Five Food Learnings of the Week

An odds-and-ends kind of week for you, blogwise, which I've boiled down to five bullet points.

1. Just picked up An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler from the library, having seen it on one of our regular Marketgoers' Goodreads list. The book talks both philosophy and how-to of cooking, and she has many thrifty recommendations that appeal to real-food-loving tightwads like me. I'll have more to say later, but thought I'd tantalize you with this paragraph:

Buy a whole chicken at a farmers' market if you can. They're much more expensive--up to three times as expensive--as chicken raised in factories, which most, even the ones labeled "free range," are. The two are completely different animals. As soon as you boil a chicken that was raised outdoors, pecking at grubs, you'll notice that its stock is thick, golden, and flavorful. When it cools, it will thicken. Chickens that've led chicken-y lives develop strong, gelatinous bones, which contribute to the soup you get from them and to how good they are for you. If you're getting more meals out of your chicken, and more nutrition out of those meals, spending the extra money makes sense.

Having been out of town for Skagit River Ranch's last Bellevue Buyers Market delivery date, I can attest to the night-and-day difference between storebought and Market.

2. Artisan bread sandwich loaf update. As I mentioned in last week's post, my youngest thought my last homemade batch of sandwich bread was "too crumbly," and, since she favors PBJs lately, I had to do something about it. I'm happy to report I ditched Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day's soft whole wheat sandwich loaf recipe and went back to their master "boule," just baking it in loaf pans this time. (Here's a great post by Former Chef, which includes the recipe I used.) Happy to report a total success! All family members approve, and we're saving at least $3.50/loaf over storebought.

3. Seattle Pacific University's Response magazine had an interesting article on the benefits of families eating together: "Study after study shows that the more often families eat together, the less likely the kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders, get overweight, or consider suicide." Not new news, but it's always a great reminder of the importance of shared meals, for both children and adults, and it was interesting to hear the therapists' perspective. I'll have to check out the book that covers it in greater detail:

4. I've been following NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempted ban on supersize sodas. As you might have heard, the State Supreme Court blocked the move, and the story continues. I salute Bloomberg for making an attempt to combat obesity, even if it is a weird, Big-Brother-y type one. If you really want to combat obesity, why not ban sodas (and fruit juices) altogether, as well as refined-flour processed foods? Because it's downright impossible, that's why! Not only would the food industry howl even more loudly than it's already howling, but consumers would revolt. Maybe Bloomberg might want to start with warning labels, like the cigarette industry. "Warning: Studies have shown that sugars and refined flours contribute to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, and are possibly addictive substances."

5. Speaking of which, the King County Library System will be hosting Michael Moss at the Redmond Library Thursday, March 14, at 7:00P. Moss is the author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, which I'm eager to read. I can't make the event, sadly, but @KCLS tweeted today that they will carry a broadcast:

King County Library @KCLS

We'll be broadcasting Michael Moss's @SaltSugFat visit tmrw  live on YT:  #KCLScooks

Should be interesting. That's all for this week, and happy eating!