Beautiful Food


I’ve spent a good part of the last week reading some of the most amazing food blogs on the web. Some have pictures that make me want to sign up for photography classes. My favorite for photography is Cannelle et Vanille. Others have writing that reads like poetry – good poetry. If you want to really enjoy reading again, read a few posts at 5 second rule. Still others are huge sites with hundreds of gorgeous recipes and James Beard awards to back them up. Leite’s Culinaria was probably the very first blog I ever encountered, and still is a regular favorite of mine.

With all this talent out there, I have begun to doubt my ability to add something valuable to the blogosphere.  However, in all my searching what I can’t find is someone just like me. I can’t find anyone out there calling themselves a foodie, but willing to admit to a secret love of yellow nacho cheese goo. I can’t find anyone that wants to eat local, sustainable whole food but is trying to do so on a moderate budget. I can’t find very many people who are of the sustainable ilk, but willing to occasionally indulge their children in McDonalds and Marshmallow Peeps. What I mean to say is that for me, reality lives somewhere in the middle. Yes, I am a foodie. I’ve worked in professional kitchens and gone to culinary school. I’ve read Fast Food Nation, and I was appalled when I watched Food, Inc. I try to cook in a way that respects my planet, my body, and the ingredients I use. However, I also live in a world with a tired, screaming toddler.  I live in an area that spends six months of the year with no local produce. Food trucks are not across the street from my home selling lovingly prepared tacos al carbon with hand chopped salsa rojo, and the farmer’s market in my town – well – it sucks! I can’t fly to Spain to stock up on jambon, nor can I try each and every new thing in town.

What I do have it a love for my planet, my family, and food. Every aspect of whole, sustainable food is beautiful. It’s beautiful to see cows in a pasture of green grass, beautiful to see a farmer who has learned from a multitude of generations how to make one specific kind of cheese. I love cold milk, perfectly reduced demi-glace, and perfectly marbled steaks. And, when treated with respect there is even a certain beauty in the cow giving up it’s own life so that we may be nourished and grow strong.

So, I do what I can to help the beautiful food chain in the world. Whenever quality and price permit I buy organic, local and sustainable foods. I try to buy the most natural, least processed version of any food when my time permits me to cook the way I should. But when my time does not permit, or the costs are prohibitive, or every now and then when my toddler wants McDonalds, or when I just have to have the nachos with neon yellow cheese goo – I give in. Because cheese goo is beautiful too!

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