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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

cadbury-milk-chocolateWas reading today about a group who have “shamed” companies such as MacDonalds, Kellogs and Krispy Kreme for using apparent “healthy” messages to promote their unhealthy products.

It’s true.

Many companies spotlight one aspect of their product, *low in fat* but make no mention of the seventeen spoonfuls of sugar per bite.

It’s called marketing. 

Shaming companies into utilizing a more ethical way of appealing to the young minds of our children is perfectly fine, admirable in fact.

But it doesn’t absolve our duties as parents to teach our children to be media savvy.

I don’t see the point in bringing up our children in a cotton wool community because we don’t live in a cotton wool world. Advertising of children’s products is the first way in which we can teach our children to read between the lines. It’s the equivalent of media pull-up-pants.

My kids can beg and plead and show me their best rendition of sweet puppy-dog faces but I still will not buy them Fruit roll ups. Ask them why and they dutifully reply: “Because they are not as healthy as they pretend to be.”

If we sanitise all children’s advertising how will they cope with the big, ugly, truth of the grown up world? Ever wondered why all those lovely old people believe everything that’s spouted on those commercial Current Affair programmes? It’s simple, they grew up without media training.  Let’s face it- most of them grew up without media. They see the news as having a voice of authority, and like a Doctor’s, it’s one that is never questioned. It would be nice if everything on these current affairs programs was honest and real and we were safe to believe. Sadly that will never be the way. Business is business and no program on television or article in a magazine is without it’s bias. In one form or another.

Krispy Kreme’s school fund raising campaign seems to take the biggest battering of them all.

How dare they entice families to purchase super sweet, high fat donuts in the name of school sponsorship? This isn’t encouraging a healthy lifestyle at all. Yet there’s no public outrage over all the chocolate fundraising that Cadbury has done over the years?

But maybe it’s because Cadbury has a glass and a half of real dairy milk in every block. And we all know that milk is very healthy for you.

Isn’t it?

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NewFamousChipsOn the weekend we took a day trip down to Phillip Island. Along the way we stopped for some road-munchies at the local supermarket. I had a bit of a tummy upset so I grabbed some licorice (need I say anymore??!!??).

In the car I snapped open the bag and popped a black stick into dear hubby’s mouth as he drove. He snaffled it quickly and opened up for another. I had an instant flash back to the time of our early dating.

 Back then, as Uni students, we couldn’t afford too much so we’d drive to the closest Red Roo[s]ter and buy a large box of hot chips for around two dollars. We’d then go for a drive and- romantically- I’d hand feed him the greasy-sticks-of-potato-yum. We’d usually end up at Elwood beach to have a cuddle and lick the salt of my fingers- as we watched the moon drift over Port Phillip Bay. 

Those were joyful moments of blossoming infatuation. The biggest issue we faced was the weekly scrambling to find a freebie pass into our fave nightclub-so we could avoid the ten buck entry fee. We weren’t worried about cholesterol, or high blood pressure, or diabetes.

Nearly two decades on- I’m now feeding my husband licorice sticks.

“We’re getting old.” I said. He laughed.

But it’s true. We have swapped dancing at clubs till the wee hours of the morn for tango-ing stray children back to bed after bad dreams.

We have swapped long night time drives to hear the ocean caress the shore for short drives to cart children from basketball- to ballet- to birthday parties- to band practices.

We have swapped holding hands and whispering sweet nothings for messaging each other on Face Book. 

As I chew on this memory-evoking licorice I realize that ‘transitioned’ is probably a more apt description- than ‘swapped’. When did we morph from the free spirited pair into the “eat this it’s good for your bowels” couple?

 

I panic….Could this be the beginnings of a mid-life-crisis?

Then hubby looks at me, I know what he is thinking.

Next weekend we are getting us some red rooster chips.

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naanI was all consumed with being a mrs-cleaver-mommy yesterday. 

For the first time in ages I had no imminent deadlines and other than a house that needed dusting (pure evil) the day was mine! All mine! 

The sudden desire to cook was overwhelming. Fresh free-range-corn-fed-no-hormone- chicken fillets from the farmer’s market beckoned me to Indian magnificence. It was all there in my head- a banquet fit for a Maharaja- right down to the home made Naan bread. 

Dough was kneaded, breast fillets were caressed in spices and cheesecake was topped with raspberrys (yes I know dessert wasn’t very Indian inspired but who can resist cheesecake???) 

 

The result: 

The naan was an epic fail (although it looked great) with a taste somewhere between cardboard and chipboard- and even my basmati was somewhat nutty [insert reality adjective *crunchy* here while I am not looking.]

WTF? I’ve never stuffed up rice before?

The chicken was okay, I guess- but with no tantalizing accompaniments to sop up the tangerine-coloured gravy- it was just sloppy chicken.

 

 Surprisingly however I didn’t feel too disappointed.

Just spending the day with my hands covered in flour and listening to the unique whir from my kitchen aid mixer was soothing to my need-to-cook-soul. 

And washing aforementioned mixer after a day of cooking (even if it was a disaster) is so much more satisfying than my of late weekly wiping of dust from her beautiful chassis.

 (Dusting, I reiterate, is after all pure evil.)

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 Tried these delicious little treats at the local farmer’s market today…Cannelle.  A baked custard pastry.

The internal texture reminded me somewhat of the divine bougatsza my dear Greek friend taught me how to make.  And don’t be afraid of the outside looking almost burnt- it’s caramelly crisp chewiness is divine.

Here is a link to the definitive recipe and history by Paula Wolfert.  

http://www.paula-wolfert.com/recipes/canele.html

As for me I wish I had more time to don an apron these days…instead we’ll have to be satisfied with big plans to go back next week and buy some more. Yum.

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At exactly 3.27pm every week day I hear the same words whined at me from the back seat of our car. “I’m staaaarving Mum.”

 

No, you are not starving.

Your bellies are plump and round from last night’s supper of chocolate teddy bear bickies and ding milk, not distended from years of malnutrition- the kind you get from only eating porridge-mush made out of tree bark. You are not starving. You are hungry or famished or longing for sustenance.

But you are not starving.

There is a big difference I think as I throw them cheese sticks that have been conveniently plastic wrapped and somehow modified so they no longer need refrigeration. Genetically modified, I guess and then begin to worry about the choice I’ve made. But then I relax- this ‘no need for refrigeration’ cheese is nothing new. We had those blue boxed chunks of yellowness when I was a kid too. Well the blue boxes weren’t as fancy as the modern bits of cheese that string apart when you unwrap them- but then again I wasn’t allowed to play with my food when I was a kid anyway.

Or talk with my mouth full.

Or leave food on my plate.

 Ahhh… the food on the plate rule explains a big chunk of my psyche.

Shocking pictures of pitiful, desperate looking stick creatures from Ethiopia were the introduced rage for relief and aid programs when I was a child. But parents around the country manipulated those sad images for their own evil intents. The Ethiopian children with their stick like arms and blown out stomachs were meant to inspire a stream of donations and funds and sponsored communities- but instead they created new dinner time tag lines- “Eat your damn brussel sprouts. Finish your liver. Think about all those starving kids in Ethiopia.”

Now when my kids look even remotely full I whisk away their plates. My son (master 11) who was born with innate old-fashioned-Italian-values watches me with disbelief as I scrape everyone’s leftovers straight into the bin.

“But Mum that’s such a waste,” he bemoans and shakes his head melodramatically,“maybe the cat will eat it?”

I’ve tried being a whiz with leftovers but my plastic packages glad wrapped and promising just end up growing penicillin. I stand a metre away from the open fridge door and point in the general direction of the fuzzy shadowiness and my husband diligently (and rubber gloved) disposes of my sad attempts at not wasting. Some days he doesn’t even need me to point, he just follows his nose.

I’m sure my son wants to open up a restaurant one day like the one he heard about in Beijing. It gives the patron a discount if you finish your entire meal. As for me I’m trying my best not to be wasteful. I now only cook what I think we will eat. If I ever misjudge the rest is for the cat or the compost.

 And I also have a new 3.27pm plan.

 The next time my kids whinge that they are staaaaarving I have something other than cheese sticks to fling into the back seat for them.

 It’s a Thesaurus.

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