Some foodies never cook themselves, but enjoys eating out, and experiencing the world of food entirely from an eating point of view. Other foodies cook, but use artificial ingredients to make their food taste the best they can imagine.
The first kind, is someone I will never be, since my love of cooking almost (but not quite, emphasised by the "When Harry met Sally" kind of noices I sometimes tend to make, when taking the first bite of a meal) exceeds my love of eating. This, and my current student-budget has probably scarred me for life, not wanting to spend a lot of money eating a piece of salmon on a restaurant, paying twice (thrice) the price as it would cost me to cook it myself, and often being worse than what I can make in my own kitchen. I enjoy the occasional night out, since the atmosphere can be wonderful, but I seldom do it for the sake of the meal itself - not counting Michelin restaurants in Copenhagen!
The second kind is someone whom I will DEFINENTLY never be, as I cannot imagine anything with artificial ingredients tasting better than the real (properly prepared) deal! I believe that the reason a lot of people seek to use artificials, is that they are missing a basic understanding of food. It takes a lot of time to learn how to mix spices, using all five tastes in a meal to make it complete and satisfying, discover a genious use of new vegetables, and in general how to match different foods in order to end up with the perfect meal. Not everything I cook can be labelled as "the perfect meal". A lot of my dishes are simply meals, and sometimes I cook a meal which tastes absolutely horrifying, because I neglected the general rules, and tried making something a lot more complicated than good was. Simple is almost always perfect, when using prime quality produce!
I am the type of foodie who loves the entire process of making a meal. Looking up recipes, making adjustments of my own, going to the farmers market, greengrocer's, butcher or supermarket, smell the different vegetables and fruits, pick the best ones there, change the recipe in favour of the gorgeous blueberries I find in a fruit stall, arrange everything beautifully at home using bowls and plates to store my fruit and vegetables on in full display, and then finally begin the cooking. Most days I haven't got the luxury of doing all of this, due to limited time during the week, but on saturdays and sundays, as well as days where I can take the afternoon off, this is an amazing way of preparing a meal. Since I am a student and on a limited money and time budget, I tend to spend saturday on planning seven different meals, not deciding on which day to cook what, but simply having an idea of what should be bought for the following week. Then I buy the basics and some fruit and vegetables, stocking up on fresh produce during the week as well. I almost never end up making the exact seven meals that I had planned, as I am a somewhat spontanious cook, and change my mind several times a day on what to cook for dinner, but it is a way for me to control my spending.
An example of the beauties of cooking from scratch is my grandmother. She has always been making fresh Danish rye bread every week, and her bread is the best I can possible imagine. My mother has taken up this routine as well, and when I eat rye bread it is almost always homemade from organic flours and wonderful seeds. My boyfriend however, eats a lot of rye bread every day, and since he isn't really into cooking, baking or any other thing connected to food, I tend to buy his bread, and only bake it fresh when I want to eat it myself. It is such a reward, having waited and cared for a bread for several days, and then eating this marvelous result with fresh tomatoes and chives.
Grandmothers rye bread:
Sourdough (to be prepared two - three days in advance):
2½ dl whole rye flour
1½ dl buttermilk
½ tsp salt
Stir together ingredients, cover with plastic film and leave on the kitchen counter for two-three days. Watch out for mold!
1½ dl sourdough
13 dl water
650 g broken rye grains
650 g wheat flour
7 tsp salt
Mix all of the ingredients, cover with a kitchen towel and leave on the countertop 24 hrs. After 24 hrs, add the following ingredients:
1 light ale (33 cl)
3/4 bottle of water (put water in the beer bottle)
25 g fresh yeast stirred into the water
875 g rye flour
8 tbsp flax seeds
8 tbsp sunflower seeds
Mix everything nicely, and transfer to two 3 L rectangular baking tins (if it isn't non-stick tins, then butter them before putting in the dough). Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise, until the dough reaches the top of the tins. Brush the dough with water lightly and bake at 200 degrees for 1½ hrs. When done, wait until the breads have cooled almost entirely to remove them from the baking tins. Wrap in towels and put in plastic bags to cool completely. Do not cut into it, until it is completely cool!!! Enjoy :-)
The rest of the sourdough can be stored in the fridge, until you need it again. If you take out 1½ dl of the pre-dough and add to the remaining sourdough every time you bake this bread, you can keep a sourdough running for years!
Do you bake your own bread? And have you ever tried rye bread?
Tomorrow will be some more on healthy eating, as well as my chocolate mousse recipe made from avocado.
Have a wonderful thursday!