Food Nazi?

I have two choices for folks who periodically pop in – I can let you think that your memory is completely failing (“oh no, not already! *&^%#!) or I can let you in on a secret.  WordPress lets you date posts any day you want.  So, maybe you did stop in yesterday but now something shows posted day before yesterday and the day before that which you simply do not recall.  You’re not nuts, no worries. If you subscribe to the blog you’ll see the new posts without having to pop in every so often or wonder about your memory with a periodic cram of my postings showing up as though spread through time.  Your email will let you know to stop on by.  Cool, huh?   

Nectarine, previous garden

So, today’s topic – you’ll recall from my earlier post Paradoxes, Inconsistencies, Contradictions and Christmas Gifts that I have no intention to try to reconcile each of my purported beliefs with reality. So, yes, like oh so many others out there, I believe I’d like to lose a bit of weight, yet I signed myself up for baking and blogging about cookies every week. I have other fall goodies I want to make, now I’m realizing that I’ll be baking even more.  This is dangerous territory for me. 

Grapes, previous garden

What I haven’t shared yet is that I was a strict vegetarian for 15 years. Healthy whole grains only for me and mine, nothing instant, boxed, packaged or with too much sugar.  My siblings did not subscribe to the same belief.  Their children even less so. I and certain friends may have reveled in a polenta casserole with sautéed squash and onions covered in homemade (and grown – veggie and fruit pictures from my previous garden) tomato sauce, chewy homemade whole grain yeast breads or a marvelous homemade hummus with pita, not so the meat and potatoes siblings. They’d wander summer potluck parties full with tables of wonderful food by me and my friends in search of some unhealthy morsel.  I started to hear things like “we stopped at McDonald’s on the way up” – on the way up to our veritable feast!  I think my brother feared his children might starve themselves if only presented with the lovely veggie rich dishes Aunt Maggie served. The clincher came when I was overloaded with work and setting up for the annual decorating the Christmas tree event at my house.  I’d added fish and chicken to my own diet by then. I was simply too busy to cook, knew they all love all sorts of beef so I ran up the road to get takeout from the barbeque restaurant. When bro and his munchkins arrived I guiltily announced (at the time I would never have considerd having anyone over and not doing the cooking, this was a first) “I’ve been swamped lately and just too busy to cook, so I picked up barbeque” and I showed them the bags of dripping ribs and barbeque chicken. They became positively gleeful, joyful, giddy with happiness.  You know what I mean – you can tell when the exurburence levels climbs by leaps and bounds all at once. Their profound relief and joy was staggering.  I gave up then and there cooking or baking “my style” food for them.  They love Funfetti boxed cake and canned frosting – ok, they get Funfetti boxed cake and frosting.  I’ll save the “from scratch” chocolate pound cake with ganache or whipped cream as frosting” for others who share my tastes.  


Not just them, I must admit, there’s now me. Last night I was craving a fluffy white buttery homemade biscuit.  I had the thought – easy to add wheat flour to this, but no. This was a purely indulgent carbohydrate “must have”. I dragged out a cookbook my mom got for her wedding shower from her sister. You know, from the days before butter, eggs or white flour would be the death of us. I indulged in half a recipe of biscuits and made them large with extra butter – a few for dinner with peanut butter and jam (well, one nod to our current concept of health, pure fruit spread), a few for brunch tomorrow, sliced and toasted. Sigh, flaky, buttery heaven.  I can highly recommend the very simple Baking Powder Biscuits from Lily Wallace cookbook made with butter as the shortening and perhaps a tad more of that then the recipe calls for.  Oh, if you haven’t guessed SKINNY veggie me is long gone, replaced by “needs to lose more than a few pounds” with sweet tooth me. J

 Overtime, the skinny veggie me didn’t just add chicken and fish.  I let sugar back in, with a vengeance.  Worse than a salesman with a foot in the door and a quota to meet, sugar slammed into my existence. I started using white flour. Now a plate of goodies from me doesn’t meet the polite, small smile that doesn’t reach the eyes “oh, whole wheat muffins with honey .. thank you” but the rousing stand up and hug from same nieces and nephews, “Thank You! I LOVE the candies and fudge you make us – it’s the BEST!” and very wide truly appreciative grins from neighbors who get cupcakes, cookies and cakes.  I don’t doubt that they’re trying to use positive reinforcement on me so that I never return to that stuff I’d make when they were younger – but it works.  Even last week’s posting of the cake mix cookies engendered a “You better be good or I’m not giving you any of the cookies Maggie made us” from the neighbor munchkin fifth grader to her first grader brother.

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