Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Food "Philosophy" - Part 2...Newlyweds "Going" Vegetarian

My husband’s experience before we married was more so on the processed stuff. His mother also cooked, but has always worked. They didn’t have animals or a large garden, so his diet was even more typical “standard American diet” (SAD) than mine was. He was just very grateful I knew how to cook. It did come pretty natural to me and I am by nature a “foody”, I guess. My mother did (although not directly) somehow impart to me a sense of the kitchen and how to cook most things or at least figure it out ok, with no total disasters to destroy the kitchen!

When we married 15 years ago (Ok, not till next month technically, but I love saying “15”!), I resolved to not have these “whites” in my kitchen: white flour, white rice, white sugar, and white shortening. So I didn’t…And that I would never own a microwave – and I never have. Neither my husband nor I were vegetarians at the time we got married, so I continued doing what I had then become accustomed to…cooking with some convenience foods, but trying to stay away from the above mentioned items.

I do not relate to those women who had no clue how to cook when they got back from their honeymoons. No. Not me. I was having a ball. My very own kitchen! Stocked with everything I needed and wanted (as long as we had the money- he he). I remember our first Thanksgiving. I wanted to make some rolls that my grandma used to make for us whenever we’d visit (out of state). So I wrote her and asked her for the recipe. I still have her letter that she sent in my recipe notebook. That was the first time that I can remember making bread. They were just as I remembered. Ah...I love those memories.

Fast forward to November 1996…I had gotten used to getting stomach aches after I ate. We (husband and I) talked about “going” vegetarian for a couple of years before this. One day I decided I was going to try not eating meat for a week. Hey…feeling better…one week passed…two weeks passed… my husband joined me about 3 months later. We have never looked back. Two children later, we (and they) are all vegetarian.

I think our only small appliance for years was a toaster. Actually we had two of them, both wedding gifts. I think we still own one of them. Oh, no, wait…we had a hand held mixer too (a hand me down from a friend at church). But that was it. If I needed more than a stove, oven, fridge or tiny apartment size freezer (inside the fridge door, tiny metal door…”freezing-is-optional” type) and my trusty toaster and hand mixer, I had to figure it out. I didn’t own a blender for years. Since then I have had a blender, stand mixer, bread machine, chest freezer, and dehydrator. Of these, only my blender remains as the others were not mine personally, except the stand mixer which I sold later.

I have cooked for large groups (with help) at camps that I worked at, so I really like making food. I am the type that likes to read cookbooks…for ideas….and then go do it my way. Who says there’s only one way, right? =)

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