Thursday, September 22, 2016

First you have to take a leek. Bless us Oh Great One, Julia Child

I first heard that joke when Julia Child had one incarnation of her television cookery show or another. I believe it was back in the seventies, it was so clever, she was so deadpan. I often think she had no idea what the connotation was to which the public attributed her comment. she didn't need to know, it boosted her to ever greater fame. Julia Child, Superstar. how can we honor her memory. 

By taking a leek.

I often make little mini muffin sized either cheesecakes that are savory, or like these, crustless quiches. I'm not eating a
lot of flour products of late, just having trouble getting real organic wheat berries. I have been reading a lot about how much glyphosate (Roundup weed killer) is used on wheat grown in the US. Sad, but most conventional wheat growers spray glyphosate on their crops in order to facilitate faster more consistent harvest. Glyphosate is now estimated to be sprayed on over 93% of wheat. And the worst part is that it's sprayed just a few days before harvest. Glyphosate has a nineteen day half life in moist soil. Once sprayed on wheat kernels, it stays there right through the manufacturing process and is a main source of contamination of wheat products. I'm not the first to draw this conclusion, that people aren't allergic to wheat or gluten, they're allergic to the crap sprayed on the wheat. (NCBI Library on the subject, my favorite Fed thing, a repository of knowledge)

Some things won't change, I will still eat bread that I grind the wheat myself after having bought the wheat kernels as certified organic. It's just expensive, and hard to find. Austin had a great food selection, Phoenix, not so much. But I try.

Anyway, I took a leek, cut the green part off, sliced in half and washed the sand out. Cut into slices with half a red onion and sauteed in a bit of organic butter and some olive oil. Added some nice white wine and let that evaporate off. Then beat four eggs with a half cup sour cream. Now, I grated some Asiago cheese (GOTTA LOVE HARD
CHEESES) I just read about a Norwegian study that showed the benefits of eating hard cheeses in raising good HDL cholesterol which helps to prevent heart disease. Rubbed a bit of butter around the cupcake tin and filled with the leek mix and some cheese. Then poured in the egg mix and topped with a little more cheese. Baked at 350 for about 25 minutes and they
were brown, puffy and smelled fabulous. I let them sit on the counter for a bit, maybe twenty minutes or so. Then just use a knife to loosen the edges and pop them out. 

I then made a Waldorf. So good. Organic apples are in season at the farmers markets now. So this is all organic, sliced celery, black grapes (sorry, from Winco)((they carry a lot more organic of late)) a red onion, and a diced apple. And a few pecans from Picacho and mix
all together and coat with yogurt with just a touch of honey.  

The picture at the top of the page shows an eighth of a cantaloupe. Sadly this is the last of the REAL summer melons. Local Cantaloupes are done for the season. You can buy melons at the grocery stores. But they are sad Sad SAD. If you have never had a real picked when ripe cantaloupe then you have no idea what you're missing. Grocery store melons are picked when hard, shipped for who knows how long, and have little flavor. And little resemblance to real melons. I eat a lot of melon in the summer. It's worth a drive to the farmers market just to pick them up. And the variety of other melons, amazing. Orange flesh Honeydew are my favorite.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why I don't go to dentists. Or how I learned to save the world and love the bomb

Few will recognize the Dr. Stangelove reference. So be it. Few have the same odd sense of humor I have. Few are reading this because they want to know why....

I gave up drinking sugary sodas back in the late seventies. By that time, I had had 4 cavities and one eventually rotted and caused the tooth to die precipitating a root canal and crown. I chose a gold crown, cuz it was cooler looking. Then, I went every two years after marriage, but I stopped as there were no problems and I adopted the dental regime of my paternal grandfather. The man was a horrific human, bigoted, opinionated (he gave new definition to that term) and just an all around obnoxious person. But he did have nice teeth in his nineties. He brushed with peroxide and baking soda. I started that as well and found no need for dentists. 

But, one time, some thirty-one years after the affixing of a gold crown onto my tooth, the crown came off. I went to the dentist and requested that they apply their special glue and for me the world would be a better place. Nothing ever works out the way one wants it to.

I get into the chair, the technician, a very attractive blond with a winning smile and incredibly over whitened teeth. She takes a probe and begins to insert it between the tooth and gum on the front row of my bottom teeth. I grab her arm and tell her to stop. I don't want that. She tells me the purpose is to determine how much room there is between tooth and gum and what might become of my teeth should there be excessive gaps. I asked her not to do that, and to proceed with the X-rays as I had thought that was the reason why she had come in. That's what the receptionist told me would occur first. She sighed, then took the pictures. I waited, and eventually the dentist came in. 

Slipping the X-rays into the viewer, he starts off by telling me there are gaps in the area between the gums and teeth and this will necessitate a cleaning and planing of the area below the gum line. Four visits to complete all the work, financing available. I ask him where the gaps are. He then takes a closer look at the pictures and points to the two front teeth where the technician had poked the probe in. I pointed this out, I said there only seem to be two teeth where this has occurred, and the gap was caused by the probing and luckily there are no other gaps as I stopped her at two. 

My dentist was silent, but only for a moment. Well now let's look at what's going on here then, he began. We need to grind down those sharp edges and build up some areas so we can get a good impression for a nice porcelain crown there. And we need to work on that little caries there and we can always grind out those other three old cavities and get new porcelain crowns to replace them. And I think we need to remove your wisdom teeth, once that's done you'll have a lot more room in there and we won't have any more problems like this in the  future.

I was actually a little dumbfounded. I had no idea that my mouth was in such poor shape as I have never had any problems in the past thirty-one years. So I stopped the dentist and said, all I want is to have the gold crown glued back on. That's it. OH NO!!!!!  You can't get that done, the base of the tooth has actually rotted a bit and the areas where the crown was attached are gone. There needs to be a tremendous amount of work done to prep your mouth in order to get this to work and not cause any troubles in the future. 

Why do I need the wisdom teeth pulled? To give you more room. The teeth help me chew food, they are not giving me trouble, never had. Why would I put myself through anything to achieve a result that is without any realistic benefit. More room is pretty abstract. Again, silence. But only for a moment. I need to get the other cavities taken care of, crowns are much better than fillings, the root planing is a necessary procedure, the small caries (which is a depression in the upper left front molar and has been there for decades) needs to be drilled out and a crown made. And the wisdom teeth is a normal procedure with lifelong benefits.  And he jumped up and as he left he told me the technician will help with scheduling all the needed work. 

I got up and left. They mailed me a bill for over six hundred dollars. I never paid it. That was fourteen years ago. To this day I have a gap between the molars on the lower right side where a gold crown used to be, but of which I now carry said crown around in my wallet. A souvenir of sorts. I don't drink soda. That right there causes more dental problems than anything else in modern life. I gave up most sugary things long long ago. And of recent years, I gave up all sugars and all processed foods. And that has helped the bone degeneration caused by the intervention of modern medical practitioners that used drugs to treat symptoms and never actually ever attempted to learn the real reason why I was sick. They didn't really care, it wasn't their life they were practicing on. 

So, I drink a pot of coffee a day. I smoke cigars. And my teeth are pretty white. Not like the fancy TV models, but white. I don't have dental problems, I don't have tartar buildup. I don't eat the foods that cause them. And I never use fluoride toothpaste, it says right on the label, don't swallow. If you do, call the poison control center. The tooth gap only bothers me when I eat nuts. And for the most part, my life is a lot better off with out having had to go back and spend a fortune on work that did not need to be done. Oh Dr. Strangelove, what have you taught us over the decades?


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Spur of the moment cooking - - Why NOT? you can do it also, it's Fantastic!!

Criminy, it's been weeks since I posted anything about food. It's the heat. That's a lie. It's actually my relationship problems. Seems to be a theme in my life, me and women blowing me off from a date made at their invitation. Oh well, no more beer filled evenings, I have got to get my life on track and priorities straight. Sort of stopped working on the business plan and realistically, stopped just about everything. All done, this is something I cooked this morning and it was fantastic.

Super easy, and wondrously spectacular. Stuff in the fridge and from the cupboard. Easy peasy. Just sliced a Yukon Gold potato into pretty thin slices. (You just have got to have a very sharp knife to do this. Or mandolin) ((perhaps I should do an article about how to sharpen knives -Yes-No))
So I took three potatoes and sliced them, a large leek and sliced it as well. Then a green pepper and cut the sides off and cut the sides into thin slivers. Sliced 4 scallions and chopped some cilantro. Then broke three eggs into a bowl and beat them well with a quarter cup Marsala and a half cup of sour cream. Melted a couple tablespoons real
organic butter in a saute pan and added a tablespoon olive oil. Then made a ring of potato slices. Next comes the leek. (Do you know how to make any dish that contains a leek? Well according to Julia Child, First you have to take a leek) Then pile on the pepper, sliced scallions and cilantro. Pour the egg mixture over it all, top with some grated cheese and then another
layer of potato. Drizzle some olive oil over the potatoes and add lots of black pepper. Continue to cook on the stove for about ten minutes, then put in the oven and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes. I like a bit of browning, so I then put it under the broiler for a few, just until browned. 

 A nice lunch meal. And no meat.