I’m not a vegetarian, but I try to be conscious that an animal died to become my food.
I’m not a gardener, but I try to be and until I learn, I buy from local farmers markets in season.
I love wildlife and feed our wild birds and deer, the squirrels help themselves, too.
I delight in seeing a family wild turkeys stroll through my yard.
I believe that we owe it to the world and to ourselves to be kind to the earth and nature.
This doesn’t fit in a food blog, does it? Well, yes it does, because these principles shape how I cook, what I cook and sometimes even the techniques that I use.
Part of cooking a healthy, gluten-free diet means avoiding pre-boxed, pre-made anything. Now, I’m not crazy, my Mother had me tested….hahaha, seriously though, I do use gluten-free items regularly and proudly, like my favorite brand of yellow mustard (I don’t think I can name brands), but I also make my own and you will find those recipes in the condiments category. Do you like a spicy-sweet mustard, I have one. Homemade ketchup will change your life. I make my own Thai-chili sauce that you will find in many recipes and even my own mayonnaise when I’m feeling ornery. Sometimes a summer grilled chicken demands a homemade cilantro mayonnaise, and adding herbs to a mass-produced product just doesn’t cut it. But I digress, cooking the way I do produces lots of scrap material, so I compost. I buy biodegradable bags, and I fill several every week. But sometimes I grab a container and freeze a nice collection of vegetable scraps until I have a nice amount, then I make a big pot of vegetable stock to store and freeze for soups and bases. I also save meat bones when they are cut for a recipe and about twice a year I will visit a local farmer, buy several pounds of stock bones and spend two days making a demi glace that I freeze and use as a base for all of my brown sauces.
This means that I support composting and reusing as much as possible. It never fails that when I buy a bunch of cilantro, about 1/4 of it will not be used before it gets, well, slimy. At that point, it is a welcome addition to the composter. I do not like making trash. I’m not perfect, but I will likely make comments about what to save and what to compost in my recipes when it seems appropriate. I will also appreciate your thoughts and ideas on this matter! If you can tell me how to grow my herbs or vegetables, I will listen. If you have more uses for scraps, please tell me (us), and we will all benefit. After all, recipes, like life, are just a series of lessons learned, right? Just opinions on how to do something, an opinion that you can try, and then make fit your particular likes. But again, I digress.
And our protein sources, pigs, chickens, beef and sea creatures of all kinds. They are alive, and they deserve to have a peaceful life and a kind death. Wow, a “kind death”, what an odd phrase. It hurts my heart to think of chickens that live their entire lives in cramped cages or cows that are packed into …. well, I’m not going any further, you know where this is going. Mass production farms are not known for providing open, healthy living environments for the animals. And the animals are alive. They care for their young, they experience fear, and they feel pain. If an animal is born to be food, its life should have our respect, its death painless and quick. Consider this, as humans, our stress hormones kick in when we are scared and permeate our bodies. They trigger our fight-or-flight response, among other things. Why do we want to eat meat that experienced a horrific and frightening ending, or that had a cruel life? I’m not being preachy, really, folks are entitled to make their own decisions and draw their own lines in the sand, but do not look for any veal recipes on this site, or foie gras, or….you know what I’m saying.
In the end, my message is merely to be kind to the earth and its creatures. Please.