Thoughts on Current Food trends

People often ask me, "what is your favorite meal?"  ( I love to play those games...favorite meal?  favorite movie? favorite book?) Even when I am not cooking, I am thinking about cooking.  I try to read as many of the books written by chefs or stories about their lives that I can.  I read funny cooking novels, non fiction, cook books, and watch cooking show on T. V.  Interestingly, I do not think about which restaurants I want to eat in when I visit a different city.  But I do think about the different kind of farms, cheese makers, chocolatiers, patisseries, and those type of places I would like to visit! I think about how am I going to charm them into letting me in the back room or see their kitchen and how it operates.  I do not have an adventurous palate like my husband or children. I want to have one! I work on expanding it.  I try to eat a new thing whenever we travel.  But I am so boring...I cannot abide squid (too rubbery), sushi (no raw seafood for me, thank you),  or steak tartar (oh, and not raw meat for me either, merci beacoup).  So how could I ever, ever be a cool foodie if I will not eat what is haute cusine?  How can I sniff and order the weirdest thing on the menu and talk knowingly about conch and foam and air and ice cream made of peppered snail and goat cheese?  

While I am not ready to go on a raw diet, there has never been a vegetable nor a fruit that I have met that I haven't liked.  I do not crave them all.  I do not love them all.  But I will eat them all in one state if not the other.  For example, I love spinach when it is raw, but do not like it cooked, unless it is in something else.  For me, it becomes too bitter and mushy.  Same with Brussels sprouts. I have several friends who love cooked spinach with vinegar on it.  Or sugar.  It is true that cooking unleashes flavors--some not so great and others fabulous.  You just have to embrace what works for you.  

Don't get me started on the bizarre desserts out there today!  There was a time when desserts were safe from all this madness of trying to make something wonderful out of poorly chosen savory ingredients. But this silliness has invaded the dolce territory too.   I do like balsamic vinegar with strawberries.  I like it in some ice cream.  But the thing is, it must be the correct balsamic.  A poorly chosen balsamic or too heavy of a hand while mixing in or pouring over ruins the dish.  Aye, that's the rub. Most people do not know a good balsamic from a bad one.  If it says balsamic in the grocery store, they buy it. A good balsamic is pretty expensive and won't be in your average huge grocery store.  It also gets sweeter and thicker with age, which makes adds to the price.  So if you are looking to put it in your dessert, you are going to have a buy a pricey, well aged and stored balsamic.  That is a fact and so do it correctly, for Pete's sake.   Other than that, I feel a dessert should be a thing of beauty and purity for your mouth.  Not purity in the sense that it cannot be over the top, but purity in the fact that you do not have to swish it in your mouth and try to figure out what it is, if you like it or not, etc.  (But too over the top of desserts can be just as bad as gross ingredients.  Is there any reason we have to have every sweet thing we love layered on top of each other until it reaches the moon and enough calories to fuel the Colts?)

I do not eat lamb, veal, nor other baby animals or anything I think I would want as a pet!  That is my choice, but I honestly wish I did not feel this way as I actually like lamb a lot.  I will make it for others, but I feel so much guilt when I eat it.  Guess when I began shunning veal parmesan,  lamb shanks, and other fabulous dishes?  When I had my own babies, of course!  Motherhood is a guilt trip, even in food choices.  But that is a topic for another blog....