What chefs can do when it comes to getting the word out is have people understand food differently. If food is well sourced and well prepared, I don’t think the word healthy needs to be brought into it. It’s healthy because it’s wholesome. That’s what we should focus on. You can buy a box of low-fat macaroni and cheese made with powdered nonsense. I’m not worried if I’m using four different cheeses and it’s high in fat. It’s real food. That’s what’s more important. (Chef Tom Colicchio, qtd by Tara Parker Pope, “Even Top Chefs Have Picky Kids,” N Y Times, 9 February 2009)
MACROWS . XX.IIII. XII.
Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh. and kerve it on peces, and cast hem on boillyng water & seeþ it wele. take chese and grate it and butter cast bynethen and above as losyns. and serue forth. (Samuel Pegge, The Forme of Cury: A Roll of Ancient English Cookery (1780) “Compiled about A D 1390, by the Master-Cooks of King Richard II,” Project Gutenberg generated HTML e-book)
The dog in the picture below is our 91 lb Great Pyrenees – Anatolian shepherd mix Cleo.
Cleo is perhaps the world’s best watch dog. She’s so devotedly protective that (to the dismay of many) she sometimes tries to protect me even from people of whom I am rather fond, such as relatives and friends who visit our home. Perhaps because of this strong genetic protective characteristic common to her mix of breeds, Cleo dislikes loud noises and quick, sudden movements; she responds unhappily to the excited or emotional tones of voice and dramatic hand gestures that sometimes accompany human conversation and interactions. For this reason, Cleo vehemently dislikes being in the same room with us when we watch Longhorn football games on television. Our emotional responses, aroused by the twists and turns as the games progress, simply make her too nervous.
Luckily for Cleo, Phillip and I watched the recent Alamo Bowl pigskin contest between the Texas Longhorns and the Oregon Ducks at my mom’s house. Thus, our beloved, giant hyper-vigilant pet was spared the anguished cries of disbelief and the stream of blue language that erupted and over-flowed deep from the diaphragms of those who gathered to watch what they had hoped would be their beloved Longhorns’ triumphant and redeeming finish to a disappointing 2013 football season. Fan loyalty and collective team player and coaching talent aside, one would just naturally expect a team called the Longhorns to easily defeat a team called the Ducks; alas, the obvious escaped reality this past December 30th, as the Ducks annihilated the Longhorns in a 30 to 7 win in the 2014 Alamo Bowl competition.
At disheartening moments such as this, people turn to comfort food for real solace, indeed. Delicious football-watching type food was plentiful in my mom’s living room that fateful evening on which once again, Texans lost an epic battle at a location in San Antonio named the Alamo. Food and beer flowed freely that evening, and even the horrendous Longhorn defeat failed to curb appetites (though admittedly the drinking surpassed the eating in quantity the latter part of the game). My contribution to the football-watching fare was one of my own favorite comfort foods: gluten-free beer macaroni and cheese. Although I am not fond of beer as a beverage, and therefore never drink it, I absolutely love and enjoy beer-flavored foods (such as beer mac and cheese, beer bread, beer-cheese soup, etc). Continue reading