There are a few misperceptions swirling about. It’s possible I’ve perpetuated them. But I don’t think so. They have popped up in casual conversations or revealed themselves in emails and comments from kind, lovely readers like you. A few of them have given me a good giggle. Some have come in the way of playground confessionals. Today I’ll dispel these myths so we’re all clear. Okay?
1. I cook every night.
Um, no. I try to get a home cooked meal on the table three to four nights per week. And that’s on a good week. We go out to eat with the kids on Friday, without them on Saturday and that leaves one wild card night. If I can throw together a pantry dinner or pass off omelets yet again, great. If not, I’m calling for pizza. 2. I make something new and different every night.
Not even close. There is a rotation of dishes that appear with regularity. I make turkey chili at least once a month. I roast a chicken every couple weeks. There are pasta dishes we repeat again and again, like this one and this one. I also keep a batch of oatmeal buttermilk pancake batter in the fridge much of the time. There are now 438 recipes on this site. I’ve posted what I want to make and eat, for the most part. I try a new recipe about once every two weeks. Sometimes they’re so terrific I share them here (like this broccoli pesto with mixed grains!). But a lot of the time? Meh.
3. I only buy organic/local/free-range/all natural/non-GMO.
This is a sticky wicket. People get very worked up over this one. I’m not as particular in this area as you might think. For me, it boils down to this – it’s more important to eat fresh, whole, close-to-the-ground foods rather than processed. It’s that simple. If given the choice between organic apple chips or an apple that may have been sprayed with pesticides? I’ll always take the whole apple.
With that said, I buy local when I can. In the summer, I’m a regular at the farmers market. I choose local over organic if I have to make the choice. There are a few items, mostly produce, I try to buy organic if I can. But if not, it’s okay. No organic pears? I’ll get the regular ones then. No biggie. I buy organic milk, but for a long time I had milk delivered from a local farm that was not organic. In addition to the old-fashioned glass bottles, I loved that we could drive to the farm and actually see the cows that produced our milk. But you know what? Sometimes I get milk at the corner convenience store and it’s neither local nor organic. And that’s okay too. 4. I think less of people who feed their kids mac and cheese from a box.
I feed my kids mac and cheese from a box, people. In fact, I did so earlier this week. It was a “snow day” amounting to little more than a few flurries in the air and wet pavement. It was all I could muster to boil up the macaroni and add the electric orange powdered cheese. Boxed mac and cheese, along with its cousins frozen fish sticks and vegetable pancakes, come complete with long list of ingedients that don’t exist in our home kitchens. Not ideal, but not the end of the world. We shouldn’t feel too bad about feeding these things to our kids once in a while. And we shouldn’t feel too good either – just because it says organic doesn’t mean “nutritious” or, my favorite, “healthy.” And last but not least…
5. I am a foodie!
Can someone tell me what that means anyway? Let me give you some context.
“Where do you want to eat lunch?” I ask.
“I don’t know! You’re the foodie!”
Yes, I like good food. I like fresh, simple food. But what is often misunderstood is that it need not be high end or fancy. Trendy restaurants often disappoint me. They can be too fussy – too much theatre in the presentation, too many bizarre ingredients and too much foam. No, I don’t want a side of mushroom-infused air. I have little tolerance for food that is over handled, overcooked or just plain overrated. It needs to be either extremely enjoyable or supremely nutritious. Or both. If it’s neither, no thank you. Does that make me a foodie? Well, if it does then fine.
As for the beautiful broccoli with which I’ve wallpapered this post? It’s not organic. I had the choice, but the price differential between organic and conventional was sick. I made this simple recipe (yes, it’s new!), which met my standards – both enjoyable and nutritious. Try the broccoli pesto with grain salad, as I’ve done here, or tossed simply with pasta.
And that, dear readers, is all she wrote.