On Sunday, I drove myself (in a car without cruise control!) out to the almost-farm country on the other side of the Triangle. Part of the point of this adventure was to learn something I never quite got with my mother – how to cook vegetables. In all fairness to my mom, we’re mainly of Eastern European descent…which means most of our cooking is meat, potatoes and boil the heck out of everything until losing their flavor. Maybe not literally, but it often feels that way.
While hanging out with StubbornDev and Lil Bit, I got to have a glimpse into my future – Lil Bit is potty training. I’d say something crazy like it reminds me of the cats, but at least with children you can reason and maybe teach…but that’s unfair to both cats and kids. You can sometimes teach cats and often you cannot reason with children.
Getting back to the veggies…one thing I’ve realized is that I need more of them in my life. I live near the state farmer’s market, which I just need to go to more often and ask more questions. But there are other ways to cook veggies than boil the flavor out of them…blanching, roasting, grilling, sautee and even the occasional fun with a wok. Heck, we even have a veggie size wok. Just because the Bald One isn’t a veggie fan doesn’t mean I can’t cook up a single serving.
Part of my education was reading Nourishing Traditions. This book reminds you that eating is fuel, and fuel should be high grade and not over processed. I’ve been reminded that oatmeal, when done right, doesn’t have the consistency of runny snot. Milk is actually better when it’s full of milk fat. Butter is actually made from milk fat, and not chemically cooked up margarine that tastes about the same. While my darling husband does much of the cooking, small changes can be made around him – cous cous in bulk that we flavor ourselves, whole grain pasta cooked correctly tastes just as good, brown rice…and his favorite change is beef to die for from the guy who raised the cows. Sure we’ll probably still break out the occasional Hamburger Helper, but we’ll now add beef from the guy at the market and eggs from local chickens. Small changes will be easier (on us and the pocketbook), but they’ll make all the difference. Even if tomatoes are evil.