Next week brings spring break and ample hours to blog — woo hoo! I am preoccupied with several new men in my life. I will tell you about them at the end of this blog.
In the meantime, I am sure glad Jamie Oliver and ABC have decided to bring attention to poor eating habits in America. It is not only the school lunch programs that need revamping, food habits of many families are in a terrible state. Two parents working, sports, music lessons, errands…..never time to cook. These folks believe that home-cooked foods are any food cooked at home. Their home cooked meals include frozen pizzas, more chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, boxed macaroni cheese, cheese sandwiches made with plastic sheets of cheese. These foods are over processed, over chemically preserved, over salted, and are a way of life for too many.
As a kid, I never liked cheese or pizza, macaroni and cheese, or grilled cheese sandwiches. I grew up during the time of new-styled frozen dinners (Swedish meatballs, lasagna) in foil disposable baking pans, chinese food assembled from a two-part canned product poured over white rice, etc. My mom even made soup from a soup-starter type product with dried up vegetables that you rehydrated with water. I never understood how that really was a time or money saver. My mom’s salads were always the same ice burg lettuce, a slice of tomato, and bottled italian dressing. I did not eat much. As a kid, I always enjoyed grilled meat, fresh vegetables and home-baked bread, but these were anomalies in my home. I loved any frozen (not canned) vegetables: spinach, Brussel sprouts, corn, broccoli. I also loved eating dinner at my best friend’s home. Her family had six children and her mom cooked from scratch every day–every meal, every day. In future blogs, I will share some of Mrs. Pukala’s wonderful recipes. She was very frugal, but made healthy tasty food.
So…..years later after working at a very stressful career and being liberated by my husband to travel the country with him, I settled down and followed a dream…I went to culinary school. It was one of the most wonderful ways to learn how to like food. I was allowed the opportunity to go to Schoolcraft Culinary School where the Master Chef to student ratio was 1:15. That way of teaching no longer exists. The master chefs are around, but barely do the direct teaching. I learned food safety (the first necessity) then food cost, food quality, taste, portion and presentation. Quality home cooking does not take a lot of time or money. I beat Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals several times a week. The correct tools in the kitchen help too. Information on those tools will come in the blogs to come.
It does not cost a lot to cook and eat with quality ingredients. Please think about this cliche type statement: “you are what you eat.” Would you rather be: tomatoes, basil, olive oil and sea salt or xantham gum, phosphoric acid, red 40, yellow 6?
Back to the new men in my life as a complete side note to this blog — but I must share them with you. I am completely and totally in love with my husband and always have been, but he introduced me to two guys and is getting quite jealous about the amount of time which I spend with them. Every Thursday and Sunday afternoon I dedicate to Adam and John. I am getting Curry-ed away with them. Please go to www.noagendashow.com and download the No Agenda podcasts. You may also link to the blog www.dvorak.org. They will change the way you think and live or think to live. My eyes are open.
….until next time. Please share your ideas about removing overly processed and overly chemically preserved foods from your life. Please share your ideas about adding Adam and John to your life.