So I got into the Thanksgiving spirit early with my epistolography yesterday, and I’ve got a few extra gratitude-themed posts planned for later this week (one of which is foreshadowed by a high-larious comic hidden in a link in this very entry!)
I feel like I’m turning into the NaBloPoMo homestretch, and that means I have to be extra-bonus careful not to fall into complacency, especially at the end of this week when I’ll be all distracted by holiday family action. Today I have been all distracted in general but a highlight of that distraction was that I now know I can make pierogies! This changes everything! Ok, not really, but it does make for a new approach to leftovers, I tell you what. Reluctant hat tip to Mark “Smugface” Bittman, who suggests stuffing wonton wrappers with mashed potatoes in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine â€” I had just been looking for something fun to do with a small serving of stewed oxtail â€” The River Cottage Meat Book still rocks, yes. AND I didn’t wimp out with premade wrappers but rather made my own dough based on Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe, which calls these dumplings of deliciousness “piroshki”, which sounded just Russian enough that I figured a splash of vodka could only help things along… epic win.
I am deeply grateful for recent research showing that bodies absorb fewer calories from raw food than food that’s cooked (and to io9.com, where I saw that first.) I mean, this shouldn’t be news, there’s a reason our species has been playing with fire since time immemorial, but at the same time: in your face, raw foodists claiming that “uncooked calories metabolize more efficiently”! (And why yes, I have started a timer to see how long it takes before we get a wave of “cooking caused the obesity crisis, fatties should only be allowed to eat raw,” and similar rants.) Along similar lines, while it’s true that heat destroys some nutrients in food, how is it that the “cooked food is dead food, dead food is poison” crowd always seems to forget to mention (or have managed not to learn) that cooking makes far more vitamins and whatnot bioavailable than it removes. Ranty rant rant rant. But I digress. Mostly I am happy about this result (even if it was on mice, which are not people and have all kinds of other problems besides, yowza) because yay for reminding people that our bodies are not bomb calorimeters. Also, of course the way food is prepared changes how good it is for us (or not)! On a very deep level, I actually believe that food is better for us if we like it: not just in the taste sense, but actually in a holistic health sense, and although I also sort of believe that we can never really prove this it’s still nice to see some science aimed in that direction instead of all stupid ridiculous reductionism all the time. Phew! I guess that was a rant that needed out. To get back to gratitude for a bit, mine will be eternal to anyone who can get me a copy of the article in question, since I no longer have access to an academic library with databases of journals like PNAS.
Ok, wrapping up quickly since I am up past my bedtime and this post is very late: Coming up later this week, a Wordless Wednesday about some truly epic adventure cooking, a very timely Thank You Thursday, and Friday fotos which may or may not keep up the week’s theme.