|Spring Food: Nourishing Traditions
||[Apr. 20th, 2009|01:13 pm]
Whole Foods: the anti-Twinkie lifestyle
I have been cooking up a storm. I have read Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, for the first time. This is the bible of the Weston A. Price movement, and I had subscribed, for what it was worth, to their ideas, based on what I'd read, on the Foundation website but also on Beyond Vegetarianism. Finally reading what Fallon had to say about raw milk products, especially whey, made me want to run right out and get a gallon of raw milk from my local dairy farmer. I kept reading, and she kept on impressing me with the importance of adding whole categories of foods to my diet, or learning to enjoy them far more often, such as with organ meats, which I usually eat maybe once or twice a year in the form of chopped chicken liver.
Other foods that Fallon is just as emphatic about, are already in my diet. It was good to know exactly how bone broth is nourishing, and encouragement to continue making my own stocks and using them often to make soups and stews. It was time for me to make a big batch of beef stock, so I followed her recipe, which adds a little vinegar for extracting as much of the mineral as possible from the bones. I used apple cider vinegar, because I have some that is raw, organic, and unfiltered. Keeping the heat very low, and simmering it for an extremely long time--all weekend--were the other important steps. I knew from fine cooking sources that you have to keep the temp low on stock to keep it clear, and per the WAP people, and others, too, this preserves nutrients that can be destroyed by rapid boiling. Gelatin is the magic component of stock: it creates thickness, and is a "protein sparing" food. Fallon notes that gelatin-rich soups aid in digestion, explaining why they are often served before a meal.
This is good hot soup weather. Overcast, rainy days. Everything is blooming or trying to mate: the birds were so noisy and various this morning, they were cracking me up. My sinuses are killing me.
After I made the giant beef stock, I used some to make French onion soup. I topped it with baby Swiss and Gruyere, made buttered croutons out of commercial whole wheat sandwich bread. Kevin raved about this soup in his blog. He makes about three blog entries a year, so that's impressive. There's a little cheese left over after the soup was eaten, and we've been putting it on our scrambled eggs. Kevin thinks Swiss and its relatives are made for eggs. I prefer Cheddar cheese, find something oddly reeking about Swiss.
Since I already had so much chicken stock in the freezer, I decided to make a chicken soup next. I bought a whole chicken and stewed it in chicken stock, using the crock pot's probe to cook the chicken til it was done. I took the meat off the bones, put the meat and the stewing stock in a large pot with chopped carrots, celery, and leek, and simmered it all gently for a while. Then I added parsley and frozen spinach. In a separate pot, I heated some more chicken stock and cooked dumplings in it. The dumplings came out green because I put the ingredients from Bittman's butter dumplings recipe in a food processor instead of mincing the onion and herb, and mashing the butter with a fork.
I rediscover dumplings every year or so, make the same remarks about how my mother used to make a dumpling she called a "clunker." They were dense and bland. Until I talked about making chicken and dumplings with Kevin, I was going to put homemade egg noodles in the soup: I thought that was what it was. So I looked up Bittman's dumplings and made those, and they were green, and fluffy and sort of tasty. I don't think dumplings are supposed to be taste sensations.
x-posted to my journal and healthfood_porn