What’s Been Cooking at Our House – Charles Hugh Smith

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.

A healthy homecooked family meal and a home garden are revolutionary acts.

Longtime readers know that my political, financial and spiritual philosophy starts here: “A healthy homecooked family meal and a home garden are revolutionary acts.” If this sounds preposterous, then it’s time for an analysis of our politics of experience and an examination of how derealized our culture and economy have become.

Though all my books address the politics of experience and derealizationSurvival+and Resistance, Revolution, Liberation develop the analysis most fully.

I recently read an explanation of convenience: why go to the trouble of cleaning and preparing vegetables and then having to do dishes, when you can buy a fast-food cheeseburger, crumple up the wrapper and toss it in the trash?

Why, indeed. The cheeseburger is hands-down more convenient. But if your diet revolves around this sort of convenience, you quickly become overweight and chronically ill because you’re starving yourself even as you fill yourself up.

This is an excellent metaphor for the entirety of derealized American life. Stop engaging in real life and what are you left with?

Growing food and preparing food are two anchors to the real world. Each is an act of caring and an engagement with the pleasures of living.

Over the years I have heard many excuses why nobody has time or energy to prepare real food at home. Since I typically work 12-hour days, I find the usual excuses rather thin. Americans are “too busy” to cook (or learn how to cook) yet they magically find 4 to 6 hours a day to watch TV, surf the web, text, etc.

Yes, everyone who works long hours feels whipped at the end of the day. The trick is to prepare main dishes on the weekend that last several meals, and to perfect some quick cooking techniques for vegetables such as stir-frying. (A pressure cooker speeds up cooking rice and beans wonderfully.)

Here’s a recent weekend meal at our house: Korean-style chicken BBQ (enough to last a few main meals on weekdays), steamed asparagus, stir-fried pea sprouts (Chinese style), kimchee (store-bought), Hawaii-style white rice and a bit of white wine.

Another meal: grilled pork in a Vietnamese marinade, stir-fried green beans (from a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe, as I recall), a dollop of zinfandel red wine and white rice. (We eat both brown and white rice; those of you from Hawaii will understand why we can’t switch completely to brown rice.)

Here’s a closeup of the black-bean flavored green beans:

I recently picked the last of our winter beets and prepared the beets and beet tops in a vinaigrette:

My wife learned how to make potstickers (Jiaozuo in Mandarin Chinese) some years ago; here’s a recently prepared pan. (No, these are not machine-made; they are made by hand.) We freeze them in bags for easy preparation when we’re trashed at day’s end. They can be either vegetarian or with pork.

I recently rediscovered how easy it is to make brownies from scratch. I decorated this batch with walnuts and macadamia nuts. Ridiculously addictive.

Other than the Jiaozuo, nothing presented here is elaborate or takes a lot of time to prepare. It’s possible to make these dishes in an elaborate fashion, but it isn’t necessary. A cheap little Weber grill or hibachi and a quickly assembled marinade are all that’s needed for a great little BBQ.

As Aristotle observed, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Combine that with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s admonition, “Do the thing and you shall have the power,” and you have a pretty good philosophy of cooking and life.

This is a syndicated post, which originally appeared at oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith.View original post.

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Wall Street Examiner Disclosure:Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I am a contractor for Money Map Press, publisher of Money Morning, Sure Money, and other information products. I curate posts here on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. In some cases I receive promotional consideration on a contingent basis, when paid subscriptions result. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler, unless authored by me, under my byline. No endorsement of third party content is either expressed or implied by posting the content. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of information providers.

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