Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Discount "Food" Store Opens; Political Commercials attack common sense; and a great recipe!

First some musings on things that have gotten my attention - since they have something to do with Food, of course!  And then a recipe for something yummy that I think is "on the Horizon".  Also a Fall Veggie tip that we learned about this weekend at the Head House Farmers Market.  More Fall recipes coming later this week.

To begin:   I am assuming that many of us have heard the sad news about the opening of "Bottom Dollar Foods" in King of Prussia.  This relatively new chain is reflective of what is causing so many of the tragic problems that result from lives spent subsisting on subpar food like substances (thank you Michael Pollen!). The worst "foods" are the cheapest, and if shoppers don't want to go with name brands - they can buy even cheaper versions (the Bottom Dollar label).  So, think enormous snack food and soda aisles, and even larger than enormous frozen food cases! Also - when our own does commercials yet is supposed to be a news station, Channel 6, did a flattering piece for the opening of this chain, they showed "produce rooms" - full of out of season/out of this area, produce in crates. 

Now, we do know that "cheaper" is very often not "better" - especially when it comes to what you put into your body - we do that, don't we?  But the lure of cheap - and "convenient" food (although I don't get what's so convenient) - and kids who demand junk food as a main course - will certainly drive many shoppers to this chain.  And, as a society, we will end up - at some point - paying for it!  There is a reason for the epidemic of Diabetes in the United States!  I am just going to keep saying it - it's not a coincidence!

And to those readers who would use that old chestnut argument,  that, "poor people" can't afford fresh, local food - trust me, as someone who shops almost exclusively at Farmers Markets and Fair Food Farms Market in the Reading Terminal - folks who are experiencing financial challenges in this economy seem to be represented quite well at these markets.  They are using their Access Cards as well as making use of the SNAP program - through the Farmers' Trust by the way.  Also, the growth of Farmers Markets in every section of this city is indicative of the success of these supports. 

Again - we realize that "poor" doesn't mean "stupid" - - although frankly, I am beginning to think that "lazy" may indeed mean "stupid"!

Please keep an eye on Bottom Dollar Foods - with any luck they will stay in King of Prussia or they will close and leave quickly!

One more note:  That commercial? You know the one with the woman pushing her shopping cart down the junk food aisle of her favorite stupermarket, ranting about "taxes on soda, juice, and even flavored waters", while all the time the camera is focused on the huge plastic bottle of generic soda in her hand?  She assures us that she can make the decisions for what her family eats and that she doesn't need the "government to interfere".  Really?  No, Really?  Don't you just want to go through the screen and slap her silly?  The cart is full of junk!  The message is clear:  Americans are going to stuff themselves and their kids with junk, frozen food - like substances, chemically altered stuff,  and as much high fructose corn syrup as is possible, damn it, 'cause that's their right as Americans!!!

Again - we'll pay - eventually.

Recipe Corner:

I am going out on a limb here and predicting that Nut Butters are going to be one of the next big things that foodies will enjoy playing around with in their home kitchens.  They are healthy, delicious and extremely verstatile.  Here's an easy recipe for Almond Nut butter from Fine Cooking magazine (Oct/Nov 2010).  From personal experience so far, it's great on Oatmeal, as a topping on sauteed green beans, on a cracker, and most importantly dolloped over ice cream!

Roasted Almond Butter

Yields about 1 cup

2 cups toasted/roasted almonds (I used whole)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 to 4 tablespoons Canola, vegetable or other neutral oil ( I used Canola and used all 4 Tblspoons)
1 teaspoon Honey

Put the nuts in a high quality blender or a very good food processor (I went with our Blender - it'sold but it's the high performance Waring -  just remember that bringing nuts to a smooth consistency require some real blade strength)

Pulse until roughly chopped; add the salt and then puree the nuts until the nuts are smooth - all the while adding the oil through the pour spout - but be careful, too much oil will make your blend a soupy mess - just keep adding a bit at a time until the mixture is the consistency you want, smooth, buttery but now puddles of oil.

Add the honey and pulse a few times more to mix.

Transfer the mixture to a sterilized jar - you can store it in a cool, dry place for up to 2 months, BUT you can store it in your refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Just remember it's in there!

Lastly, check out Ti Tsao - basically an Asian version of baby spinach - we got this beautiful bunch at Head House on Sunday and sizzled it up quickly in a hot saute pan with some garlic, pepper flakes, good olive oil and salt and pepper - it's also delicious raw.  Check it out.

Baby Spinach - Asian Style - Delicious!

What are you cooking as we get into the real Fall season?

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