Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't take me for granted!

Motivational speaker: Your choice selection of boxed cake mix.

Body: Have you ever been overcome by that wonderful feeling when you get that cake mix you wanted for only 50 cents? It can make any baker shout for joy! But those babies get stored away, and if you're a pack rat and a deal-diver like me, you stock up when those sales hit. Worse, you walk in the store with your grocery list, and walk out with some additional items you realy don't need but given their shelf life (or so as far as you know), you walk out with it thinking about the next batch of cup-cakes you want to make.

Warning! Those babies go BAD! And they teach us not to take those little moments of frugal victory for granted. You can't just use them when you want, on those nights you regain that sweet tooth of yours. You'll find that little critters have alreaady gotten to your secret stash before you (IF you leave them sitting there forever).

Food Lesson: Be wary of items that appear to have long shelf lifes. Any flour or grains should be stored cautiously or away in the fridge so that bugs don't get to them first!

Life Lesson: Don't take those simple joys for granted. When we overlook them or fail to remember them, they might not be there waiting for us when we're ready for them at a later time. Make reminders for yourself!

Out with the old, in with the new? Nope!

Motivational speaker: Fresh lotus root, leftover galbi from last week

Body: Instead of throwing out (good) leftovers, I have consistently tried to make new dishes out of them that I think would be tasty. The other day I made a tad bit too much Chili, which might I add was a big hit at work and at home, and once the tortilla chips and garlic cheese biscuits were gobbled up, I needed to do something with it for lunch. Not being much of a meat eater to begin with, I knew I needed something to go with it. The recipe I made was deliciously reminiscent of spaghetti and so that's exactly how my next meal came to be.

What I am proud of today is my special fusion-like creation! Got your head spinning? No worries. I'll break it down for you. I sliced up some lotus root I picked up at the Chinese market (mind you, these pack some delicious crunch if you're into that kind of thing - think water chestnuts) and wok-fried that with some leftover galbi from Thang Thang A Family Restaurant. And voila! I was pleasantly surprised with a dish that I am able to take with me for lunch until the end of the week.

Check it out! Note that lotus root comes to your grocery stores in a shade of 'nude' but darkens when cooked.

Food Lesson: Combine old with new for something spectacular!

Life Lesson: Be resourceful with what you have, you can still create new treasures when you think outside the box.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Food enriches life

My friend and roomie, Debbie, surprised me for my birthday with Thomas Keller's cookbook, ad hoc at home. I haven't finished flipping through the many interesting chapters and pictures, but I did get through some of the prologue...which I had to share!

When I think about why I enjoy food so much, it's hard to describe why it makes me happy, especially when the sensation of taste is so temporary. But I know that it does. I think Keller has a pretty good handle on explaining it.

"When we eat together, when we set out to do so deliberately, life is better, no matter your circumstances. Whether it's a sad or difficult time, whether it's an ordinary-seeming day, or whether it's a time of celebration, our lives are enriched when we share meals together." - Thomas Keller

So there you have Keller's insight on why we find joy in food. The joy of it is in sharing it!