Many of you have probably seen that dorky commercial that involves a person eating something and that food item becomes animated and starts thrashing it's ingestor. I hate that commercial, it's UGLY! But, it is true, your food can hurt you. Many people suffer from food allergies, digestive issues and other possibly related illnesses. It's imperative that every food consumer understands that they have a responsibility to themselves and those that they serve, know safe food handling and practice those proceedures. You can save a life and it might be yours!
Okay, now that I've provided you with my public service announcement....I want you to take the time to really read over the following information on the link I provide you today. It's one thing to practice your own safety standards but, "who's minding the store", so to speak. If the food is entering the market already contaminated and the public is non the wiser, what then??? There SHOULD BE REAL SAFEGUARDS in place but, maybe that's just being naive. Who is REALLY protecting our food market safety? What is being done? What is not working? Who even cares? Food consumers, nowadays, must be knowlegable and proactive, otherwise, we're fair game for exploitation and fraud. And, I personally, do not believe the NEW FOOD SAFETY bill is just about protecting us, the consumers. When you can, get a copy and read the thing. The people who signed it into law probably DIDN'T read it at all!!
I found another one so I can't resist passing it on so that I can do my part to educate others as to the controversies regarding GMO's.
I can only apologize for not attending to my blog lately. We are dealing with many issues related to my parents' health and keeping up with managing their affairs. It's a bit distracting from all the other things I would like to be doing.
Chef Roland is keeping quite busy working with a local non-profit in developing their baking/culinary program for rehabilitating persons. It's an awesome program. We have managed to work in a few outside projects and I will hopefully have pics up soon. In addition, we will be involved in some private culinary classes, some culinary presentations and helping with our church to develop their concept for gardening/culinary/food preservation classes. Though we live in a very rural area, I can't believe how many opportunities keep popping up in the most unexpected places.
We are also looking at the possibility of collaborating with two local venues to present culinary classes to our immediate community, with the idea that we will possiby start our own small cooking school nearby. Lots going on.
In the meantime, I am persisting to find what I can regarding the GMO/hybrid/Mansanto connection. I hope you find the link I've included to be interesting regarding an article that ran in the NYTimes. As you read the article, especially take note of the reference to how Mansanto is brought into this article. I really wish their could be some kind of public pressure that could be organized and brought to bear on Mansanto and the FDA. Any political activists reading this???
I would love to hear back from some of you as to what your thoughts are on this most important subject of GMO labeling.
Since I've referred to Mansanto in various articles and links I've posted, I thought I would give you a link that, I think, gives a very good overview as to why we should be concerned about this corporation and how it is negatively impacting our world. Here's the link:
I've already admitted to you all that I'm the food/cooking novice in the family. Maybe that's a good thing? You know, they say that "too many cooks spoil the broth" and I know that for sure, I don't want to have to compete with Chef Roland in the kitchen. But, I decided that this year, I'm going to put it on my "list" to start trying my hand at various dishes, with the intention of cooking Christmas Dinner for my family (if any are brave enough to come) next year. I've been reading over some recipes, seeing which ones I'll try first and have found one for my soup and one for my first course that I'm not going to reveal until I know I can succeed. I'll keep you posted as to my progress!
One of the recipes calls for sultanas and when I come across a food word that is new to me, I like to pass that information on to those of you who are Gourmet Beginners, like me. The new word is "sultanas" and even if you know what they are, I think you will find the link I'm using to be informational and entertaining.
I did manage to make a couple of different kinds of cookies for the holiday that I am gifting to others (if I can manage not to eat them all up) and think they are a bit different than the usual fare I see others preparing. I made chocolate shortbread and thumpprint cookies with apricot preserve centers. They are delicious, if I may say so without bragging. They're simple enough and I found the recipes in a magazine.
If you would like to share stories or comments about your christmas cookie experiences this season, please submit them via our blog comment box and I'll be happy to post them. Sometimes the stories are just as good as the cookies, if not better!
Definition of Sultanas: http://www.ochef.com/676.htm
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & Bon Appetit!
When your food culture reflects diversity and is based on food quality, I don't think you can go wrong. It took me several trips to France to really appreciate Terroir. I truelly believe that if Terroir were practiced in the U.S. as it is in France, we would see a signigicant turnaround in the quality of our food choices in the general food markets and the revival of our small independent farms, which are disappearing. Here is an artical that will introduce you to the relationship between Appelation d'Origine Controlee and the preservation of Terroir, the origination of food products.
We should all know that "globalism" is not a new concept. Due to trade routes and the exchange of ideas through world leadership, in one way or another, we all influence one another. I am a huge proponent of nationalism and the promotion of one's own national culture. However, there is no denying we've all taken ideas from one another and tweaked them to satisfy our own likes and dislikes. With that said, I would like to offer you some articles on French Culinary History that I think give a good overview of the progression of French Gastronomy and how it affects us today.
I really don't know how to convey the understanding that bread is a vital and beloved element of the French Food Culture. Bread seems almost sacred to them. When Roland began to introduce me to the world of bread I was one of those that believed that "the cheaper, the better". I had absolutely no concept of what quality bread even looked like. I had heard of sourdough bread but I had no clue as to the difference between artificially manufactured sourdough and naturally made sourdogh. I was amazed the first time I saw him peeling apples that would become part of the fermentation process that would be the start of our incredible homemade sourdough bread. Roland loves to make bread and during the winter months it's an especially nice treat to have the warmth and smell of fresh baked bread floating around!
I have some pics of various French Breads from our culinary tour, A Taste of LeBerry, that we took in 2010. Unfortunately, I've not got them posted in our photo journal, as yet. As soon as I return to Missouri from Texas, I'll try to get those up. Who knows? Maybe you will be enticed to make your own bread. Roland is available for cooking classes in your home. What a fun experience for you and a group of your friends to learn to make your own bread. Contact us for our various cooking classes and pricing.
Here are some articles I found of some who truely appreciate the experience of French Bread:
Roland has tried to explain to me why creme fraiche is so special and that often, it's been a challenge to find the real deal. I didn't get it until after I had some and, it's marvelous!! It is so versatile and can be incorporated into many things from desserts to the main dish. Creme Fraiche is a mainstay in many French dishes.
I guess I thought of it more like a sour cream but, in actuality, it's something quite different. I have included some different articles that will give you a taste of what creme fraiche is all about and some sampling of the different ways it can be used.
I really hesitated to bring up the subject of Foi Gras because it's a VERY controversial subject. Considered a fine taste that primarily is one of the epitomies of fine French dining, you can't really talk about Fine French Dining without the subject of Foi Gras coming up. But, surely, you could put yourself in danger by doing so! I read of a recent situaion where an animal activist group attempted to burn down a restaurant that was serving Foi Gras. So, food consumer BEWARE! You could be considered what you are by what you eat.
This partiuclar article brings out the controversy of Foi Gras but also gives the reader a good idea of what is Foi Gras. I've had it and I think it's wonderful! But, I can understand, to a point, what the Vegan people and the Animal Activists are upset about. The whole question of food production needs to be be reconsidered by all of us.
After reading ove the article I ask you to give the subject of Foi Gras some consideration. And, if you have the opportunity, try it and decide for yourself what you think.
When Roland and I met, I was one of those people who opened the box or can and warmed up the family meal. After our marriage in 2005, I truely began to appreciate what food is really about, not only that it can taste very good, and be nutritious, but that it can be a celebration of who you are and the people that you share it with.