Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mindfulness about the food you eat and cook

What led me to be mindful about the food I prepare and eat? Diana asks....I will answer here:

Hmmmm....I think it was winter 1985, and I was living in the U.P. and in college. A friend organized a potluck to watch the movie "Amadeus" which was newly out on video, and it was right before a school break, so we decided to make it be a "clean out your fridge" potluck. I remember made pancakes out of Bisquick served with some imitation maple flavored syrup and instant mashed potatoes out of a box. I didn't have a lot of money and was putting myself through engineering school at the time, and I relied on foods that were easy and cheap to put together.

My friend Ray came in carrying two pots - one had scalloped potatoes that he had cooked with some leftover ham, and the other was a pot of baked beans, from scratch. They were both so wonderful, and actually cost less to make than my instant food, I became a convert to cooking things from scratch right then and there. Since that time, we've had many culinary exploits together. I can remember us grilling lake trout with herbs and also making the first fondue I ever tasted standing over his stove dipping some crusty bread into a stockpot (all he had to make it in) at this student rental cottage in Chassell while listening to "The Prairie Home Companion".

To this day, listening to PHC reminds me of Ray and his lovely wife Jen, who live in St. Paul. Occasionally, our family camps with Ray and Jen's family (our kids are about the same age) and his cooking is still wonderful, as I can personally attest. You should see his camp cooking rig! If it weren't for his inspiration, I'd probably still be eating Hungry Jack.


Diana Dyer, MS, RD said...

Just tonight my husband and I were remembering the 14¢ per box margarine we used to buy when we were poor grad students. I first read Diet for a Small Planet in the early-mid 70's, which was one of the "defining moments" for me regarding mindfulness about the quality of the food we ate. We are hoping all of those margarine molecules are out of our bodies by now and did not do too much damage while they were a part of us.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I think those "necessity is the mother of invention" moments can be really eye-opening. I really got my cooking chops when my husband was laid off and I started to make EVERYTHING in order to save money.