I had a blip on the radar the other day that I ignored much to my detriment. My old computer had been acting weird for a week or so but I had just chalked it up to it's advanced age. Then the unthinkable happens and the computer just died. Seeing as it was using older hard drives I lost pretty much everything to do with the blog, including the pictures and old ads I had collected. Well I'm back up and running with a middle age laptop until I can get something better but in the meantime it means I have a clean slate to work with as far as the blog goes. I know I don't write nearly as much as I used to, it goes along with having a full time job now. Having the job has been a positive experience even if I had to shelve the blog for a few months while I was training. The biggest thing I have taken away from working at an upscale grocer is my love and newfound depth of understanding pertaining to organic foods. I started with experimenting with organic and now it's a full on passion. I don't go crazy with it, insisting that all things be organic but if the option is available I certainly take it.
One of my friends on Facebook shared a list of "what to use" ingredients in lieu of older ingredients. I don't want to name names or embarrass anyone but it was so much flummery. Do you really need to replace your white flour with sprouted whole wheat? or use quinoa noodles? Yeah I didn't think so. Few of us have the disposable income to afford such fripperies and when you do, you find the taste repellant. What I personally insist on is at least getting back to basics with your ingredients. Here's my list:
The Old The Vintage Replacement
Vegetable, Soy or Canola Oil Lard, Bacon Drippings, Peanut Oil
Margarine Pasture Butter (Organic Valley, Kerrygold)
Sugar Domino Brand Sugar
Iodized Salt Sea Salt, Real Salt, Diamond Kosher
Canned Broth better than bouillon Bases
White Bleached Bromated Flour King Arthur All Purpose Flour
Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Dukes or CF Sauer Brand Mayo
Pasta De Cecco
Low Fat Dairy Full Fat Pasture Raised Dairy
Here's my reasoning on the above, Vegetable oils especially soy and canola are compromised with GMOs. Lard has sprinkling of preservatives that all told amount to less carcinogens in a whole bucket than you get being stuck behind a city bus in traffic. Peanuts have not been compromised with GMO modification... yet. Butter is so much better for you than margarine made from questionable ingredients. Pasture raised is the best as it has the most nutrients. Domino sugar is still made from sugar cane and has recently gone green in their manufacturing. Store brand and el cheapo sugars are from sugar beets which are invariably GMO. For my morning coffee I use Florida Crystals Demerara sugar, but any kind of turbinado will work for coffee/tea as long as it's US grown. Salt is such an innocuous thing that we take it for granted. The original what to use list said to use Himalayan Pink Salt (!) which last I checked is $25 a block at my work. Sorry, too rich for my wallet so I stick with sea salt or real salt (it's a brand). Bleached, chemical stripped salt is the reason for all our woes with cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. I still keep a container of it around to use in baking but when it's gone I'm done with it. Kosher salt (Diamond Brand) is well known among chefs for being of the highest quality and is especially suited for use with cooking. The rest of the list is self explanatory and I need not go into details about it.