Food and Drink, Living in This World

Slow Food

Snowman’s school follows each of the first two trimesters with a week of Intensives, classes that are designed to spark the kinds of interests not necessarily met in the regular school program. This fall one of those subjects will be Slow Food. I’m helping arrange for the students to prepare a meal at the soup kitchen downtown. But just talking about Slow Food is affecting our lives at home, too. The past two evenings, Snowman and I have cooked dinner with as little packaged material involved as possible.

Now, the dirty truth is that I am not an enthusiastic cook. If I have a grand expanse of time, I can do pretty well, but on the average busy day, I would just as soon get something out of the freezer or — gasp! — might even suggest Evil Fast Food. But my children are becoming fond of real food, cooked at home, and they nudge me in that direction.

Part of the Slow Food idea is that you should know what is in your food and where it was prepared, or at least that is what Snowman tells me. Last night we made home fries and cheesey scrambled eggs, and tonight it was tuna casserole. We did not resort to Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup as an aid, nor did we give up entirely when we burned the roux the first time around. (Yes, I know some cooking words.)

These meals took a long, long time to prepare, for one reason or another.  They were not thrown together. We really enjoyed eating them. They were simple but delicious. It felt good to eat them. They were authentic.

And all this authenticity got me thinking about something that may seem unrelated: the page scandal in Washington and the notion that it is possible to "take the responsibility" for something without actually taking any blame or making any kind of recompense, without being changed in any way. You see, I could say, "I’m cooking a real meal for my family tonight," yet get out a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with the powdered orange stuff that doesn’t seem like cheese at all. Or I can melt a little butter and stir in some flour, add warm milk and whisk it while it thickens, then stir in grated cheddar and pour it over multigrain pasta and tuna. Both of these things are fixing dinner, but only one is a real meal in which all the components are readily identifiable, and in only one of these cases am I making any kind of effort. And the effort is changing my attitude about what I will cook tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

BigmacWhen Dennis Hastert says he is taking responsibility, it is the Kraft version. He does not intend to sacrifice anything to show that he cares or to actually suffer any loss of time or prestige or power due to his participation in covering up the actions of Mark Foley.

I don’t think he understands that Fast Food apologies are about as good for us as a Big Mac. They get a response from the public taste buds, but all they do in the end is clog the public arteries.

16 thoughts on “Slow Food”

  1. Cooking “slow food” changes your whole mentality on food and in lifestyle. We have to “stay put” and hang around then kitchen while food transforms. We have to pay attention to the food. Gee, we might not be able to spend as much time on the computer!

  2. great post
    And by the way, your chocolate cake recipe has become a regular in our house. As the littlest one had a piece with supper tonight, I promise he let out an audible moan. I’ve made it for the covered dish at church and for a friend in need. I’m making, on average, one a week. It’s doing terrible things to my diet, but my chocolate cravings are definitely satisfied!!

  3. Although I guess with its dependence on box mix and box pudding, it’s not exactly slow food. Isn’t there some room in our lives for Fast Cake?

  4. My son has a wheat allergy, so we make lots of slow food. If we want pizza, I have to make it! My favorite thing, during the school year, is my slow cooker. I admit that we rely on the Chinese take out place (at least once a week) but it is family owned,and they follow slow food principles.

  5. I’m so glad to hear that some schools are actually teaching real cooking with real food.
    My Little Sprout can make a mean tomato & grape salad but she also knows where we keep the Chinese takeout menu ; ) She was overwhelmed by disbelief when our microwave started sparking a few months ago & we decided not to replace it. Can a person survive without a microwave?
    She’s still not sure.

  6. we make slow food most of the time- with two diabetics and one son with a heart condition it is essential- sometimes we mix our meals- part slow food part fast food- but I am always more satisfied when I feel I have cooked well… if only there were anothewr day in the week!

  7. What a great post and a great analogy/connection you’ve made. You’ve really gotten me thinking. AND wishing I had more time to cook.

  8. Songbird and KLee have both managed to get me, the non-blogger, to reply to their blogs on the same day. Could this be a sign of the Apocalypse? (The cake, perhaps….the recipe looks very yummy.)
    I’ve never heard the term “slow food” but it seems I’ve been making it all along. It helps that I love cooking. But the truth is most packaged food is way too salty for my taste. I’m more of a pepper girl.

  9. I’m taking a class called Repentance and Forgiveness here at PTS. We are reading some books about apologizing. One of the books we’re “browsing” is called My Bad: 25 Years of Public Apologies. I feel like most public apologies fall more in the saving face category than the genuinely sorry, willing to change my life to fit my words category. It’s sad that so many people are willing to accept such nonsense.

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