Friday, November 18, 2016

In a Relationship With Food

There are so many times that I say that we can't always look at things in just a black and white manner.  There is almost always a huge gray area out there and today I plan on talking about the so called gray area of food.  In particular, our relationships with food. People who consider themselves to be foodies based on their gourmet appetites need to move over for those of us who love food, just that it may be a simple and less scary type of food for us.

Knowing that I am not alone in always trying my best to eat what is good for me, yet also helping me to lose weight is uppermost in my mind.  From all that I have read, it is best not to be on a "diet," but more to pull together from all food groups in moderation.  It is what you will have to do eventually, when you come off the so called diet. That is where yo-yo dieting got the name.  For me, it is changing my mindset on food. This mindset is fine to have a good relationship with food, whether it be bizarre and out of the ordinary dishes or more of the familiar ingredients in dishes we love.

Eating healthy is my number one concern.  From there, I know that I must have portion control and not even to be a part of my discussion today, there must be exercise involved somewhere at sometime. That is for another blog, another day.  Really, just focusing on food and eating.  As Julia Child said once, "People who love to eat are always the best people."

What brought this blog to my mind, is that my husband and I have birthdays 5 days apart, which is coming up soon.  The past few years we have each taken a turn at preparing a dish at home for the birthday boy/girl.  Talking and drinking wine together in the kitchen while one cooks and prepares with love the meal for the evening.   It has always been very enjoyable and relaxing.  

This year, I came up with a different idea, basically because our city has become a restaurant mecca, so to speak.  Many of the chefs and their restaurants are becoming nationally known.  We have not been to many of them, as we usually stick to our tried and true restaurants.  I suggested that we have one big celebration birthday dinner out.  Steve agreed and told me to pick the place.  

I looked up several restaurants that have received very high reviews, then proceeded to see if their menus were on line.  They were.  This could be good or bad, depending on how you want to look at it.  All I can say is that I had to have google beside me to look up what something was on almost every item from the appetizers to the desserts.  It is not that I have turned in to a "meat and potatoes" kind of person.  NEVER!  I love many other dishes. However, I do prefer to know what I am putting in my mouth. When I started to find out exactly what some of these menus items were, it told me that I am definitely not a 'foodie,' in the sense that this word is tossed around in today's times.

A foodie is not just a person who enjoys good food or has a particular interest in food, as I know that I do.  I love to cook and share new recipes with family and friends.  On weekends especially, Steve and I like to plan out a new menu item and make sure that we pick up what we need at the grocery store.  I suppose you could call it a hobby that we enjoy doing together.  The main idea here is to let you know what a real foodie is.  To be able to have that label attached to yourself, you must have a refined interest in food, especially on the gourmet side and you live to try new an unusual dishes.  

Some of the items that were on the menus of restaurants that I wanted to consider are listed here:

  • Maine lobster pancakes
  • quail or pheasant sausages, veal jus
  • foie gras
  • strawberry tomato sorbet
  • beluga caviar
  • escargot
  • saffron crawfish
  • cornmeal dusted oysters
  • buffalo
  • elk
  • turtle soup
  • pork belly
  • beet salad with goat cheese and peaches

On the three menus that I looked over, there may have been two items that I would want to order and eat.  One other thing that I noticed, is that the menu items that were unusual and at times required me to look up exactly what they were, also had very steep prices attached to them.  Now, I do not mind paying higher prices for good food, it is just that I must be able to eat the food.  You won't hurt my feelings if you say that I do not enjoy adventure in eating. Probably because I am trying to watch what I eat, this could be a good thing.

In the pictures above are foods that I am sure most of you recognize.  Maybe not the first one?  It happens to be foie gras, which in case you did not know is duck or goose liver.  It is a picture of one of the many ways I saw it mentioned on menus; to use it with preserves, or it may be sauteed in a cast iron skillet or it may be put on a perfectly good filet mignon as a gravy.  The seafood plate has some things I most definitely would order, it is just that you can't order just those things.  It is all or nothing.  Good old fashioned hamburgers and hot dogs can be a choice, although that is not a healthy way to eat all of the time, I would most definitely take a hot dog dinner from Sonic Drive-in versus having a meal of pork belly and oysters.  So?  Call me a cheap date!

Oh, and by the way...I did find many great, new restaurants that have more of what I consider normal food for us to go out and try for our birthday dinner.  I love the saying from Ruth Reichl, "Pull up a chair.  Take a taste.  Life is endlessly delicious."  However you choose to eat, this is what it is all about.  bon appetit

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