02 July 2007

Food crisis (crises, rather, because they are many)

Crisis #1: I have a secret - I really can cook. I can. I'm very good at cooking; I can take pretty much any recipe and make whatever that is and it tastes good. What I'm not good at doing is time, planning (if you've ever met me, you know this is a perpetual problem, along with procrastination), and cleaning up.

I have plenty of cookbooks, some of which are useful and some are just for drooling over. The Opera Lover's Cookbook: Menus for Elegant Entertaining is a drool over; with chapters like "English Pub Supper with Gilbert & Sullivan," "Vodka Tasting with Russian Composers," "Mozart Dinner Party," and "Bel Canto Elegant Five-Course Dinner" I need a different lifestyle to get mileage out of the book's recipes. I love the recipes in the Earthbound Organic cookbook, they just take quite a bit of time to get the dishes made, which I know is the secret to great-tasting food, but when you spend most of the day at both jobs and then curled up in bed asleep a speedier (but still healthy) cookbook is necessary. So I'm consulting my Canyon Ranch cookbooks - mmm, spa food - there's a great frittata recipe right at the beginning of Canyon Ranch Cooks.

Crisis #2: I really need to lose about a stone because I look like food and I spend a lot of time together. My relationship with food is not good. I'm an ex-dancer and I have about as many hangups and binges as the rest; I just have slower metabolism. I'm not terribly overweight for my frame (I refuse to look at a BMI because all the number does is induce a major depressive episode and a succession of binges) but I've nearly passed the first third of my life and my metabolism was never speedy. I need to get a grip on feeding myself correct portions of good food so I don't eat out so many times; I love the noodle place and the bagel place but they are murder on my waistline (the coffee shop, too, since my biggest weakness is scones). I did actually cave and pick up several of the South Beach diet cookbooks. I don't ascribe to the no-carb theory; humans were not made to function on a no-carb/low-carb diet because the brain actually needs something like 60-70 grams of good carbs/day (if you've ever met me on a day when I haven't eaten much, you know I do not function at all; worse if there's no coffee or tea in sight). The Quick and Easy version has a great pear and goat cheese salad and the regular one has a really yummy Apricot Muffin (made with Splenda, it surprisingly tastes good).

Crisis #3: I am cooking for one. ONE. A recipe that makes two servings is great because I have a leftover for lunch or dinner the next day. If there are more than 3 or 4 servings, the dish gets kind of old. Some are really hard to halve - how to you divide three eggs? What is half an egg?

So this is my wish: A healthy/natural foods cookbook with recipes that take less than 20-30 minutes to prepare, has a proposed meal plan for those of us are calorie-impaired, uses ingredients that are available in the landlocked areas of the country, does not attach itself to any silly diet craze, and serves two (or one). Can I find a cookbook like this? Not really.

Current book-in-progress: Whatever I was reading yesterday.
Current knitted item: Eeyores (the little buggers are complicated - who thought this pattern up?)

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