Sunday, 16 March 2008

Food Meme

I got this from Emily's blog
at Telecommuter Talk:

Food Meme:
List five food facts about yourself. (Actually this was part of a two-part meme, but since I am making dinner, I only have time for one......I picked the easy one!)

1. I collect cookbooks. My oldest cookbook recreates recipes from the Medieval Ages. However, I lent it to a friend-who-is-barely-a-friend-because-she-still-has-many-of-my-books SEVEN years ago, and yes, she still hasn't returned it. So I can't quite count it in my library, and I haven't seen it since to replace. It was a fabulous book explaining how and what they cooked in the Middle Ages, what utensils they had, the kitchen set-up, and the different kinds of food you'd find at different levels of society. The next oldest book I have is Take a Buttocke of Beefe by Verity Isitt, which I found in a used book store in Kingston. It has over 80 seventeenth century recipes, again with modern equivalents. These are both for historical research for my writing, and for food cookery and because I love recipes. My sister once asked if I actually read the cookbooks. Yes! I read them from end to end, the first time, and pick out recipes I want to try. Lately, I have learned to write in the cookbooks - it was Nigella Lawson who gave me this idea. She said in one of her cookbooks that she had inherited one from her grandmother, that had notes written by her grandmother in the margins, changing recipes, saying what works and what didn't. She felt like her grandmother was in the kitchen with her, leaving her notes on how to cook, and what she did. Like a conversation. I loved the idea. Since I am always altering recipes anyway, I thought this would be a great gift someday for my daughter (or grandchildren), if any of them end up cooking. Plus, I can remember what I did that worked so well, next time I come to the recipe! It works fabulously (is this a word? can I invent it?) now. I can recreate what I did, and see what recipes I really do use often.

2. I can't eat onions or eggplant. This is one major reason I ended up tampering with recipes in the first place. Raw onions upset my stomach, and eggplant makes me throw up. So, I substitute leeks for onions (more delicate flavor, and cousin to onion) which I can eat very happily. And I avoid anything with eggplant. This rules out vegetarian lasagna, which otherwise always looks to delicious!

3. I am not a vegetarian. I tried, seriously, about15 years ago. I ended up missing meat too much. I'm a carnivore! I like the texture and taste! However, I hate the current farming practices of major meat production, so I try to get hormone and antibiotic free meat if not organic meat, whenever possible. I also like that when we eat organic meat, I know the animals have been well-treated and fed properly.

4. My house has been 70% organic in food and cleaning products for 21 years now. I'm lucky in that Ottawa has several very good organic grocery stores, as well as the major grocery chains are now carrying organic lines of food. I buy as many things organically as we can afford. My house has been cleaned with organic cleaners since then because smells bother my nose - and I don't like chemical cleaners. Most of our vegetables, fruit, and staples are organic, or failing that, locally grown (we have a wonderful farmer's market in the summer) and whole grain. I strongly believe that where I spend my money does count, and I am so against chemicals use, and now the sterile corn and soy crops which are truly frightening. Not to get into a rant here, but why do we think chemicals and hormones in our food won't end up in our bodies (where we store them) and end up in the earth, damaging the soil's recovery, and in the food chain itself? I can't stop the big food chains and mass-farming (and it's not the farmers, its the food industry itself and everyone involved in creating mass food production using little-understood chemicals that is the problem) but I can try to use my money where it counts. I just like the taste, colour, texture of organic food better. And I like knowing that I chose food that was grown with the nurturing of the earth in mind.

5. I am a chocoholic. I LOVE chocolate. Dark chocolate. If I buy a recipe book, chances are it has a chocolate recipe I want to try! One of my favorite chocolate recipes to make is Gooey Chocolate Puddings from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat cookbook. Made with dark chocolate, it is like a lava cake, and warm from the oven, is so-o-o delicious with cream.......m-m-m......

I still haven't figured out how to tag yet, so please, do this meme and drop me a line that you did, and I will come read it. Happy eating while reading!!!


Bybee said...

Wonderful stuff! Thanks to you, I've got my next blog entry. A tip of the doughnut to Emily as well!

Lady P said...

Oh, you have SO got to get that medieval cookbook back! I'd like to read it next time we swing in for a visit.

Yuck to dark chocolate. THAT makes me want to throw up! by the way, years ago I used to throw up after I ate bananas. Turns out I had a duodenal ulcer. NO chance this is what is behind you and eggplant? Although I'd puke if someone tried to make me eat one of those!

raidergirl3 said...

Tag just means to name some other people to do the meme too.

There's a link button on your dashboard to use if you want to link the name directly. Or just type their name and then go to their blog and let them know that you tagged them.
Let me know if you want ot know how to use the link button.
I finally watched het last part of P&P last night.

Care said...

I live near a Used Cookbook Store and have been dying for a reason to go so if you ever want me to stop and look - just ask! I have my Grandmother's BetterHomes&Garden cookbook from 1940 and I love the scraps of handwritten recipes that I found; she didn't write much in the book itself but it's SO cool to have.

Also, you can make veggie lasagne w/o eggplant! use fresh spinach, zucchini and/or broccoli?

Anonymous said...

I have to exchange your number five for your number two- amongst various other things, I can't eat chocolate. It means a five-day migraine - definitely not worth it.

Susan said...

Bybee - thanks! And I'll go see yours shortly.

lady p - I've only ever seen the medieval cookbook once since. i think it is still in print. I will have a copy before you come here next.
Aren't duodenal ulcers curable? I had a pre-ulcer years ago, but nothing since. Nope, I was so violently ill when i ate it that I don't dare try it again.

Raidergirl3 - what did you think of the last part of P&P? And I'll try the tag and let you know if I need your help still....I'm just so happy I can blog! Look for me to link to your blog (or try to) because of the gosh-darn challenges that I'm joining *sigh*!

Care - I know veggie lasagna can be made with broccoli, but most of the premade kind (I have 3 kids, so premade lasagnas are what we eat most) are made with eggplant. I have tried other vegetarian, and have liked it.
I'll let you know if you get to visit your used bookstore - I have to check and see if the cookbook is still available, and since I didn't write anything down (thinking I would get the book back) I have to call her and hope she hasn't given it away or anything (she has with other books of mine, so I'm not holding out hope here). Thanks so much for the offer! And I think you should go explore your used books store and report back to us how it is!! :-)

tabletalk - I have alot of friends who can't eat dark chocolate for that very reason. One friend can't eat any chocolate at all, or she ends up with a migraine. Wine does the same thing. I feel so sorry for her!

Thank you all for your responses! It's fun to know people are reading my blogs! I'll see you on your blogs!

Emily Barton said...

Oooh, I'm with you on just about everything, and I love the idea of writing in cookbooks. Occasionally, I do that to remind myself how I changed a recipe, but I should do it more often, since I have a tendency to change almost every single recipe I follow (I'm not very good at following directions.)

Susan said...

Hi Emily - I change my recipes too, even if I write down what works, I still end up changing them. Nigel Slater said in one of his books that his recipes are a guideline. He expects readers to alter recipes to their tastes, to experiment and explore with food and cooking. I'm with you though, I'm terrible at following directions - I always think i have a better idea!!!or I know better.....

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