Friday, April 10, 2009

You Are What You Eat

Agnes and I both love to cook. This is not a bad thing, because we both like to eat, too. And collect cookbooks. Every time we go to the local Costco megawarehousestore, cookbooks lie in wait for us, peering out from their ambush sites behind the latest thriller or historical fiction offerings for just the right moment to slide unseen into our cart, only to be discovered later when Agnes does her usual steely-eyed review of the receipt, just knowing we couldn't have spent that much.

We have a collection of cookbooks that is the envy of the Library of Congress. We have cookbooks for every conceivable type of cuisine, by every celebrity, from every charity, addressing every cooking style, using every ingredient.

Agnes: "What's for dinner?"

Me: "What do we have?"

Agnes (peering into refrigerator and pantry cupboards): "A pound of dried octopus, four kumquats, half a box of quinoa, and a block of some kind of cheese that needs a shave."

Me: "Look! Here in this Coastal Albanian Peasant Cooking for Two cookbook, there's a recipe for Octopus with Kumquats and Partially-Moldy Cheese on a Bed of Almost-Enough Quinoa!"

Agnes: "Yum!"

Actually, the truth is that we have so many cookbooks that we don't have enough time to search all of them for recipes, and can never find the cookbook with the recipes we want to use. We usually end up searching on for suitable recipes.

But, as usual, I digress.

Yesterday I noted this interesting article, reproduced on CNN's health page from Cooking Light magazine: What You Eat Can Improve Your Health, Mind, and Appearance. According to this article, eating a varied diet which includes a wide range of meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and grains provides all sorts of nutrients and vitamins and amino acids (acids from Italy) that contribute to health, vitality, mental acuity, and long life. Eat right and you, too, can have smooth and glowing skin, silky hair, eyes like an eagle, strong bones, a mighty heart, and a brain that would make Einstein look like the school dumbass.

What a crock.

I eat all this stuff, and I still look like a confused, squinting, gray-haired, saggy man in search of his second childhood. I drink fruit juices, eat vast quantities of vegetables, enjoy fish (brain food, as my Mother always said), and generally eat pretty much anything that doesn't move fast enough to get away, prepared in pretty much any style. I do draw the line at beets, though. Beets are what Satan put on earth to take the fun out of brussels sprouts, peas, green beans, and other yummy vegetables.

So if you are what you eat, I ought to be a leafy, finned character with gills and a vague resemblance to a cabbage resting atop a scaffolding of celery, asparagus, and carrots. At least I don't look like a large sack of Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Extra Large Value Meals, like many of the folks I have to squeeze next to in narrow seats on the bus.

Want to try the recipe I made for supper last night (Creole Catfish with Tartar Sauce and Red Rice), or a few nights ago (Chicken Breasts with Wild Mushrooms, Marjoram, and Marsala)? E-mail me and I'll send you the recipes. You'll thank me.

You are what you eat. Eat well. I need you around to read this blog for a long time.

Have a good day. Tomorrow is Cartoon Saturday!



John A Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John A Hill said...

I eat a wide variety of foods and am not afraid to try new things. I always tell my don't get to be this size by being picky about what you eat!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I've given all that up for I'll pass.

KKTSews said...

Sorry to say, but you and Agnes are mis-matched. A perfect marriage has one partner who acquires books and one who gets rid of them. Thus, I have very few cookbooks (moving often helps with that) and Mark has the designation of the Library of Congress' backup location for all books on Admiral Nelson, the Civil War and probably a few other topics. I sneak out the old stuff when I can cajole him into donating to the Library book sale.
Let us know what you're serving special for Easter.

Debbie said...

I think there's something to that article. I was a platinum blonde when I was little, but now I've eaten so much chocolate my hair is brown!
I'm with you on beets! (and parsnips)

Leslie David said...

Funny, I have a variety of cookbooks that I don't use--many of them veggie as well as ethnic, as well as the 3x5 card file of recipes that I've cut out, and a huge 3-ring binder full of stuff that I've downloaded--some of from the Washington Post food section. My favorite cookbook--Simply French (yes I know you don't like them)is a cookbook of recipes from the Provence region and I like them because besides the work of julienning veggies, the recipes are fairly simple and don't have my list of will-not-eat veggies, such as lima beans, black-eyed peas, okra, turnip greens, kale, collards or anything remotely resembling what is jokingly referred to as "Southern cooking." I don't mind beets. I like the recipes you include in the Studio One newsletter, I just want someone else to cook them for me. :)

I once told a woman that I was making split pea soup and she said, "Isn't that an awful lot of work, cutting up all those peas?" My response was, "Why no, no more trouble than painting the dots on the black-eyed peas."

fiona said...

I taught SB to cook and now I don't have to! He's still wading his way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Mz Child with some amazing dishes which I of course have to evaluate ;)

wv- supwel - hmmmmm

Mike said...


"and generally eat pretty much anything that doesn't move fast enough to get away"

A new word AND a new quote. I'm writing a book. Of course you'll get credit for some input.

Wv: ackli - yes that was very tasty.

Mrs. Geezerette said...

On behalf of all the BEETS in the world, I am mystified and saddened by your dislike of them.

What's not to like about BEETS that are roasted whole in a 450 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or so? The roasting releases the natural sugars in the beets. Cool them slightly after baking then peel them, dice or slice them, and put a pat or two of butter (the real stuff)on them. You end up with a luscious delicacy that will steal your heart. I guarantee it. You can't beat BEETS prepared this way.

Oh, and FYI, my collection of cookbooks rivals yours I am sure. I am known as the Queen of cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. Why not "post" your recipe for Chicken Marsala here on your blog rather than sending it in an email? Include photos. I want to see you preparing this dish.

The split pea soup story...that's a funny one, Leslie.

Amanda said...

By "beets" do you mean beetroot? The red thingi? I hate those! I never saw them before we moved to Australia at age 11. Then at a school camp I was that lovely colour and piled my plate with it. Ugh! Never again....

I love eating too. Over here, I don't use any cookbooks because I can't get any of those ingredients. BUT, I have been learning how to cook with all the Indonesian ingredients...good too!