Friday, December 17, 2010

Nutty bread recipe

Women's magazines seem to employ hordes of subeditors to fill several pages per issue with recipes. They also employ photographers to make the products of those recipes look delicious -- and they use many a trick I've been told, lighting, coloring, glazes, every so carefully arranged garnishes. I have long suspected these people are paid a pittance and that they mainly scavange recipes from existing or older magazines or newspapers, change an ingredient or two and present it as the latest discovery. Long, long ago I stopped reading these recipes although I enjoy the eye-candy of beautifully arranged plates of food.

All these thoughts have been twittering through my slightly addled brain [I have a cold and am spending much too much time blowing my nose and coughing] because I was at a small gathering last night when a woman presented each person present a baggie with a since of her latest quick bread. Said she, "the recipe was in a magazines and it only calls for two ingredients. Flour, I guess? Yes, self-rising flour a cup and a half. The other ingredient is a pint of maple walnut ice cream.

I sampled my slice this morning. It was horrible! Horrible!!! I thought of all the list of preservatives and junk that goes into ice cream. Why would I ever want to put all those chemicals into a homemade quick bread? The novelty factor appealed to the cook. But surely a little thought could have told her it was a bad idea. I suspect she tasted a slice and decided to cut up the rest, package it up and spread around the agony.

More and more I hear my contemporaries saying "I don't cook any more." So many prepared foods come microwave ready I think most of them don't even fresh salads for themselves. So is eating large amounts of chemicals, and especially salt which is not good for the many with high blood pressure, now our final capstone of the American dream these mostly retired women enjoy? Do they enjoy it? When I say I don't cook, it mean, I don't cook meat very often. I have many vegetarian meals -- fresh vegetables, often briefly steamed or broiled and dressed only with a small bit of butter and maybe a shake of some spice. I do cook fish, usually briefly sauted and eaten with lemon juice or a dab of wasabi dressing -- I really love wasabi!

And I've been a baker all most life. I rarely make quick breads but when I do they are from scratch. They're called quick, and in fact they are. That's what happens when I have bought too many bananas or zucchinis and they're threatening to go bad. I could go on but I've got get another cough drop.

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