Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Slow Food

I am a big fan of the slow food movement. After all, I absolutely love food. Well, good food. I can fore go eating if my only choices are fast food. (Which is really not good for me or the people around me.) There have been many a night where something like crackers have been dinner because nothing else in the house was good.

But back to the slow food movement. It's an organization dedicated to preserving traditional food. I can get on board with that! Additionally, they believe that the best way to preserve traditional breeds that are going extinct is to get people to eat them. Sounds counter intuitive, yet increase demand and supply will increase.

I have bought Heritage Turkeys for Thanksgiving in the past. In fact, one Thanksgiving I cooked a heritage turkey, a traditional turkey and a wild turkey so we could taste-test them side by side. Let me tell you, that heritage turkey made me a believer. It actually had flavor and texture, and you know - that turkey could still actually have sex (well before they killed it for us).

I would raise heritage breed turkeys and chickens if it wasn't for that whole plucking thing. I've already done it and it does not hold good memories for me. It might be different now that I am an adult and it would feed me and my children...hhhmmm

However, one of my problems is that I am impatient. This too might be an understatement, but there it is. It's not that I don't cook from scratch; most everything I do cook is from scratch. I can whip up a fresh tomato sauce in slightly more time than it takes to open a can, but most of my meals in the past 8 years (since I got pregnant the first time), have been of the 30 minute variety. A few of them go longer, but really it's all about getting a good dinner on the table as fast as possible.

Again, this is not to say, that they are not fresh - just fast.

As we are getting home from the conciliatory ice cream after stitches this morning, my sister tells me that we have a ton of eggplant. My eggplants are planted in the strip between my driveway and my neighbors yard and she normally parks on that side of the driveway. So, apparently it was time to make eggplant Parmesan.

This is not a quick dish. This takes slicing eggplant, draining in salt, dredging, frying, baking, making tomato sauce...Today it was even slower since halfway through I realized we were out of pasta.

Completely out.

No pasta of any kind in the house.

I really don't understand how this is possible, but it happened.

I used to make my own pasta in college and this was hands down every one's favorite dish of mine. There is nothing like fresh pasta. And surprisingly, it is extremely easy albeit extremely messy to do.

The dough takes about 3 minutes. I figured the boys would help roll it and cut it in my pasta machine - no problem. Except the pasta machine that I haven't used since college, doesn't really cut the dough. More of an imprint really.

So, now I have been cooking for almost 2 hours. And we have pasta looking type stuff. More of sheets with spaghetti imprints and globs of dough. We put it in the boiling water, waited about a minute and drained it. I threw on the eggplant, a little extra sauce and served the boys. Ryan said it was the best meal he had ever eaten and could I make this every night? Max said yum, but halfway through decided he didn't like the purple skin; but he ate everything else as long as it wasn't purple.

The good point of all this is that our meal completely came out of my garden! This made me so happy and willing to take the time to do this. (I also made another one to put in the freezer.) Everything except the oil and the flour - I grew!

Lately, I have been feeling frustrated and sad regarding my gardening capabilities. I have thought that if my family was dependent on me and my garden for food - we'd be starving. But tonight, tonight we had tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil, oregano, eggplant, eggs and an old pasta machine for the most unbelievable pasta ever!!! This was slow food. And it was good.

But now I have flour over every surface of the kitchen and dining room...

No comments: