American Diet and Breakfast, Revisited
Last night as I was making homemade fettuccine noodles with black truffles while sipping a glass of fabulous red wine, my 14 month old daughter asked me, "Mommy, would you like me to help you?" I chuckled and said, "Sweetie, what are we going to do with this genius of a baby you are??" She smiled shyly (she's so modest!) and we laughed together as we began to knead the dough for garlic bread I had just made, which smelled absolutely divine. We made a bit of a mess with the flour that fell on my brand new kitchen towels, but they luckily blocked it from getting on my favorite four-inch high heels, thankfully! You should try cooking in your heels - it really is liberating!
As you can see, I love homemade food and I have an enormous amount of time to dedicate to it and to perfect the art. But since I'm a mother of two, there's still only so much I can do...but as someone who was brought up on fresh, wholesome foods by my Israeli mother, luckily I learned how it's the simple things that can take the place of a homemade noodle meal (you know, once or twice a month when life gets a bit hectic!) - a handful of grapes, smoked white fish, some slices of mozzarella and tomato on bread, and a few pieces of dark chocolate. I'm also grateful for this upbringing because I don't really enjoy "diet" food and I really don't love how much young girls are taught to live their lives around dieting. An author I've started to read more about, Michael Pollan, is someone I admire for the way he celebrates food and the cooking of it, rather than the buying of what he calls “edible food-like substances” that hail nutrient fortification fit for the current diet fad. He argues that instead of enjoying the preparation of tasty, wholesome dishes that bring families, friends, and cultures together and infuses meaning into the ritual of cooking, we now see food much more as a way to diet and worry about dieting - a way of life unknown to our great grandmothers. I can definitely get caught up in that anxiety as well and for sure want to be healthy, but I do notice that overdoing it can take a lot of the joy out of eating, even when surrounded by people I love.
I appreciate Pollan's wisdom, but alas, I don't actually have very much time to cook from scratch with a glass of wine in hand, although yeah, I of course cook in my heels. So for me, "homemade" has become much more about enjoying more good food with my family - from wholesome recipes that may not even require cooking, to new flavors, to fresh, seasonal produce. Even if we have an omelet and cut-up fruit, my husband and I try to sit down for dinner and talk, even if we can only grab fifteen minutes.
So for today we’ll make it simple yet delicious! This is my recipe for a delightful breakfast where you can get the full taste of each ingredient in a bowl, or if you prefer, in the nutty and sweet blend of a smoothie.
1 cup of cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup of greek vanilla yogurt
A handful of blueberries
A handful of almonds
Add for a smoothie
A few splashes of milk
3 ice cubes
1 tbsp brown sugar