More Meat, Less Gristle in 2016
The level of conflict, terror and suffering in 2015 made holding onto our fragile sense of humanity and decency more difficult than I can ever recall. Even when we are far from the fray, we suffer in subtle ways. I think the resultant helplessness, hopelessness and insecurity make us act out in micro-aggressions that are probably the root of bad behavior and ranting online. I am as guilty as the next. I was at the home of dear friends for a relaxed afternoon of grazing and drinking. We shared some rants - the things that get us riled up, even things we'd seen on Facebook - with appreciative, like-ranting friends. But one guy wasn't ranting. In fact, he seemed shielded, as if he had on the protective coating they put on at the car wash to make water droplets fly away. He had spent the morning working as a volunteer with his favorite non-profit, pulling up invasive vines or something like that. He looked like the way you feel after a really good long run or fabulous yoga class - where if you get nothing else done all day, you still feel accomplished. It's the same when I visit with my old colleagues at the social service agency around the corner. They have bad days for sure, but they are not cynical or hopeless, ever. So that's it. Service. The antidote to cynicism and hopelessness. I've spent half of my professional career working with non-profits but it's been years since I've worked regularly in direct service to others (ok, besides my needy husband and kid). I have a few ideas but I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves a little more in 2016.
But hey, in terms of food news, I've buried the lead. Or rather, the press buried the lead! Two big food news items...did you catch them? One, for the first time ever, the FDA has recommended a daily cap on added sugar to no more than 10% of total recommended calories or about 50 grams of it a day (one can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar). Yikes! We love sweets around here and what's a girl to do with a French bakery and a Blue Star Donut within blocks.? On second thought, we got this one! Come back to Caveau Kitchen this year for easy recipes for granola, dressings, pasta sauces, etc, that don't have added sugar like the store bought ones.
The other big news item is....HUGE. While the official focus of the Conference on Global Warming (COP21) in Paris was the reduction in emissions from fossil fuels, there was, for the first time on a world stage, considerable talk about the massive greenhouse gas produced by the production of meat. "Less Meat - Less Heat." Even "The Arnold" chimed in to say there is no reason you can't have a big beefy body without the beef! Chefs like Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver, and the dynamic duo Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are making meat free nights in their restaurants delicious and fun. Here at Caveau Kitchen, after years of cooking with LOTS of meat and dairy, I'm enjoying the culinary cross-training of preparing some seriously delicious veggie-centered meals. And my meat-loving man? He seems to feel that he's better fed than ever. In that way, it's like biodynamic grape farming. Heaps of attention and love make everything delicious! To great eating and feeling great in 2016!