15 Dec Doing it Grandma’s Way
Growing up in Israel, I found myself at grandma’s house (and in her kitchen) a big chunk of my childhood years. Grandma didn’t have time to greet people at the door with a “hello” or “how are you?”. The first question she’d ask as soon as I walked through the door was “are you hungry binti?”(which means my daughter in arabic). So as you can imagine, life revolved around the kitchen. There was always massive amounts of food in the fridge and on the dining table, and strangely everyone was very skinny at the same time. And we ate. A lot. Of everything. And we took seconds without hesitations!
The first question she’d ask as soon as I walked through the door was ``are you hungry binti?``
As a young adult, I ended up living at my grandparents’ house, and my bedroom was just next to the kitchen. Grandma was not a spring chicken by then, but still kept herself busy in the kitchen most of the day. Cooking with her, and learning some cooking tricks and tips, helped me a lot when I finally lived on my own. Managing to recreate her recipes was always a joyful moment. To this day, my boys’ most favorite recipes are the ones I’ve inherited from her. I know she’s chilling in heaven with a big bowl of fruit and nuts, smiling down at us 🙂
So going back the to the “everyone ate heaps and was skinny” part, it really does make you think, doesn’t it. I’m sure you remember the same reality. We ate natural fats, and heaps of them (butter, avocado, nuts etc), we ate seasonal fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, meat, and we survived to tell the tale. It really does sound like fiction, but back then people went to the butcher to buy meat, and to the guy at the corner to get the fruits and vegetables. So why can’t we live like that today?
You might get some huffs and puffs when refusing to buy the kids favorite frozen pizza
Well, I truly believe we can! In fact, I know a few families who believe the same, and practice it on a daily basis. Yes, it’s a change (and it doesn’t have to happen overnight), and yes, you might get some huffs and puffs when refusing to buy the kids favorite frozen pizza or that soft drink the husband begged you to get. But I guarantee that by the time you get the hang of it, everyone will feel better, be more energized, and will steer clear of processed food without you standing over their shoulders. And you know what? if they do choose to have something “sinful” once in a while, it won’t be such a big deal. It will happen once in a blue moon, rather that something that goes into their growing bodies regularly.
When we replace real, traditional foods like butter, meat and vegetables with crappy, processed junk foods, we get fat and sick. Real food is the key to good health, processed food is not. Period. (Business Insider)
So the general idea: avoid processed food. Processed food, by default, needs to taste the same. In order to do that, the food companies have to add certain chemicals of all shapes and sizes. Some are natural and harmless. Others are the devil. I’ll give you a few tips next time I post, about how to know which chemicals you want to avoid, but this time I’d like to share with you one of grandma’s great recipes, which I make once a week still, and the whole family loves!
Grandma’s Thursday Meal
- 500g basmati rice
- About 250g red lentils
- Heaped tbsp tomato puree
- 5-7 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp ground sea salt
- 3-4 tbsp butter
- Fresh vegetables (cucumber, tomato, avocado and whatever else you like)
- Kefir/yogurt/a mix of milk products and a bit of water
- Eggs (optional, but adds a lot!)
In a heavy bottom pot, put about one and a half cups of tap water, the salt, and tomato puree, and start heating. Meanwhile, place the rice and lentils in a big bowl, and wash until water is clear(replacing the water about 3-5 times). When well washed, place in with the water. The water should now be about 2cm above the rice. Take out or add more if needed.
Stir once, and cover. Let boil on high hit until you see that the water reaches the level of the rice. Keep a close eye, as you don’t want the rice to burn. As soon at the water reaches the rice level, turn down to the lowest heat, stir again, and cover. Let sit for about 15min.
While the rice is cooking away, crush the garlic cloves and put in a pan with butter. Fry the garlic until it browns ever so slightly. Add the garlic and butter to the rice, mix well, and cover again.
The rice is now cooked and waiting for some companionship.
In a bowl or carafe, pour in the Kefir/yogurt or mix ( we often use quark, yogurt, sour cream and kefir mixed with water). Add salt and pepper to it. Done.
If you decide to make a sunny side up, use the same pan you fried the garlic in. It will give the egg an extra delicious flavor.
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