What’s Cooking?

The first week of January is nearly past! I have only a few minutes to write this post, so it’s a bit scattered. I signed up to participate in Creative Every Day 2009, so here’s my first post about it. For Christmas I received some culinary items: a jumbo muffin pan, four really heavy cookie/jelly roll sheets, 6 tart pans, 4 mini loaf pans, and 2 mini cake pans, along with a book called Small-Batch Baking. I really enjoy baking (even more than cooking), but most baked goods are indulgences. And as we should know but have forgotten, an indulgence is a treat, something enjoyed specially; however, the quantities most recipes create are many dozens of cookies or large pies and cakes that a family of three does not need.

This morning I put the loaf pans to use by making more pumpkin bread. I’ve found that large loaves don’t get consumed quickly enough, and another point to baking small is to reduce the amount of temptation to overeat. I was really pleased with the results and look forward to making more goodies. The recipes in the book make very small amounts; for example, a recipe for a cake makes 2 little cakes (slightly larger than a jumbo muffin) or a half a dozen cookies.

I’ve also decided this year to get creative about food in a different way. I received three other books, some of which provide ideas to ponder and one of which also has recipes. One of my relatives has undergone a significant weight loss, and she and I discussed eating habits and the need to remain healthy, and how excess weight impinges on health. Eating differently — heathfully and in less quantity — is also a creative response to environmental issues.

I realize I have, for too many years, consumed food mindlessly in quantities that would shock a large percentage of the world population. As I watch my daughter learn to eat and to feed herself, I’ve felt my conscience poked and prodded. She follows her natural hunger and satiation. It’s been so long since I stopped at satiation. I know what hunger feels like but often eat as recreation, and I often eat beyond simple fullness. So many people live on much, much less. And in fact, as my relative and I discussed, our sense of proportion is extremely skewed. We have grown accustomed to large servings and lost the understanding of how truly little a body needs to thrive. By reducing how much I consume, I can save our family money, and some of that money will go to organizations such as Feeding America and Heifer International. So the books I will be reading are:

Explore posts in the same categories: Culinary Delights, Domestic Arts, Education, Journal, Nature, Recreation, Regional, Science, Social Science

6 Comments on “What’s Cooking?”

  1. Kathryn - Collage Diva Says:

    What a great way to kick off the new year – a daily creative fix.

  2. LKD Says:

    It sounds ridiculously simple, yet the idea is ultimately so complex that most people can’t wrap their minds around it when first confronted with the idea of eating only when one is really, physically hungry, ceasing eating when one is full, and treating food as what it really is, fuel. I know it changed my life and how I think about food when I finally accepted the fact that I was eating for every reason EXCEPT hunger. When I tell people now, thanks but no thanks when they offer me food, stating that I’m not hungry right now and only eat when I’m hungry, they look at me like I’m crazy. I made the mistake of saying this out loud at work and everyone said, well, I’d try that too, but I’d be hungry all the time. Of course, that’s just not true. But everyone’s so brainwashed into believing that they should eat because everyone else is eating, or because it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner time, or because mom made the cake especially for me, or because food obliterates anger and sadness, or because food is used as a means of celebration, that it’s hard to convince them otherwise.

    Once I began eating only when I was hungry, stopped eating before I felt full (that’s the real trick–if you eat until you feel physically full, you’ve eaten too much), and began viewing food as the fuel that runs my body, I lost weight. 40 pounds. And I’ve kept it off, every last bit of it. For years. I eat whatever I want. If I want a piece of candy, I eat a piece of candy. If I want steak, I eat steak. But, I only eat those things when I’m genuinely hungry, and I try to eat only what I’m specifically hungry for.

    It’s so simple, yet so complex. And it’s not easy. But once it becomes a part of your life, you can’t go back. It’s the same way with exercise. I actually feel guilty now when I miss a day of exercise, as I did today. The tooth extraction prevented any physical activity (yep, I had a tooth pulled) and it made me restless. But I’ll make up for it on the weekend.

    So, hey, go you, K! The first step of this journey is the realization that you’re eating for all the wrong reasons. You’re there. You’ve had that epiphany. The next step is merely diving in and just doing it. Keep a food diary if you need to before you start. Write down all the food you’re eating, when you’re eating it, and if you can nail down the reason, WHY you’re eating it. You’ll be astonished at how much you’re eating, and all those reasons, other than hunger that are provoking over consumption.

    It ain’t easy at first. But nothing is. Hell, I never thought I’d stick with the daily exercise thing when I started that 7 years ago. There were days I’d be walking in downpours or in sub-zero wind chills wondering why the fuck I was doing it, and then I’d remember: For me. I’m doing this for ME.

    Happy healthy new year to you and yours, friend.

  3. Mary Stebbins Taitt Says:

    I love creative cooking and unfortunately, I love to eat what I cook and bake. I am looking for other creative outlets to help cut down on the eating of my creations. I seem to have difficulty with sensing satiation. Good post!

  4. gerry rosser Says:

    I never get into the “doing something everyday” thingies which whirl around.

    I like tasty food.

    I do not cook.

  5. Karen Maezen Miller Says:

    Timely and nutritional reminder. How often do we prod our children to eat so that WE will feel full? (Don’t ask.)

  6. Diana Says:

    I’ve been waiting for the Bittmann book to come into the library. I just discovered his How to Cook Everything and love it, him, his approach.