Monday, September 21, 2009


Oh, the happy times when I was a graduate Greece. A beautiful thing youth is. Mostly worry free. Food wise... food in the Estiatorio of the University was very, very predictable. To this day I remember that Thursday was chicken ( a favorite), and Saturday was meatloaf (dreaded by many). I had nothing to complain about then and I have nothing to complain about it now. Food was good, predictable and enough. The people working at the cafeteria were in general kind and ready to offer advice, since parents were not around to advice their kids. Kids ...and I was one, needed not bother what to cook today, what to cook tomorrow etc. Perhaps we should adopt the predictable cooking list, shopping list, master a few recipes to perfection and hope that our kids will be open to new possibilities in the future. Good memories about people and places and Greek food flood my mind. Even if at least the food was very predictable, is was so good it was there for us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


When you have children in school and you send with them food for the day, what do you feed them?
I personally have a healthy snack dilema. I would love my kids to munch on carrots and celery sticks - but they do not. Fruits work. Yogurt probably would benefit from refrigeration, but it works too. Cheese? Or nuts? Sounds like we have a small menu already. And the addition of the occasional pumpkin pie turns the snack into a treat.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the breakfast dilema

After a good and usually too short night sleep we wake up and hurry dress, to wash, to brush and finally sit down for breakfast. Still in a rush. What is there to do to keep it simple, healthy and not too time consuming?
We probably need some protein. Eggs or yogurt sound good. Coffee? Probably not, I will drink one later anyway and the kids really do not care for it. We try to give them some fruit (and hydrate them at the same time) in the form of smoothies.
Let's see what was grandma eating for breakfast? Any ideas?
Perhaps some dinner leftovers, perhaps tea with toeasted bread and butter - maybe a slice of cheese, maybe jelly?
I wish I had more time to prepare better breakfasts, but sleep is still the more important factor. For the days when I will have more time I will consider making somethings from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

too full of flavor

Do we need additional flavor to our foods? historically people have added natural spices with the aim to preserve the food quality (cinnamon) and enhance its flavors. The relatively new addition of artificial flavoring agents can be linked to health problems, but in general well conducted studies are needed to prove this hypothesis. A common ingredient in powdered broth cubes - MSG has recently been linked to headache and craniofacial pain sensitivity. In fact people have defined a Chinese restaurant syndrome, later referred to as the MSG symptom complex. Is is worth the trouble? Perhaps we should instead take the trouble to remember the flavor of fresh garden vegetables, as they turn into foods in our own kitchens, by the means of our own hands?

The alternative to an artificially heightened protein taste can be served simply in the form of a soup. It can be started simply with a pot of fresh water, a small chicken (cornish perhaps), a large onion and a few garlic cloves, perhaps a carrot and a laurel leaf. Bring it to a boil and then remove the foam which has raised to the top. Lower the temperature and let it boil for one hour or more. Meanwhile chop some vegetables: a carrot, some celeriac, parsnip, pepper, perhaps a beet. You may choose to sautee a chopped onion in olive oil, with some added goodness from turmeric or italian seasoning (organo, marjoram, rosemary...). Add the chopped vegetables to the soup and let it boil for one hour or more. The longer the better. Towards the end you can add parsley and/or lovage. A little lemon (eventually yogurt or sour cream in the bowl) will further enhance the taste, as well as the amount of vitamin C.

If you have a little kid like mine, she would ask me to throw some macarroni in and will gladly eat those macaroni infused with flavor. There is nothing wrong I can see with this kind of flavor!

If your little one has not been convinced yet, she can ask Desperaux and the people from the city of Dorr what they think about soup.