And So It Begins

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Cooking and Eating

I have been on a rant about fresh, unprocessed foods for a while now, so I decided to put my money where my mouth is. Actually, since it involves food, I am going to put my mouth where my mouth is. (Or is it my stomach?) Either way, I have decided that this week I am going to do my best to live without processed foods. That’s right, no jars, no boxes and certainly nothing that comes out of a tube. If I want to eat it, I have to make it. No exceptions.

Of course, there have to be some exceptions. I don’t have a cow, so I am going to use store bought milk products, and I don’t have the patience to make cheese, so we get a freebie on that as well. I can’t press my own oil, so I will use store bought oil, and I don’t have a mill, so I will allow myself to use flour. Cured meats are just so awesome that no one in their right mind should give them up. (That is actually code for Amy won’t let me hand strands of meat around the house for months at a time.) The toughest issue I have to confront is booze, since I don’t have my own winemaking and beer brewing facilities here. Sure, I could give these up, but that sounds a little to drastic to me. So, I have decided that microbrews and wine are essentially made without a whole of processing, so I’ll still get to get my thang on. Another factor I had to consider is that Amy said she would divorce me if I make her give up wine. I am sure that I will run into difficulties, but will still try and do my best to only make food for us that is fresh and not created for me by some food company.

I am saying the same thing that Jessica Simpson said to Tony Romo when they broke up: "You can kiss these doughnuts goodbye!"

I am saying the same thing that Jessica Simpson said to Tony Romo when they broke up: "You can kiss these doughnuts goodbye!"

Why am I doing this? There has been a lot of press recently that the reason our country is so unhealthy is because of all the processed foods we eat. To check and see if this is true, I am taking this to a logical extreme. I also have a sneaky suspicion that some of the stuff I am going to make is going to taste better than the stuff I can get at the store. I have no doubt that some of the things I am going to make are going to taste terrible and wind up inedible, but I do that a lot anyways. I might as well have a goal to focus my efforts on. So, beginning today, I am going to live on the farm, even though we are in the middle of Oakland. If nothing else, I will just starve myself because of the lack of anything tasty to eat around here.

Yesterday, I started preparing for the daunting task by making some granola. I figured breakfast was going to be the toughest meal to have to prepare for, with the exception of lunch and possibly dinner. Granola seemed like an easy fix, because it did not involve making 100,00 very small o’s to put in a bowl. The granola was quite easy to make, and the results were outstanding. I put 6 cups of oats, a cup each of almond and pecan pieces, a cup of real maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and mixed it up. I put the mixture onto cookie pans and baked at 300 for 35 minutes or so until things were good and crispy. We had the granola this morning and everyone agreed that it was the best granola they had ever eaten, which sounded good, but had the qualitative impact of saying, “You’re the friendliest Neo-Nazi I have ever met.  I mean, it’s granola after all.

On the flip side, I made some mayonnaise that looked and tasted like machine lubricant. I will have to redo tomorrow. It is going to be a long week!

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5 responses to “And So It Begins”

  1. Debra says:

    ok I am stumped, I have no story about my daughter and my cooking because I simply don’t. But I do remember her inviting a boy home for tea when they were 7. I saw him in the playground the day before and asked him what he wanted to eat. Heinz tomato soup (from a can), was his answer. ok I said and asked if it was his favourite food. “No, my favourite is roast dinner but She ( still not going to publically out her), says you can’t cook!). So from then on I gave up even trying.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on – and I agree wine would be a step too far

  2. Laurie says:

    I applaud you Paul! Keep us informed on what you decide to make and how it goes.

    I have a dinner menu suggestion. Try this Indian recipe Yellow Split Pea Dahl (http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianindianrecipes/r/yellowdhal.htm ) with some homemade Naan (http://indianfood.about.com/od/breadrecipes/r/naan.htm). I’ve found you need to simmer the dahl for about 40 mins to get the flavors to permeate the peas and soften it up sufficiently. Throw a scoop of greek yogurt and fresh cilantro on top.
    Super healthy, inexpensive and easy-peasy. Pardon my pun.

  3. Anne says:

    Do you like yogurt? If so, you should try making that. Jeannie and I have been doing that for a while. It’s really easy and yummy, especially if you mix in homemade lemon curd!

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