Weighing In, Paring Down

The kerfuffle over the Grand Forks, N.D., reporter who reviewed Olive Garden and then went viral got me thinking that it's been a while since I posted something here.

It reminded me of the time I held Biscuit Mix Baking Day after a snarky locovore made a snide comment about Rachael Ray using Bisquick. A whole lot of bloggers jumped on the bandwagon and we had a lot of fun with it. The recipes they contributed were great. I should point out that this experiment is marking an anniversary of sorts: It was five years ago this week.

Since that time, I have only used Bisquick or its clones once or twice, not because I've suddenly become a food snob, but because a whole lot of carbs have a way of wreaking havoc with my stomach (same with no-carb diets - obviously my digestive system likes balance as much as I do). I look and feel better when I limit carbs.

But I won't hesitate to use it if a recipe I want to try calls for it. Tonight, assembling some book bags to give to the Newspaper in Education book sale here, I (sadly) got rid of a few of those slender cookbooks you find at grocery store checkouts. These were recipes for muffins and items made with Bisquick. It's bittersweet, but I'm getting older and can't eat the way I could 25 years ago.

I've become a bit of a locovore myself in the past five years, joining CSA two years in a row and most summers, not missing a whole lot of farm markets. But I'll never be a snob, and I'll probably to continue to explore some new packaged food in stores. I'm addicted to certain things, like flavored cream cheeses and honey-dijon almonds and some of the interesting things they've been doing to Triscuits (a use for wheat I seem to tolerate well).

Time and space are at a premium these days. So I'm downsizing, looking for changes to make that take the stress from my life.

I've culled other cookbooks from my collection, jettisoning those that are too fancy-schmany or two focused on carbs or sugar. It's a good feeling, paring down. It's going to be an on-going chore for me over the next 2-3 years.

The photo above is from my local farm market CSA box. It's fun not knowing what your box will hold.

A little bit like taking a step towards a new life. You aren't sure what your future will hold.

Stay tuned.


Andrea said…
The very first thing I ever learned how to make in Home Economics (a required course for 8th grade girls in my time...) was a home-made version of bisquick. I must say I prefer the relative ease of just buying a box. Beautiful things can happen with Bisquik!

I admit to being a snob about using canned soups in recipes (cream of mushroom, cream of celery) but then I realized it's because, for me, it's easy to make my own bechamel. For my cousin, for whom cooking is a big dark mystery, using a couple of cans in a broccoli casserole is no less an expression of her love and happiness in preparing a meal for someone than me whisking together some butter and flour.

There should be no food snobbery if it is done with a nurturing, appreciate heart.
Andrea, nice to hear from you! I still lurk at your place, especially when I need to relax and catch up - still incredibly lovely!

I agree on the soup, mostly because freshly-made sauces taste better and are not so salty. The sodium is an issue for me. But every once in a while, I sneak some soup into a casserole my mother used to make because I need childhood comfort food. Not more than once a year, probably.

For some reason, my Catholic high school did not have home ec classes. I would have enjoyed them!
I don't use Bisquick or other prepared foods mostly due to the distrust I feel as to what is in them. I am not as good as I would like to be when it comes to the locavore movement, mostly due to the sad fact that many foods that I love, such as berries, don't grow in Colorado in the winter, but I do try to buy fresh and local as much as possible. My daughter purchases from Bountiful Baskets and she also loves the element of surprise and the exposure it gives her family to new delights.
Jill, I agree with you. May through October, my diet is about 80 percent local and organic.
Christine said…
Paring down, lightening the load as it were, is such a healthful thing to do, for both body and soul. I applaud you, Mimi. It's so good to hear from!
Christine said…
And, wasn't that "Bisquick day" fun? :))
I am totally agree with Andrea you have posted such a awesome and useful ideas i love it..
Thanks for sharing with us..
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