Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Trials of Cooking

I haven’t been cooking Julia Child-Style much lately.  Ben and I were experiencing rapidly expanding waistlines no matter how much we exercised.

I associate my mother’s diabetes with her being overweight for so much of her life. Before I went to Wyoming to take care of my folks, I discovered on the web that Alzheimer’s can be a direct result of diabetes.

I don’t want to go that way.

But I do, as much as anyone, enjoy good food. I just have to limit the richest ones and the amounts I eat to much less than I used to be able to eat. And since I quit cooking so much Julia-food, our waistlines have ceased to expand.

I’m not going to quit learning to cook, though. And I’m certainly not going to give up good food. I have learned that I don’t need to use butter to make white or brown sauce; I can use canola oil. And I can still add the great flavor and texture of cheese by using mozzarella, which is lower in fat, and/or freshly grated stronger cheeses like parmesan, which takes much less cheese to get good flavor. But white sauce with onions and garlic – and without cheese at all – can be quite good as well.

Now I’m not really a very good boy when it comes to dieting. We celebrated Val’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and Ben and I were in charge of dessert. . . okay, so you see where this is going. I made crepes; Ben made peach sauce and rhubarb sauce with tapioca as the thickener, which were low in sugar and quite healthy by themselves, actually. But then I thoroughly corrupted the dessert by making a crepe mound with the fruit sauces layered between crepes and a layer of. . . (hee hee) chocolaty mocha mousse between each layer of fruit sauce, that rich, creamy and buttery version for which I posted the recipe last November; then I smeared mousse over the mound. I’m not sure you can truly imagine how utterly delicious that was. If you can afford the caloric splurge I highly recommend that you try it. (See, also, my posts on making crepes and crepe mounds from last November.) I added a single cup packet of Starbuck’s instant coffee to the chocolate mousse recipe, but the regular chocolate mousse would be equally exquisite as well, I’m sure, if you actually don’t like the flavor of fine coffee mixed with chocolate or cannot find good coffee in instant form. DO NOT, however, put regular off-the-shelf instant coffee in the mousse recipe unless you want to ruin it. (Coffee snob? Me?)

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