Archive for October, 2014

Cooking #SundaySupper with Nan

October 6th, 2014 2 Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I had a special date with my Mom (aka “Nan”) in her magical kitchen recently. She wanted to instil some of her culinary wisdom unto me, how great is that? Very! When you walk into her welcoming home and open the door that wonderful aroma I know so well greets me in addition to the hugs and kisses from both Nan and Pops.

On that fine day she showed me the ropes on making “Danny’s favourite” Veal Limone. Always dressed nicely, no sweats in her wardrobe, wrapped in an apron she is armed for a whipping…. of a fine dish or two! I heard she did some mentoring with my grown nephews and nieces on the secrets of her sougo and meatballs extraordinaire last week. She is on a roll!

She’s a master blaster, that’s for sure. Even though her vision is fading, her will and abilities are soaring. I have been blessed with a lifetime worth of fond food memories thanks to my Mom. Whether it was making her own dough for pizza or a cauldron of soup; her famous veal stew or eggplant parmigiana, roast beef, fast and easy chicken, calimari or butterfly shrimp, even jumbolia, she makes everything with care, love and zest. Food for the soul that’s fast and easy… for her anyways.

I’m so lucky that family meals we deemed to be important in our busy bella famiglia growing up with 4 sisters – weeknights, especially Sunday. I find when I set my dining table what unfolds with the tablecloth are magical memories from eating together. Cooking doesn’t need to be complicated like an olympic sport. Sometimes all you need to do is pull up a chair over the simplest dish, clink your glasses and linger over good conversation while breaking bread with each other.

Thanks Nan, what’ll we whip up next?

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | 2 Comments »

Food Cleansing or Conscience Cleansing?? Defect in the Cause and Effect

October 3rd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I have been doing more thinking about kids, eating and the wrath of forbidden foods lately, hmmmmmm. You know what I’m talking about: totally removing high energy dense, low nutrient foods, aka junk. The intent usually has noble roots, wanting to do better for our kids as they mean the world to us. They are our future, after all. But extreme measures in this regard could create the opposite effect and even unintended consequences.

Being a paediatric dietitian many years ago I have learned the delicate balance of the feeding relationship with kids, not only focusing on “what” they eat but behaviour and “how” they eat in their food environment. Ellyn Satter, a guru on the subject has provided a multitude of sage advice on offering kids a variety of food which they choose “the what” and “the how much” to eat from your offering, ideally in a stress- and emotions-free place. Day by day kids’ eating waxes and wanes, sometimes eating more, sometimes less, soldiering on through food jags, pickiness and those “hollow leg” periods as they grow.

Food also means so much more than simply the vitamins and minerals it contains, but has a place within our social and physiological fabric. Kids are sharp as tacks too being intuitive, sometimes more than we adults ever realize. When we the “gate keepers” cleanse and purify our food environments or worse punish kids for eating treats, kids go into “food seeking” mode and will gorge on it when they get it. Research has shown this. This unintended consequence not only creates the opposite effect by ingraining food seeking behaviour of these foods but could result in psychological eating issues which could shackle kids in a vortex of disordered eating for decades.

A teacher once told me how they now catch kids in the bathroom stalls at school scarfing down Doritios. An act they often get punished for. In my day, kids would be caught smoking there. Good grief, times have changed. My Italian grandmothers would roll over in their graves if they knew kids got punished for being caught eating…..

Ideally we all want kids to establish a positive relationship with food or as I describe in my e-book “establish a love affair with food”. This involves coming together, eating and enjoying food, some treats, guilt free. This is not a black or white issue, not all or none, but grey zone. When we deem foods as forbidden or shame anyone when “caught in the act” of eating it, the unintended consequences could be staggering. That’s not the goal is it: to create a bad situation by being so virtuous?

Our collective conscience might feel clear when we applaud total removal and cleansing of every treat in kids environments. Consequently this may certainly be creating a bigger problem: a defect in the cause and effect, don’t you think? Some food for thought to digest as Halloween approaches….

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Policy for the People | No Comments »

Idaho Harvest

October 1st, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Idaho
Gotta go
Just to try
Beloved potatoes!

Always in style
So versatile
Enjoy any time
Conscience reconcile!

Good for you
Side dish or stew?
Vitamins & minerals
Plus fibre too!

Farmers field
A lot of yield
Have to say
Such a big deal

Hospitality
Generosity
Honest and true
From everybody

Idaho
Potato
Cherish the land
Now I know…

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Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »