You Are What You Eat

You Are What You Eat

I’ve been called a snob many times in my life. But I’ll get back to that.

As a budding adult, in weird‘s last true gasp, I found transitional identities that touched each of my developing ideals. Being straightedge was more than a penchant for guys with shaved heads, it was a declaration. Just like punk, indierock, Riot Grrrl–they all had a stance, a declared point of view. Their battle cries were my own as I wrestled with what the world was and who I was as a young adult in that world. My tastes were born of thought–critical thought–and an obsessive dissection of feeling. The offshoot, predominantly my taste in music, was the most important part of my growing up. To feel at home in a song, to feel confusion captured, mitigated and delivered back to me, soothingly, through the grainy threads of  an uneven vinyl disc…that was everything. I spent hours in record stores, seeking the musical accompaniment for the marked chaos of my late teens. The reward was discord, validation, the expansion of thought and of feeling: growth. And you needed skill and time and instinct for that reward. (Which is why the internet generation suffers from a severe lack of “cool,” for lack of a better word. Google search surface-level savants, they are!) So… if you listened to crap, to me, it meant you didn’t think enough or your thoughts were simple enough to be appeased by mass-produced, trite pop music… I know, I know. I’ve been called a snob before. Because I connected one’s cerebral functioning and emotional depth with his/her taste in music. It was generalization, admitedly. But it was corroborated often enough to hold water.

Now I know very well that musical taste is, in fact, telling, I also know that so are a million other things–the combinations of which are endlessly fascinating in another being. Although I am more open and adaptable than my teenage self, I must admit that my experiences have given way to more specific anecdotal observations, though more tongue-in-cheek: “I’ve never disliked anyone who liked Leonard Cohen.” (It’s true.) “Plastic surgery kills credibility.” (It does.) “Personality microcosm: The style in which ones drives an automobile.” (Mostly true.) These observations are lighter. However, still, embedded in each is a little bit of declaration. I am still analytical, after all. And as an introvert, I think a lot more than I find opportunity to express. (Hence, this blog)

This takes me to “You are what you eat,” which I believe to be very true. It is here where my passion for good food, my disdain for the industrial food system, and my frustration in what others find to be acceptable sources of nourishment join forces to rial me up considerably, just as they did when I was 15, almost 20 years ago, when I went vegetarian. So I’ve been called a snob again… And, in a way, I see the connection. Like my teenage self, I think about things thoroughly and adapt my choices to align with my values. And also like my teenage self, I adamantly disagree with the mass majority. It matters what you eat. For your health, the health of the environment, the health of your family; for the billions of abused and mistreated animals, for the billions of slaughtered animals; for sustainable and fair business practices, for real and safe food choices, to fight nutritionally void processed food pushed onto with deceptive labeling and advertising–it matters what you eat. I embrace this inarguable fact. I think I deserve better food. So I guess I am a snob. But you deserve better food, too. We should all be snobs about what we put in our bodies.

Nothing would supplement this post more appropriately than the rest of my farmers market goodies. Golden beets. Yes, they are “Earthy” but why is that fantastic? I feel like Scarlett O’Hara eating that little carrot from the ground when I eat a beet, a pivotal turning point in the film. Sure, I am romanticizing it a bit but I do feel a bit of triumph.

Beet, with your tentacles long and your distributary roots many, I kind of love you.

With huge sugar-snap peas, blanched and coated lightly, you get two veggies in one: the firm container and the innards, a row of peas perfectly untouched by man. With my beets, a quick whip of organic potatoes, and a protein piece on the most gloriously bitter arugula, a well-balanced meal. Diversity, goodness, pure sustenance- I am what I eat!

With two pints of local berries to utilize, one can flirt with decadence freely. I adapted the Natural Gourmet Institue‘s recipe for vanilla blueberry cupcakes to make these little baby pancake cupcakes, trying out my Babycakes small appliance for the first time since my mom bought it for for Christmas a while ago. These little babies have the reminiscent bite of Entemann’s Little Bites blueberry muffins. Must be the sweetness factor: there’s cane sugar, maple syrup and agave nectar that’s in the recipe. Triple sweet but cut with organic whole wheat-I am what I eat!

I used the rest of the batter in the traditional cupcake tin. Gorgeous.

Rainer cherries were born in Washington, named for the mighty Mount Rainier. I find it kind of neat that 1/3 of Rainer cherries are eaten by birds (Thanks, wiki).

I, however, used them in scones, cherry-blueberry-almond scones, though I probably wouldn’t bake with them again. They are sweet and subdued, way less tart than Bing cherries, traditionally in cherry pies.