Posted by: smortimer | 2009/05/01

Thoughts on food . . .

I saw an episode of The F Word last night. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a Gordon Ramsey show. It’s a British show so Gordon does not “act” the way he does on the American versions of Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares. He is still a cocky Brit, but without all the over the top screaming and yelling that sells those shows in the North American TV marketplace. From what I can gather Gordon has a restaurant called The F Word, and Gordon invites people who are not cooks/chefs by trade and teaches them to make a three course meal for a 50 cover dining room. The diners then have the choice of paying for each course if they enjoy it or not paying if they feel it is not up to standard. So at the end of the night the “brigade” in the kitchen is rated out of 150. Also interspersed with the cooking in the restaurant are several other segments about food. It’s like a culinary variety show.

In the episode last night Gordon showed three builders how to make quick, easy food on a job site, he taught some British celebrity how to cook a chicken curry in less time than the Take Away could be brought to them(20 minutes), and he dropped his family of sheep off at “Beckingham Palace”. No that last is not a typo, Gordon apparently is friends, or at least acquainted with David and Victoria Beckham, and they let him graze his sheep on their palatial estate.

Gordon also took his son to hunt Rooks, some kind of bird they have population problems with in Britain, and I think could be the “black bird” from the children’s rhyme, four and twenty black birds baked in a pie. . . .I found it very interesting that Gordon brought his son along. The boy even took a few shots with the shotgun, though at targets in practice before they went hunting. In fact the boy turned out to be quite profficient at spotting the Rooks in the trees and helped gather the bodies of the birds Gordon shot. They had a camp stove set up and Gordon prepared a “rook salad’ which was very similar to the pidgeon salad he had prepared on a different episode of the show to be served at The F Word. Through out the whole process there was Gordon cutting into the birds, removing the breasts and going through the “choicer” organs with his son right there.

I have watched a few episodes from different series of the show, in one year Gordon raised turkey’s in his backyard, there is the sheep and I have also seen him raising pigs. He has his children involved in the process, they help care for the animals, and they know that the animals are being raised for food. It’s so different than our attitude here in NA, steak grows on little styrofoam trays, shrink wrapped when mature enough to eat, chicken comes in parts, wings, drumsticks, breasts. We are completely de-attached from our food. Sure I know this is not how everyone is but the vast majority. It makes us less likely to appreciate what we put into our bodies. I have long felt that the obesity problem that NA suffers from could be attributed to the amount of processed crap that we eat. Refined sugar and grains make up a ridiculous % of our diets.

The guys in the kitchen last night were pretty horrible, their final score was 67 I think, out of 150. While watching Gordon demonstrate the main entree, which was a veal scallopini with caponata I was struck by how easy it is to make amazing food with natural unprocessed ingredients. I mean I have done some culinary training, I do know how easy it is. Watching him the chop peppers I kind of had an epiphany, I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking food comes in little prepackaged portions. I want her to know that there is a direct relationship between the food we grow, cultivate or raise and put into our bodies. I guess another part of this whole thing is that Kayleigh recognizes the signs for Boston Pizza, and she even knew the Swiss Chalet bag the delivery guy carries. She is three years old and this just strikes me as if I have somehow let her down. I am not being a good example of responsible and healthy eating and I need to do something about it.

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