When I transitioned to a grain-free diet, I was petrified of sacrificing flavor. I was used to in-your-face sweetness and fatty textures ie lots of dairy, cheese, grains, breads, baked goods, and sugar in all forms. Those flavors are easy delicious; they’re engineered to give you a dopamine hit, and they taste unquestionably amazing. After cutting most of them out, how would I easily achieve delicious with the new foods I was eating? And also, how would I appease the palates of those closest to me, and that live with me, and eat with me every day?
A few nights ago over dinner, Derek and I were discussing which ONE food we would choose to survive on for the rest of our lives. Because we’re going into some sort of armageddon, right? Because we don’t have 500 supermarkets in a one-mile radius, right? No, I’m just dramatic and must know these answers. Derek said bacon, duh. I said avocado, duh, too, because a more perfect food does not exist. My number two, though, is sweet potato.
I would give beef stew a million hugs and kisses if I didn’t look like a complete psycho doing so. It might be the fact that my grandmother used to make it for me when I was a tiny hispanic child, in the form of carne con papa. Or the fact that I feel like it’s tangible love. That tender beef, with the bite of tomato and aromatics, just gets me. I get it, too. And I suspect you do as well.
Many people are intimidated to make beef stew, but it is quite simple to prepare. Most grandmother-y meals are inherently simple. Think about it, grandmothers don’t want fuss. They have lots of people to feed and stomachs to nourish. Because that’s what they do, they love. Let’s do it.
I consume recipes voraciously. Surprise, surprise. I have an infatuation with trying every method ever invented in my constant and futile search for “the best”. Of course I have my staples, but I’m always reaching. This can be tricky, trying new recipes all the time, because how do you trust it’s gonna turn out okay? That’s a whole lotta faith. Some people don’t work like that. My mom, for example, has her greatest hits, like REALLY great hits, and keeps them locked into her playlist. She always knows she’ll receive accolades and OMG’s after making something, because she played the favorites up-front.
We’ve all had tahini. I hope.
Actually, that might not be true. Because I just asked my honey if he knew what tahini was and he said no. Seeing that it came from a can mildly traumatized him. I guess I’ve rubbed off on him. Regardless, tahini is obsessively good. Like so good that you might eat it out of the can by the spoonful. Yes, my favorite brand of tahini, Joyva, comes from a can and I don’t care at all.
A life remote-control is on my Christmas list. I want pause, rewind, and power off. Fast forward is one I seem to have achieved already, though; states where time has mysteriously been deleted from reality. If you’re reading, maybe you’ve gone through it, too. Specifically, with a plate of delicious food.
For those of us that are, ahem, people that love to eat, sometimes we fantasize over the perfect plate of food for hours. During a day of drudgery, where everything has gone wrong, where you’re tired and the insides of your shoes hurt and you can’t curl your toes because it hurts too much, that delicious meal is the only thing you have to look forward to. You dream lust after it. It’s going to be so amazing. I can’t even pay attention right now because all I can think of is my delicious soup, my avocado with bacon and garlic powder and salmon, my fruit with nut butter. Sometimes, you wait months for a specific food. I can have ice cream on X day, because I’m a good person and I deserve it. I’ve abstained from chocolate for X amount of months so I can have it now. We’ve spent this time consumed with longing.
A lot of people ask me what I eat on a daily basis. Almost like it’s assumed that the gloriousness of my home cooking is fit for sultans because I know a thing or two about the kitchen. Let me give you a hint: it is NOT exciting. Just ask my boyfriend, who still brings up one of the only meals I’ve ever slaved over for hours for him, miso scallops & short ribs. I make special meals for us a couple times per month, but most of the time, we are eating boring, simple, tasty meals.
Sugar and I have a wonky relationship. I have fond memories of being civilized with it, eating one bite of something and leaving it alone. Lots of people display this talent. I used to be one of them. To be honest, I don’t know if I had more self-control in the past, or I overhauled my diet now, but we are no longer friends. I think it’s dietary, because it wasn’t until I went cold turkey and added it back in that my body realized how good it felt without it. It now messes up my mood, makes me feel anxious, and makes me look pregnant. This has been a sad revelation for me.