I feel a little bit loony to write anything about cooking. Cooking? I know I just lost the three male friends who thought this was about roughing it when hunting and fishing in the great outdoors. Sorry if I mislead you…those of you still reading, allow me to share part of my indoor adventure into meal preparation.
First, let me admit that I have an amazing teacher. My cooking coach is my wife of 40+ years. Delores was fortunate to grow up with an incredible mother who, among other wonders, was a remarkable cook. She directed a public school cafeteria with nutritional, tasty cuisine that the kids actually ate. During courtship and the first two years of marriage, I enjoyed making the two-hour trip from Arkansas to Missouri many weekends to enjoy my mother-in-law’s table. Fortunately her daughter learned well. Unfortunately I enjoyed my wife’s cooking “weigh” too much in those first years of marital bliss gaining about 25 pounds. This wasn’t too bad since I had been a 165-pound bean pole standing over six feet tall when we got hitched. Over the next 30+ years I ballooned to 250+ pounds and into an unhealthy routine of taking daily medications for high blood pressure and diabetes. About the only time I went into the kitchen was for to snack, sample, or occasionally clean-up. In those days I would’ve had difficulty boiling water. I’ve come a long way, baby.
Nearly two years ago we began living a healthy lifestyle of eating organic, natural foods almost exclusively to detoxify our bodies. The food tasted delicious! I may have tasted it for the first time. As we made the shift from the SAD (Standard American Diet) USDA Food Pyramid to the Healing Foods Diet (nuts and seeds, organic vegetables, fruits, meats, and beans), I lost weight, got off all medications, and began to spend more time in the kitchen interested in how to prepare, not just clean up after, those delicacies. My ulterior motive was to eat some of my favorite foods whenever I wished without waiting for Delores to fix them. At the top of my list was creamed eggs. I only know a few earthlings who like this.
Understand one thing…I am a Type A, highly organized, near perfectionist; so when I learn something new, the ducks should line up. I write it down, so I can repeat it with similar results. I have a quote on my office wall, “If it isn’t in writing, it doesn’t exist.” I teach that to my college students. Imagine my chagrin when I’d ask my wife how much of a certain spice or condiment to add, and her reply was something like, “I’m not sure; I just use the dump method.” I quickly came to discover that the dump method really does work…most of the time. I also learned that you dump slowly at first and taste your dumpage results as you go. It is sooooo much easier to add seasoning than it is to remove it. Some of my recent endeavors as chef include fried chicken (in coconut oil, rolled in flax seed meal, egg, herbs, and brown rice flour); almond eggs (creamed eggs with almond milk and brown rice flour); bison, vegetable, bean soup; meatloaf made with lamb; and banana coconut chocolate drop cookies. Yes, I still am pretty good about cleaning up after myself; and no, I don’t always dump the same amounts. The mystery is part of the adventure.
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