A Complete List of Terrapin Cove’s
Fall & Holiday Cooking Classes
can be found at terrapincovefarm.com
Paella & Spanish Cookery.
Saturday, August 24 at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, August 25 at 3:30 p.m.
Sangria, Patatas Bravas, Seafood Paella, Flan.
$55 per person
Cajun Fish Camp.
Saturday, September 7 at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, September 8 at 3:30 p.m.
Hushpuppies, Fried Catfish, Coleslaw with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette,
Remoulade Sauce, Cocktail Sauce, Home-Made Moon Pies.
$45 per person / $6 for glass of wine.
Fall in the French Countryside.
Saturday, September 14 at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, September 15 at 3:30 p.m.
Shrimp Salad Remoulade, Perfectly Roasted Free-Range Chicken 101,
Potatoes Gratin, Chocolate Souffle.
$55 per person / $6 for glass of wine.
For a complete list of classes visit terrapincovefarm.com.
To sign up for one of the classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Private Parties: I have been pleased to host a number of private parties at my cabin this summer. A hands-on cooking class that includes a little grilling, a lot of socializing, more cooking, and then eating out on the deck overlooking Farmer Lake.
Private parties can also be hosted at your home (minimum 6 guests). Email email@example.com for more information and available dates.
Who’s Minding the Kitchen?
In last week’s London Daily Telegraph, William Leith reported that societies that cook more meals are slimmer and healthier. It seems that 16.9 percent of the French, who spend an hour preparing meals each day, are classified as obese, while the obesity rate for Americans, who spend 27 minutes preparing daily meals, is at 33.9 per cent.
For the article, Leith interviewed Jean-Michel Cohen, a French diet doctor, as well as American whole food advocate Michael Pollan to find out if cooking at home can actually improve one’s health.
Cohen asserts that the answer to losing weight is to cook more meals, although he assumes that “what you cook is healthy, with lots of fresh vegetables and high-quality protein.”
In exploring the topic, Leith moves beyond the subject of weight loss to ask: “What if cooking, in and of itself, promotes healthy eating? What if cooking, like a good recipe, adds up to more than the sum of its parts?”
“When you cook, you have to think about ingredients, buy them, chop them up, heat them, watch as they transform into a meal, and clean up afterwards. All the time, you are in control. Psychologically speaking, cooking from raw ingredients is nothing like eating fast or processed food; it’s the opposite of eating sandwiches at your desk.”
Michael Pollan agrees: When you cook, you are both the producer and the consumer. You are forced into become aware and taking responsibility for what you consume.
The act of cooking, he asserts, is what helped us evolve from apes into humans, and all advances in cooking, until recently, improved our health. However, when we began processing food, everything changed. Food became less nutritious—the more you broke down a grain of wheat, the more it was transformed into empty calories.
Around this same time, we came up with another reason to remove ourselves from the kitchen: we wanted to do fun stuff, like watch TV and play computer games. But who would cook for us now that mom had gone to work or was out shopping with the “girls”?
Just like Mighty Mouse, food corporations came to save the day. The motivation of these corporations, however, were not the same as your Mom’s.
“Cooks want food to taste good,” writes Pollan. “Corporations want it to be cheap and easy to make, store, and transport. Sugar is all of these things. As is refined flour. And hydrogenated fat.” And in this way we were introduced to “edible food-like substances’ on which we have been hooked ever since.
Food for thought; however, this column is not about cooking to lose weight, although I wish it were true in my case. Instead I want to talk about other “perks” of cooking at home, despite the harried and hurried life you lead.
Here is Pollan, again: “The decline in home cooking,” her writes, “closely tracks the rise in obesity and all the chronic diseases linked to diet.” Whether you lose weight or not, if you prepare healthy meals you will improve your health.
And what about children? What are they learning from us? What kind of cooks will they become? As adults, when they seek comfort food, will they prepare their mother’s buttermilk fried chicken? Most likely they will hit the drive-through for chicken mcnuggets and pick up a box of instant mashed potatoes at the grocers.
I know that takes time to involve children in the cooking process . . . and patience; however, it is like my grandson digging up his first potatoes. He will never forget where potatoes originate. If we want our children to become wise consumers, then they need to experience what happens prior to opening their Happy Meal boxes.
This past week, three of my grandchildren (ages 6-10) made grilled pizza from scratch. They measured the ingredients, stirred and kneaded the dough, formed individual pizzas, and gently positioned them on the grill, then positioned their favorite toppings—mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, pan seared tomatoes, pepperoni, and ham.
From start to finish, the entire process took less than 40 minutes. This was the same amount of time it would have taken me to order pizza and go pick it up, Which activity did the children find more enjoyable? Which taught them the miracle of yeast?
If we want to change our offspring’s eating habits, we might begin by encouraging them to become both producers and consumers. During sojourns to the grocery store or farmer’s market, let them select the freshest produce or hormone-free meat.
Show them how to make their fast food favorites at home. My daughter’s children love “John’s Christmas Chicken” which is a home-fried boneless chicken breast cut in strips (aka chicken nugget). Although it is floured and fried, I know that the chicken is cage free and that it includes John’s “secret spices” –real spices with no MSG, ribonucleotide, or disodium inosinate.
Real food. . . perhaps the time is right for it to make a come-back.