally eat low-fat. But this was an incredible deal, so I bought it. I told myself that non-fat was probably better for me, anyway.
What was I thinking? Bleck, bleck, bleck, blandly bleck. My cat wouldn’t even try to lick my leftovers and believe me, she’ll eat anything. I’ll finish off the supply (that’s right, because I’m cheap), but I’ve learned my lesson. There’s no substitute for full flavor.
I received a Zingerman’s catalog
in the mail this week. Not only does that provide me with food for thought (mwa ha ha) for holiday gifts for those hard-to-buy-for foodies in my life, but I’m planning on indulging a little pre-holiday gift for myself. Maybe it’ll be some of their to-die-for bread, maybe some Stilton cheese, maybe some olive oil. I’m really trying to focus on quality over quantity in food, which is great for the healthy eating/eating well goals, not so good for the budget. (But well worth it.) I highly recommend checking out their site.
Even I’m amazed. But, give me a simple recipe where the trick is all in the quality of the food and mind-numbing prep, and I can create something tasty. This week, I tried a new recipe for a garden-vegetable lasagna. It had lots of stuff in it I enjoy, but rarely take the time to prepare for myself. But because it was a long weekend for me, I went to the store, bought the fresh vegetable, chopped and diced and minced and simmered until the house actually smelled of something other than take-out. It was delicious and a reminder of how I need to take the time and make the effort into cooking if I’m going to eat well.
Mmmmmm…would you like some cheese, Grommit? I love cheese, so I thought it would be a good place to start. Right now we eat a lot of pasta in my house-
not such a good choice for the good food-so I though I’d kick it up a notch. So we went out and bought a nice parmesan (not the powder fake stuff, not the pre-shredded tubs). And while we were at it, we bought a nice olive oil. We threw this together with some fresh plum tomoatoes. Mmmmm. So even though we’re still eating the overly-processed pasta, at least the toppings are making me happy.
Now, since I won’t be making homemade pasta I need to find a good-tasting brand to buy. Any suggestions?
I grew up in a household where my mother was constantly on a diet. She memorized the different calores in foods, had elaborate theories on metabolism, and tried to remove the temptation to nibble while cooking by, well, by not cooking. Even for us kids. Prepackaged foods were a way to simplify her diet and, to be frank, minimize her time caring for her children. So my brother and I grew up in a Wonderbread household. We thought homemade was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese because you actually had to add milk to the mix.
No wonder my adult relationship with food has taken some time to reach maturity. Like my mother, I’ve tried to avoid cooking for most of my life. Even today, I can’t say I’m much of a cook. But I’ve certainly grown to enjoy good food and want to continue to do so. I used to eat Kraft singles-
even into my 20s-and now I enjoy a nice Beaufort. I used to drown my salads in French dressing, now I use a little olive oil. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m learning to enjoy the taste of real food, not the taste of sauces and sweeteners and chemicals.
I’d like to continue educating my palate, becoming a foodie if you will. I’d rather indulge good, fresh foods that take me some time to find and prepare than to make meals convenient for me. And I’m learning more about the types of foods I enjoy through a little taste-testing and with the help of a great book, Zimmerman’s Guide to Good Eating. It’ll help me learn to eat well, meaning both healthy and mindful in my eating habits.