Thursday, June 7, 2012

real food - part two

homemade granola bars | photo: franksteiner
This is a second guest post (part one located here) by Alex Clark who ran the blog A Moderate Life. She's given permission to share this story with you. 

This morning, my daughter told me that there were only two granola bars left in the fridge.  This is a huge change from years ago when I would find empty cardboard boxes with bright colors in my pantry and have to run out to the store at night, ruining my evening with bright fluorescent store light.  I think its because my daughter REALLY loves my granola bars.

I say mine because I make them from scratch. But making them from scratch means you can’t just magically have them ready.  They take time, as does everything related to Real Food, and that pisses some people off and turns them away from this healthful way of life. When, along the way, did we all begin to really believe that FAST and QUICK was better than NICE and SLOW?  When did we start to think that convenience was much more important in our lives than GOOD?

I actually know people who would rather take a frozen dinner and stick it in the microwave for their kids than take a pot out of the cupboard and heat up a can of soup because it takes less effort and it is ready more quickly. I am not talking to those people. They would never be able to GET what Real Food is about, and they only see food preparation as a chore that must be done in order to fuel their charges.

I am here to talk to the folks who have made a choice to eat healthy and are willing to make an investment in terms of money to buy healthy ingredients. I am here to ask them now to make a bit more of an investment in order to increase their returns tremendously. It is an investment in time. Real Food takes time. It takes preparation; that’s why some folks call it the Slow Food Movement.

I know some folks who only have Real food on holidays. At that point, they understand, and accept that it takes time to cook a turkey, or roast a leg of lamb, and they are willing to wait because the dinner is gonna be so stinkin' delicious that it is worth it. I am sad for those people who will wait patiently for a meal two or three times a year, because why not wait patiently EVERYDAY to get delicious, nutritious and AMAZING foods?

I won’t compromise…I simply won’t! I am at the point where I have enough “hours logged” in this lifestyle that it is no longer overwhelming, and I am here to share with you a few tips on how to make the transition easier in your life.  It’s also important to note that as a moderate life enthusiast, I have sifted through the information on traditional cooking and found the things that appeal and are most important to me, and those are the areas I focus on.  Taking on too much is a recipe for disaster, because All or Nothing usually ends up being nothing at all. First–BE PATIENT!!!Your investment of time is in small increments.  It does not take two days to bake a loaf of 100% Sourdough bread , it takes about 30 minutes of actual work and two days of waiting and then 55 minutes of baking, a few minutes to cool and slice and bag and you have bread for a few days…bake two loaves and freeze them and you have bread for a few more days! Its all about figuring out how to maximize your return on invested time! This is so key because you have to be able to plan ahead for things.  Your chicken stock simply isn’t going to appear unless you make it, and it isn’t going to be ready in fifteen minutes, it takes 10 hours, but you only worked about 15 minutes to throw everything in that crock pot.

You should get a calendar exclusively for food prep chores.  I make kombucha, sauerkraut and other pickled vegetables, whey, cream cheese, bread, whey soda, sprouts, sprouted wheat flour, crispy nuts, healthy cookies, granola bars, soaked oatmeal and bone stock on a regular basis. I put into my calendar when something needs to be started, how long it takes to complete and when I need to start to make more. This makes it easy and helps me to shop for supplies each week, because I always know what I am making, and I always then have things stocked to throw together wonderful food.  I am adding a milk club to my calendar so I can get fresh real milk, and that will also take time to pick up, store in my nifty glass containers like in the old days and process if I want to make yogurt or kefir.  When you see things written down and you see the dates, you won’t get overwhelmed with the process of it, and you won’t take on more than you can chew because it’s all laid out for you. [note: why didn't I think of this? So much easier than all my stickie notes tacked onto my jars reminding me of the days. I have a mom's calendar and now that not all the kids live at home there's a blank column. Perfect for this task.]

Understand, this is the way our grandmothers lived, before the advent of technology and mechanization of many household chores, so it’s in our genetic memory. I remember her explaining to me how she would wash on Monday, dry on Tuesday, fold and iron on Wednesday! How she would can vegetables, and make jam during the growing season to stock up for winter.  Now, we can do things much more quickly and we have many more options, so that should leave you plenty of time to do your Real Food Chores. No excuses! Once you begin the process, it’s easy as those oatmeal raisin cookies that I will bake tomorrow because the oats are soaking over night!  Enjoy your food, slow down, take your time and create something worth relishing!


1 comment:

Sam said...

Where can we get her reciepe for the the granola bars?