Lagniappe: A Note on Healthy Cooking

I'm a stubborn person.

For those who know me, this is not a shocking revelation. Stubbornness and tenacity are two very similar qualities, though tenacity, I think, can be meant as more of a compliment--until in my worse moments I take it too far and become stubborn, often to my own detriment.

However, I do not feel AT ALL badly about my stubbornness when it comes to healthy cooking.

Case in point: pie crusts.

Pastry and I do not get along well. YEAST, my mortal enemy. Any bread recipes you see here will not involve yeast, because I simply can't do it and haven't gathered up the patience to keep trying yet. Pie crusts drive me insane because I've never been able to master that perfectly flaky, golden, buttery halo atop my Shepherd's Pie to my contentment. Why is that? Because I refuse to use shortening. Yes, that's the forking secret! CRISCO! I discovered this dirty, dirty secret a couple of weekends ago when I tried my hand at some Meat and Potato pies, and caved to the recipe that called for shortening. So far, I have refused to touch the stuff. It's bad for you. Like, really, really, terrible for you. I will use butter all day every day because, while it's not "healthy" in that it is a fat and is therefore not good for you in major amounts--I KNOW WHAT BUTTER IS. And so do you! It's one of the simplest things you can make yourself; two ingredients: heavy cream and salt. In fact, I posted a recipe on how to make your own just yesterday.

Shortening? What the hay is vegetable shortening? Read the ingredients; do YOU know what the hell that stuff is? Didn't think so. Me neither. IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH. You are not a 2-year-old.

Much to my pie crusts turned out effortlessly fabulous. They were delicious, and buttery, and flaky in all of their golden perfection--and, undoubtedly, toxic and cancerous. Sigh.

That's why I'm not posting the recipe here. It's why I won't be making it again.

Look, I believe in living life to the fullest. Ricky Gervais said it better than I ever could; the ultimate aim is to "stay alive and eat more cheese and drink more wine." I just wanna do what I can, stack the deck in my favour as much as I can, so I can stick around on this planet long enough to know what caviar tastes like and to maybe score the man of my dreams and change something in the world. I will ALWAYS continue to indulge in the good things in life and that occasionally means things that might not be "healthy": butter and cheese and wine and bacon.

That doesn't mean vegetable shortening.

That doesn't mean canola oil. (We'll get to that soon.)

That doesn't mean cream-of-god-knows-what tinned soups, or endless sodas, or margarine, or iridescent maraschino cherries.

Hey y'all, I'm not complicated when it comes to food. I want to cook, eat, and share good, tasty, non-pretentious food that won't kill me. Or you. 

(Yes, even you there. You know who you are.)

Happy (healthy) cooking, my friends.
Posted on November 8, 2013 .