I’m not going to write about my crumbling edifice except to say that for three weeks I’ve been focused on a spine issue that has puzzled, distressed, and exhausted me. My life has been a blur of sleeplessness and visits to doctors, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and the LMH emergency room.
One thing I’ve learned, incidentally, from this nightmare is that my blood levels of chloride and sodium are low. These are electrolytes, for Pete’s sake, and the body’s intricate electrical (nervous) system needs them to run smoothly.
Fifty years ago my mom had to give up salt in her diet for medical reasons. Watching her distress over unappetizing, unsalted food, I decided right then to reduce by half the amount of salt called for in recipes. That’s what I’ve done ever since, but apparently I’ve overdone it.
Now I’m trying to learn to like salt again. This morning at breakfast, as I spread my toast with salted butter, I got to thinking about food fads and how silly some of them are. Consider salted butter – most contemporary recipes that include butter specifically call for unsalted butter. Then they instruct the cook to add salt. That, to me, is an artifice and a bit of snobbery.
As I learned at my grandmother’s knee when she churned cream into butter, unsalted butter is essentially tasteless. She always added salt at the end of her labor of turning the crank that moved the paddle in her churn and working the wad of resulting butter with a wooden spoon to press out all of the drops of buttermilk.
So I say phooey on unsalted butter.
Another affectation – one that seems to have subsided a bit – was the balsamic vinegar craze. As vinegars go, balsamic is very strong tasting, and that strong taste can easily overwhelm the taste of salad vegetables. Now the consensus seems to have shifted to red wine vinegar, but I’ll bet there’s half-used bottle of balsamic vinegar in most of our kitchen cabinets.
I don’t know why our culture is so easily enticed to faddishly take up new foods, (think quinoa, think kosher salt) but we seem to have an insatiable hunger for the different and we strive to create something totally new to eat as well as something superior.
Recently at a new Japanese restaurant I ordered, at a friend’s recommendation, something named Avocado Bomb. (Yep, that’s it in the photo.) It turned out to be a construction of shrimp, mango, unidentifiable white things, and slices of avocado topped with red roe and spicy sauces. It was interesting but my interest waned long before the bomb had disappeared into my maw.
Personally, I favor the old tried and true in my diet. Fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy are a marriage made in heaven to me. Nothing beats bacon and eggs for breakfast, or for supper for that matter. Lettuce and tomato salad during homegrown tomatoes season rates a ten in my book.
But you all go ahead and fill your cabinets with ten kinds of vinegar, dozens of spice bottles, and all the other fashionable ingredients as they come and go. Please let me know how it all turns out.
Copyright 2017 by Shirley Domer