Purist....Not! - Ramblings of a Rennaisance Man Blog at Allrecipes.com - 204439

Ramblings of a Rennaisance Man

Nov. 8, 2010 11:00 pm 
Updated: Nov. 10, 2010 5:56 pm
I would like to say that I am a purist and make everything from scratch, using only the freshest organic ingredients but I'm not.  I have tried.  I bought a bread machine and made several different types of bread.  They were all wonderful, especially when they were freshly baked and still warm enough to melt butter.  That didn't last very long.  At first it was because everybody loved the fresh bread.  It went almost as quick as I could bake it.  Then everybody got tired of it and it didn't last long because after a couple of days, it got stale and  started to crumble when cutting it to make a sandwich.  And not long after that it seemed the mold would set in.  In the end, it ended up being a chore to make the bread every couple of days.  The kids liked the store bought bread better anyway.

I used to make my own yogurt.  I got the idea from Alton Brown's show "Good Eats".  I bought the book and set up to make yogurt.  I only made plain yogurt.  It was the best stuff to mix with a bowl of granola cereal and take to work for breakfast.  The granola would just be getting soft from the yogurt by the time I got around to eating it.  Also, the tang of the yogurt cut the sweetness of the granola just  enough.  I still like it.  I don't make it anymore though.  By the time I made a big batch of yogurt and then ate it for breakfast every morning, I noticed I was gaining a considerable amount of weight!  And without that sweet granola it just wasn't the same.  Now I buy the cups of flavored yogurt that are only 80 calories.  I don't get the granola at all.  I can't trust myself with it just the same as I don't touch tobacco anymore!

I used to cook with gas.  All good chefs cook with gas don't they?  But then we bought a new house and it was set up for an electric range.  I did a lot of study on the subject and debated back and forth.  Should I set up for a gas range or go with electric?  In the end, I read where even though most serious cooks prefer gas, electric has better control and more responsive heat, so I compromised again, and went with electric.  I got a Kenmore Elite with a ceramic cooktop, two ovens (one is convection), and electronic controls with all the different features.  I can slow cook roasts in the oven like a slow cooker, I have a special setting for cakes that provides gentle heating, and on and on.  After we got through the first few burnt offerings (you can't see the heat on electric like you can see the gas flame!), it has turned out to be the best thing since sliced bread (not homemade)!  I wouldn't go back to gas on a bet.

Much like Sandra Lee and "Semi-Homemade" we are getting by in this time crunched modern world we live in.  The food at our house isn't always pure, made from scratch, or organic, but it is pretty healthy (we can read labels and do!), and nobody is going hungry!
Nov. 9, 2010 1:20 pm
Thank you very much for this entry. Finally, somebody with balance. I try my best as well, but I do not have the money (don't tell me it is not more expensive to go organic and "from scratch") to always use the "purist" food there is. I make the healthiest food I can (that will get eaten), we pray over our food at mealtime, and so far we are doing just fine.
Nov. 9, 2010 4:53 pm
The only thing we miss from an electric range is the crispiness of some baked or roasted dishes. The electric seems to be the better for that. Sorry, Steve. Gotta disagree with the rest. Durn! Did I just draw a line in the sand?
Nov. 9, 2010 5:27 pm
Hehe Mike! To each his own. I read about your circumstances and understand. I had to have my esophagus removed 8 years ago. I try to be healthy but I'm not sure that premade items can't be just as healthy as "made from scratch" and organic entre's. Reading the labels is important though when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle along with exercise, of course.
Nov. 9, 2010 5:45 pm
Ouch!!!! What a thing to reckon with! There has been a couple of blogs that slammed condensed soup and I cannot see why. I double checked the labels and found nothing to indicate "bad for me". We tried to be purists when the kids were still at home, to make them aware that some commercial food offerings are "less than healthy". We will not buy any prepared foods because of the large quantities of salt and sugar. We will buy items that complement our cooking but do not replace it. If I see words that I cannot read, the product is left for somebody else to deal with. I researched high fructose corn syrup and found it is very close to refined cane sugar and refined beet sugar.
Nov. 10, 2010 2:19 am
I try to stay away from the salt and sugar as well. Even though I love salt, it is supposed to be bad for the blood pressure in my advancing age.Sometimes I feel like everything that brings pleasure is bad for you! Hehe! So I try to live in moderation!
Nov. 10, 2010 3:52 pm
Very seldom will we add salt to our food. There is plenty in many of the ingredients or snacks that we use. Salt can be a killer for either of us if we get too much. Sugar is much easier to avoid. I especially hate MSG. I can't believe the number of home cooks that want to use it in their cooking. MSG is an even greater danger because there is no salt sensation- you don't know you've had a dose. All you can eat buffets are notorious for that.
Nov. 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Yes...we avoid MSG like the plague! It tends to make my wife sick. She seems to be able to detect in various foods...but then she is mysterious anyway! Hehe!
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About Me
I'm the primary cook around our house and that is fine with me. Cooking is a hobby for me as well as a necessity. I enjoy learning new techniques and then tend to over-use them until I've found my next new technique. I love to experiment with recipes. I usually make them according to the written recipe the first time and then I experiment after that. It drives my wife crazy!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook a lot of different things but my favorite cuisine would be Italian. I can't tell you how many different spaghetti sauces and lasagne recipes I have tried. At one point my wife forbade me from making spaghetti because we had it so often!
My favorite family cooking traditions
We always have turkey dinner with oyster dressing on Thanksgiving. Baked ham is a must-have for Easter. Lasagne and red velvet cake are the only things I will eat for my birthday!
My cooking triumphs
I make a mean beef barbecue that everybody likes.
My cooking tragedies
I once made a fish and rice recipe for the kids. They are still talking about how bad it was. (20 years ago now!)
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