Although I’m not a strict vegan, I love to grill vegetables, and I’ve recently given up red meat: a portabella mushroom or eggplant slices are great burger substitutes, with a naturally “meaty” taste, no additives needed. I never touch factory-produced “fake meats”.
There’s a local market near me in Trenton NJ which is open year round. Up through December the produce is good - winter squash, root veggies, cabbage, potatoes etc. But by January the choice and quality declines - I’ve bought potatoes black on the inside from frost. Things get going again in March, but for a couple of months I stick to the supermarket. Remember in the good old days people used to get seasonal vitamin deficiences; not something I wish to return to.
I’m a bit late on this thread, but I wanted to mention that our local food pantry tells us that many of their recipients live in accommodation which does not include a proper kitchen; that’s the reason they can’t cook things like potatoes. All donations have to be things than can be eaten without cooking or simply heated in a microwave. So I don’t think we should be judging the food pantry customers until we know their home situation.
On another note, I’m glad to say my kids’ middle school has a compulsory “life skills” program which includes cooking and mending/sewing, and in high school will cover personal finance.
Also, in teaching my kids to cook, I notice that most kids cookbooks have recipes for what I consider “useless” food (i.e. cookies). Similarly in summer camp cooking classes - there seems to be an idea that kids can’t be trusted with knives or hot stoves I think. So in our weekend cooking lessons we do “real” food (i.e. the stuff you can sustain yourself on) like omelets, pasta, rice, learning how to chop onions, etc.
Found an easy and tasty way to serve up cherries, picked that morning. Halved and pitted cherries plus pancake style batter, all baked in the oven.
From my community garden plot and CSA: radishes, garlic scapes and sugar-snap peas, balanced with a few lettuce leaves and a little olive oil and vinegar.
I’ve been to some places with “tasting menus” that I’ve really enjoyed (but I haven’t tried any of the recent molecular gastronomy examples which just don’t appeal to me), and I am a big fan of tapas too. To me the key is that several different small plates can be a wonderful way to try lots of interesting things in one meal, but to really “taste” something, it has to be bigger than one bite. The first bite is just an introduction, then you try another and another, experiencing something more each time. I think my sweet spot is a meal of about 6 dishes being enough to fill me up comfortably.
Interestingly the breast is my least favorite part of the chicken. For casseroles, curries and stirfries I always prefer the tastier juicier thighs, and for grilling drumsticks and wings with their complete skin-cover are best. The only way I like chicken breast is when it is roasted, and then only to temperatures somewhat less than USDA recommendations, so that it’s still juicy. I’ve always found breast the most tasteless part of the chicken...
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