Stop Calling People Food Snobs (I’m Sick of It)

Guys really,

It’s time. I think we’ve all had enough of it.

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What is a food snob? A food snob is a colloquial term for someone who deviates from eating whatever is perceived, by the accuser, as being “normal” food and eats something perceived, by the accuser, as being “different.” For purposes of distinction, we should make note of the fact that a food snob does not necessarily compel anyone else to participate in their particular program – the food they eat may well affect only themselves.

A food snob could be a vegan, a vegetarian, a Paleo advocate, or someone on Whole30. It could be someone who shops at Whole Foods or in the produce section at Walmart or goes to the farmer’s market. It could be someone who doesn’t eat kale salad because they don’t like how it tastes. It could be someone who declines a certain brand or variety of food in favor of another, or – and this seems to be the culmination of cultural blasphemy – brings their own food to an event in order to maintain a certain variety or level of nutritional intake. The term food snob can also apply to persons with allergies, sensitivities, auto-immune diseases, genetic markers and random personal likes or dislikes of foods that are out of their control.

Most often, food snob is the term used for anybody who deviates from the modern, standard American diet, especially someone who chooses to forego many processed foods.

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Shame on you for eating something else … Calling someone a food snob is to participate in a rampant shame culture that, among other things, determines that anyone who does anything different than the individual(s) defining the norm is bad and must be forced, through humiliation, exclusion, belittling and rejection, both subtle and blatant, both public and private, to conform to a perceived norm.

I can see you. The astonishing thing about a shame culture, however, is that it opens a page into the private heart of the accuser, to those who know how to read it. In her book Daring Greatly, social researcher Brene Brown tells us, “What’s ironic … is that research tells us that we judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame … If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency. It’s hurtful and ineffective…” (1) The more someone belittles another for their food choices, odds are the more guilty and ashamed that person feels about their own food decisions. A person who feels confident, comfortable and secure in their choices has no need to make another feel small for their choices.

Don’t feel self-righteous just yet. This is a knife that can cut both ways – someone who is adhering to a specific food plan can pick relentlessly at those around her or him, becoming an annoying and aggravating source of unwanted information. So to the person accused of being a food snob – don’t be a snob. Snobs are annoying. There is a way to be snobbish and rude and annoying about your food choices, and there is a way to be loving, and kind, and open-hearted and generous about your food choices. You have a story of healing to tell, and that’s why you’re here, making the choices you do! Share your story with authenticity. Don’t play the martyr, or the saint, or the food snob.

What do we do when someone calls us a food snob? Ouch. It is far more appropriate to show love and listen. The person accusing you the loudest of being a food snob is very likely the person hurting the most. Listen to their hurt, and employ shame-resilience strategies for yourself in the face of their criticism:

Acknowledge to yourself the wound of their insult, and respect the hurt it can bring and know that you are not alone in your pain. Feel gratitude that you are able the make the choices you do despite harsh comments opposing you. Stay engaged in the culture that gives you support.

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Then move on from the experience and understand that no matter what you do, somebody out there will disapprove, because somebody out there is uncomfortable with their own choices! Unless they are going to be living in your body, they don’t get a vote. Provide the wonder and awe that inspires you to eat the way you do, and let the shamers continue on their path.

Thanks for listening. I love you guys.

Read more:

1 Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Brene Brown. Page 99. Penguin Random House, New York. 2012

Turkey Leftovers: Moo Shoo Wraps, Burritos and Delicious

Dear Thanksgivingers,

I actually buy extra turkey in advance, just so I can have more “leftovers” to make this. I was filling deviled eggs and whipping meringue for Thanksgiving dinner, and the wraps I would need for both of these recipes were already sitting on the pantry shelf, waiting for Their Day.

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Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to post heartwarming Norman Rockwell paintings.

 

Oh, these are good, very, very good. They drip juice, they crunch, they fill you up, and everybody wants more! For the Moo Shoo wraps, you can use cabbage or bok choy, whichever you have – both are available on our farm during this season, so I toss in a miscellaneous mixture of the two.

A big wok is best for making this, but you can also make it in a regular pan if you wish! If you are a vegetarian and you use something other than the usual turkey as your main, I’d be curious to know if you can throw a meatless twist on this! If you do, hook us up with a recipe link in the comments (I’m looking at you, Mysterious Mrs. S!).

Turkey Chase

This turkey is giving ’em a run for their money!

 

I originally shared this recipe back in 2011 on the old blogstead; I’d already been making it for several years by this time, and we still love it today. Love it so much, in fact, that it gets gobbled up (like that pun?) before I ever get any pictures – I’ll snap some this round, and add them to the post for you photophiles. And for your photo files.

Photo Credit: The Kitchn

Photo Credit: The Kitchn

 

Note: This is the oil we use and which I recommend to anyone looking for coconut oil – ethically sourced, traditionally prepared, and organic, the expeller-pressed oil has no coconut flavor or aroma and I use it for everything from frying chicken to scrambling eggs to pouring into my smoothies!

 

Moo Shoo Turkey Wraps

Download the Moo Shoo Turkey Wrap & Turkey Burrito Recipes

Obviously, there is lots of wiggle room in this recipe.  Add some toasted sesame seeds if you like; I love to serve these with homemade (or storebought) sweet plum sauce!  To really go with the Asian theme or to avoid extra gluten you could use rice wraps, like spring roll wrappers, instead of tortillas.  If you like, you could use a bagged shredded coleslaw mix instead of a cabbage.  

1 tablespoon olive oil, coconut oil or rice brain oil
1 additional teaspoon olive oil, or any of the above options
10 – 16 ounces sliced mushrooms
4 green onions, sliced
1 small knob peeled, grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
16 – 20 ounces shredded fresh cabbage or bok choy (one small cabbage, or less than half large cabbage)
1/3 cup water
2 cups shredded leftover cooked turkey (you could use chicken or pork, if you preferred)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons (plus extra for serving) hoisin sauce (sometimes I use home-canned plum sauce instead)
8 tortillas, warmed

In a skillet or wok, heat one tablespoon oil on medium-high until hot.  Add mushrooms and saute 6 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.  Remove to a plate.
In the skillet, heat one teaspoon olive oil on medium-high.  Stir in green onions (reserve a small portion if you want to sprinkle some fresh on the wraps), ginger, crushed red pepper, and garlic.  Add shredded cabbage and cook 2 minutes or until cabbage begins to soften, stirring constantly.  Add water and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until water evaporates.  Cabbage should be tender-crisp, not mushy; stir frequently.  Stir in turkey, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, and cooked mushrooms; cook an additional 3 minutes or until turkey is hot, stirring constantly.
Spread tortillas with hoisin sauce; top with turkey filling, extra green onions if you like, roll up and enjoy!  These are very juicy.  These are very delicious. These are amazing.

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They aren’t always so agreeable to peeling potatoes, but sometimes you can trick ’em into it

 

Is it okay if I post two turkey recipes? Because this one is so insanely, crazy good that I can’t leave it out. I know you’ll go nuts for this one, too, because my entire family did! 

Turkey and Bean Burrito 

Download the Moo Shoo Turkey Wrap & Turkey Burrito Recipes

If you so desire, drizzle into your burritos a little Louisiana Hot Sauce, some homemade spicy ketchup, or some enchilada sauce! We crazy love this recipe, and you can sneak a little gravy in there if you like, too …   See the original post from 2011 here.

1 tablespoon olive oil or any of the above options
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 pint diced tomatoes or you can purchase a can of tomatoes with diced chiles in it, such as Rotel tomatoes, and ignore the next ingredient
1 – 2 tablespoons chopped chiles or pickled jalapenos
2 tablespoons lime juice or the juice from one small lime
4 cups shredded cooked turkey (or chicken, or pork, or julienned tofu!)
1 pint pinto beans, fresh-cooked or canned, rinsed
6 tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Monterey, pepper Jack, or cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded green cabbage or bok choy (one small cabbage, or less than half large cabbage)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in garlic, cumin and chile powder and cook for 30 seconds or until the spices release a fragrant scent.  Add tomatoes and lime juice; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until onions are very tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in turkey and cooked beans and continue cooking until the mixture is heated through, approximately five minutes.  Fill tortillas with the turkey and bean mixture; top with cheese and shredded cabbage, roll, and enjoy!

What do you do with your leftover turkey? Please tell me – I love turkey, I love it all manner of delicious ways!!

 

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She loves turkey, too.

Don’t forget to Download the Moo Shoo Turkey Wrap & Turkey Burrito Recipes for your recipe files!

Gobbling,

Mrs H
Our turkeys are on Facebook
Instagram is clearly for the birds!

 

Chopped Late-Summer Salad: eating has rarely been this good

Dear chopping and slicing summer-savers,

Hooray for Throwback Thursday! This is the day we take a field trip to visit the old blog, and steal one of the best-loved recipes from that sacred time capsule. This is one of my personal, heart-warming favorites, because I remember making it repeatedly when I was hot, tired, bored and hungry in Coronado, California! I started trying lots of variations from our CSA box at that time, and this one for some reason stuck as an outstanding, winning combination. As with all salads (like our prize-winning Overnight Cold Salad, you remember that!), you can vary, change and convert as suits your lifestyle, garden, region, favorite dietary sensitivity … So enjoy this recipe, loaded with sweet and precious memories, and let me know how much you love it, too!

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Dear reader with the Kleenex stuffed miserably up your nose,

I hear reports from my beloved, soggy Pacific Northwest that the traditional damp-weather sicknesses are plaguing and besetting them all.  Half my family contracted the dreaded strep throat in a wave of plague, and had to languish in quarantine separated from the other half which still had day jobs, school, and everyday interactions to be accomplished!

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I wished I could whack up a big bowl of this refreshing, germ-sizzling salad for them … Not only is it splendidly crunchy and delicious beyond all reason, but it packs a punch to whallop those wintery diseases in the red, chapped nose.  This recipe emerged triumphantly from a smattering of miscellaneous CSA-box produce and farmer’s market leftovers that I had lying indulgently about in my fridge – Mr H enjoyed it with a hot lunch of fry bread with hasty dipping sauce, and the whole meal was speedily assembled by myself only minutes after he requested a mid-afternoon repast.

As a practicality, if you are staggering from the black plague yourself, this salad is deathly simple to prepare.

Chopped Late-Summer Salad 

Download the recipe here

This is a splendid little salad I dreamed up when we had our first CSA membership out in Coronado, California.  I first named it Kick-the-Sickness Salad, because it seemed to be able – every time – to just wallop a burgeoning illness and send it packing!  Pair this with a glass of cold, sparkling kombucha and you have a lunch made in heaven, loaded with enough nutrition to stock you for hours.  As always, mix and match what you have available in your region, at whatever time of year you choose to make it! I like to vary the texture – some firm, some soft, some chewy – and the flavors – some neutral and fatty, some crisp and sharp.  Do you have a winning combination for a chopped salad?

3 medium-small tomatoes

1 thick slice of yellow onion

2 thick slices of cheese

1 ripe avocado

Olive Oil

White or Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Fresh-ground black pepper

Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

Fresh ground cumin or taco seasoning

Coarsely chop the first four ingredients and put them in your lunch bowl.  Drizzle with just a bit of olive oil, and then a dash of vinegar.  Grind some pepper over the top (pre-ground won’t have the same effect), and sprinkle with sea salt and ground cumin or taco seasoning.  Stir together.  Eat immediately or let marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

Variation: Add coarsely chopped or pickled garlic for extra power.  Add minced cilantro (my favorite!).

Download the recipe here

Life is short! Enjoy every … last … morsel!

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I really enjoyed this short sally out onto the memory highway, where recollections and amusing anecdotes come flying at me like speeding cars on the interstate. Let me know if this works for you, or if you have another genius ingredient to add!!

Cheers,

Mrs H
Also cheering you on Facebook, very facely
Snapping the best of the messes on Instagram, grammarly

Cooking from the Farm: My Top 10 Cookbooks

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.
That’s how I earn my blogging income, so thanks for clicking through!  

Dear gentle readers and those not so gentle as well,

We like to eat well, and we also like to save money. We like to eat local food, and we love fresh and seasonal food. Logically, then, much of what we eat every day comes from the farm. We also don’t like eating the same recipe twenty-hundred times in a season, so I am constantly scouting new cookbooks. I’ve whittled down a list of books that work very well for farmer’s market shoppers, CSA members, seasonal eaters, farmers and gardeners. I’ve stuck with this short list because every time I go to these books, I can find everything I need for a given recipe in one trip out to the farm, and the odds and ends (olive oil, balsamic vinegar), I tend to have in my pantry. These books stay in my kitchen for frequent, daily use while other interesting, but possibly less useful books, go elsewhere to be referenced occasionally.

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This list is not comprehensive, and in fact I am hoping you’ll send me your favorite titles as well; I am always looking to bolster my creative closet of books!  The following  books are in no particular order (other than smallest to biggest!).

My Favorite Cookbooks for Cooking from the Farm

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1. The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from My Parisian Kitchen

Clotilde Dusoulier is the totally adorable and well-loved blogger at chocolateandzucchini, and she is not a vegetarian. She is not gluten or dairy free, either, but as it happens, most of the recipes in this vegetarian book are also gluten and dairy free. I’m not vegetarian either, but I don’t eat loads and loads of meat because it’s expensive and it just isn’t sustainable (which you learn when you are growing your own food), to eat turkey and steak every week (more often than not we’re eating bones, feet and organs!).  Truth to be told, I was prepared to not like this book because so many “market” books don’t live up to their name, but truly every ingredient in her recipe will be found growing together, or harvested the same weekend. In fact, the book is divided into seasons, not categories, to make it even easier to plan your next trip to the farmer’s market. And the book is really cute, and precious, and pretty, and has lots of juicy pictures. I gave it a five star review when I reviewed it for the San Francisco Book Review.

2. Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables

And oh, how I love this book. It was recommended to me by copy editor and reviewer and vegetarian foodie Holly Scudero, who had an early galley copy that I loved to drool over. Mr H bought it for me when Borders Books went out of business – we pretty much cleared out the cookbook shelves, and this gem was one of the best things that happened that day. Andrea Chesman grows her own food, so her recipes have such a natural way of being seasonal that it feels a little ridiculous to even point it out. The first time I made sauerkraut was from this book; the long, lonely winter in California was filled with comforting, steaming bowls of Italian meatball soup, and pans of maple-roasted vegetables that I wrapped myself around like a mother cat with her kittens. This is one of the best books in my kitchen.

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3. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

And speaking of sauerkraut, behold the fermentation king!  For those of us who truly eat seasonally from our gardens, fermentation is one of the many food preservation techniques we rely on to get nutrient-dense, home-grown produce all year long.  This book will take you from novice to advanced fermentation artist (especially if you follow it with The Art of Fermentation, a veritable treatise on the subject!).  Since he grows much of his own food, and since fermentation is an art developed solely for the purpose of preserving food in it’s season, it’s very easy to find everything you need for a given recipe growing at one time. Can’t find Chinese cabbage?  Maybe it doesn’t grow in your area (so you’ll have to ferment pineapple and coconuts instead!), or maybe it’s the wrong season for it (and you should try turnips and carrots while you wait!). I fell in love with this book when I borrowed it from a friend, and then I had to buy my own copy and now it’s splattered and marked in and the pages are wobbly at the bottom from when a gallon of kimchi leaked out onto it.

4. The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for Modern Cooks

Nina Planck, who writes at ninaplanck.com, grew up with farmer parents, eating farmer food. She is accustomed to and familiar with the rhythms of the garden and the bounty and not-so-bounty of some foods.  Her book has a certain respect towards the way a farm grows – look, we can’t put ground beef in every recipe or we’ll run out of cows and have a freezer full of feet – and she strongly encourages readers to vary the recipes, saying she will never make it the same way twice herself and we should adapt to our areas. I love that philosophy since I never follow recipes but, as she suggests, use them as inspiration (even though I often start out with good intentions of following the recipe very strictly, it never happens!).  Her book makes me so happy, and so hungry, and so eager to run out and harvest a basketful of dinner!

5. Better Homes and Gardens Fresh: Recipes for Enjoying Ingredients at Their Peak (Better Homes & Gardens)

I guess I was a little surprised how much I liked this book, since it seemed so commercial when I first picked it up.  But it actually delivers some delicious surprise!  The meat section focuses on very American cuts of meat like flank steak and meat-centric dishes, but that is only a very small portion of the overall book (and that is not to say we don’t need the occasional recipe for a flank steak! It’s just pretty darn rare… bad pun?). The fritters, salads, pizzas and desserts – oh, the desserts – overcompensate the cook with plenty to work with. In fact, as I am flipping through it I am wondering if the roasted vegetables and chickpeas might make an appropriate dinner … or shoestring sweet potatoes and beets?

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6. Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets

Let me just start by saying anything from Deborah Madison has my automatic seal of approval. She’s on this list twice, if that tells you anything! She has a dessert book, too, that would be on this list I am sure if I were so lucky as to own it and have some experience with the recipes (I browsed through it at at the library once, but I was visiting another city at the time so I couldn’t check it out!). Her book has an astonishing ability to have recipes that use literally every single item I dug up or trimmed off the plant that day. When I first joined a CSA, I felt like every box was custom-built for one of her recipes. I fell in love with her work and have been a groupie ever since. When you need vegetable-centric dishes from somebody who knows vegetables, and knows plants and really, really knows food – Madison delivers the goods.

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7. Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom,

with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes

This is one of the newest books in my collection. I saw it at TJ Maxx and it was in my cart before you could shake a pasture-raised organically-fed lamb’s tail. Rich, nourishing, hearty, and most fascinating of all, divided by plant families. I could read this book all day long, but the shimmering pictures on the page would send me to the kitchen before long!  Prepare to get an education on the plant kingdom, flavor profiles and recipe history when you crack open this tome of wonder. Like all her books, the recipes are full of seasonal items that grow at the same time, and, as far as I can tell, in the same place.

8. The Silver Spoon

You’d be surprised how much international cookbooks stick to seasonal cooking – not because it’s a ‘thing’ or a ‘movement’ but because they don’t all shop and eat out of the supermarket!  This Italian cookbook has an easy fluidity to the recipes – they just feel so natural, so easily fresh and seasonal. It’s a pleasure to cook out of it, and easy. When I have a bumper crop of cucumbers, I go to the cucumber section and pick a few unique recipes. It’s definitely better than eating cucumber salad three times a day!

9. Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round

(Not pictured above) Of course, I have to add a canning book. Marisa McClellan, with her gorgeous and tasty blog, has been a favorite of mine for years now, and she never fails to deliver!  She shops her local farmer’s markets or is gifted produce from friends, so her recipes also come seasonally quite naturally. With small batches for canning – you can do this while you make lunch, instead of setting aside the whole weekend for it – her recipes are attainable and enjoyable. I’ve loved every single recipe of hers I’ve ever made – they’ve all turned into family favorites, requested gifts, popular dishes at the house. When the gas repairman sampled the pickled beets, he said, “I’ve never eaten a beet in my life! I can’t stop eating these!” He took the whole jar home.

10. I need you to fill in this blank!

I need another market-worthy book!  Are there any good raw books out there, or international cookbooks? I love Mediterranean and Indian and Persian food – I’ve been curious to try The New Persian Kitchen, and of course anything by Ottolenghi but especially his new Jerusalem: A Cookbook. I love all-American, old fashioned or contemporary. What are your suggested titles? Thanks for reading along!!

Anxiously awaiting your reply,

Mrs H
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