Monday, 7 March 2011

parsley thief

Gourmand and recipe blog Food 52 (via Huffington Post) shares an array of dishes with sophisticated taste yet very simple to prepare, provided one can overcome the dual hitches of unfamiliarity and cooking languor. Recipe searches that can round-up, given a list of ingredients at hand, dinner ideas are clever things and sometimes motivational, but perhaps without an assigned challenge, one is too quick to fall back into old habits. I like how this one site takes the extra step, to ensure excuses are at a premium, of listing substitute items--acceptable alternatives instead of just shopping to the recipe.
Maybe the more obvious draw-back--hitch, however, is that these meals are poised to promote the vegetarian agenda--at least that's what the take-away is. Food is political and politicized enough without the appeal to meatless Mondays, which to many sounds like a dire austerity, an anachronistic sacrifice, and not like the invitation it really is to take smaller steps. Despite whatever flurry and preponderance of facts about sustainability is heard or ignored and whatever the individual's belief and convictions, attitudes and not the means, like so much genetically modified cropstuffs, climate change or fields of grain diverted as fuel-filler, should be what's weaponized. Quinoa will always seem a bit exotic and inaccessible, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but experimentation won't be broached with something on such a short and divisive fuse. Cuisine should not be ceded to the apothecary or potentate--or vice-versa. The art and activity of cooking is an achievement, regardless of one's talents and propensities, and expression but should not be mobbed with opinion and vitriol. There are a good deal of recipes that can reflect one's stance and conduct, without alienating the conscience and scruples of others, just by what's omitted. Menu reduction and replacement might also be interesting food experiment.