Saturday, July 25, 2015

Harmony isn't usually on the way to anyplace else, but yesterday my cousin's family swung through town on their way to a church event in western Maine. I wasn't sure what her kids liked to eat, so I decided to stick with simple things: spaghetti and meatballs, fresh bread, cole slaw, brownies.

I made bread in the morning and started the sauce after lunch. Then I made the brownies. Mid-afternoon I made mayonnaise; grated cabbage, carrots, and turnips; and mixed up the cole slaw. (For tang, I also added a little plain yogurt and rice vinegar.) In the late afternoon I mixed the meatballs and simmered them in the sauce, then took them out, covered them, and put them into a slow oven to stay warm. I added cream and seasonings to the remaining sauce and let it sit till my cousin's family arrived. By the time they got here, all I had to do was boil water for spaghetti, reheat the sauce, and finish it with basil and parmesan.

In short: preparing this plain meal took me all day. I might as well have been making chicken kiev.

On the other hand, the children cleaned their plates and had seconds and took the leftover brownies away with them, and that is always a good sign.

As I was writing this entry, the catchphrase slow food popped into my head. So I googled it and was immediately presented with the option slow food for fast lives. I followed the link and ended up on an advertising site for kale granola bars. Apparently, slow food for fast lives equals expensive processed food with trendy ingredients. Slow food for slow lives seems to be an apter term for my cooking style, although I did not rely on a plethora of "locally sourced ingredients" (this is Maine, after a cold spring, and even real farmers are struggling) or follow "local culinary traditions" (in which case I would have made packaged American chop suey and Jello). I just made sauce, meatballs, bread, cole slaw, and brownies, and the only thing that came from a box was the spaghetti. To me, cooking this way just seems like food.

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