Really Eating

What is Really Eating? – Part 1

Posted in Personal by Bethany on August 19, 2009

Naming this blog and explaining its meaning initially seemed like a great way to introduce the blog and what I wanted to blog about. “Really Eating”. Simple… right?

No, not really.

In my head, “Really Eating” is really simple. But, as I tried to explain it in words, it quickly turned into a discourse on cooking, the movement for “real” food, Bay Area restaurants, grocery shopping (or not), and more. So, I thought I’d break it up into parts… and then actually get into “Really Eating”.

Let’s just call this an extended introduction to “Really Eating”.


“What is Really Eating?” Part 1: COOKING

I’ve always loved food, but for most of my life, I was utterly incapable of preparing it for myself. My younger brother put me to shame by learning to cook in a middle school home economics course and it wasn’t until my second year of college that I began to try to cook. In all honesty, I was terrified of burning myself on the stove, cutting off a finger while chopping, and the myriad of other dangers that seemed to plague those in the kitchen.

But alas, after my first year, I moved out of the dorms and found myself at my new apartment, hungry, without a pre-paid meal plan and without any knowledge of cooking whatsoever.

So, I called my mom.

As only moms are able to do, she placated my fears and suggested that I use the Internets to find recipes. Doh. Why didn’t I think of that? The first few months were a lot of trial and error as I tried to replicate the dishes I remembered my mom making at home. Example: pasta with tomato sauce and chicken. Thankfully, I love following directions and found myself meticulously reading each line of the instructions on the box and measuring out each cup of water. I then warmed up the store-bought sauce exactly as the jar demanded. Then, I tried to cook chicken and found that there were no helpful step-by-step instructions. So, I bolstered up the confidence to improvise and began cooking chicken on the stove. It was only a few weeks later that I complained to my mom about my chicken always getting burnt that she pointed out I should have used oil and turned down the heat. Oh. Thanks, Mom.

What I ate the next couple years were pretty much iterations of the same thing. Pasta with red sauce, pasta with white sauce, chicken, beef, fried rice, and so forth. As someone with a pretty simple palate, I didn’t really get sick of those meals and found variety by frequenting the awesome Bay Area restaurants that were only a quick walk/bus ride away. It wasn’t until I met The Pioneer Woman that my perspective on all of this changed.

I hope everyone’s familiar with The Pioneer Woman. I’ve known about The Pioneer Woman for less than 6 months and yet she’s dramatically affected the way I cook and eat. The Pioneer Woman is this lovely lady who blogs about a variety of topics, including cooking for her husband and children. She’s hilarious, honest, and so, so, helpful. What really drew me to her recipes is that she photographs and documents every, single step of her instructions, including how to cut an onion, how to peel a potato, etc. These beginner basics may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me, they were Magic. Wonderful. Lovely. All of a sudden, the world was my oyster!

I don’t remember my first Pioneer Woman recipe. It might have been Pasta Primavera or maybe it was the Spicy Shrimp. All I know is that The Pioneer Woman slowly but surely helped me get over my fear of the kitchen and for that, I owe her profusely.

It just so happened that I started reading the Pioneer Woman around the same time that I was finished with school and was without work (otherwise known as Unemployed) and found myself with a lot of free time and eager to save money and eat in. I subscribed to a dozen or so of my favorite food blogs using my handy, dandy Google Reader and started trying new ingredients, buying (or borrowing) new tools and eating delicious, new food!

Fast forward a few more months and I secured a full time job. Hurrah! Although my plethora of free time quickly diminished after beginning work, I still found myself bookmarking recipes and drooling over Le Creuset dutch ovens. With my newfound apprecation for fresh ingredients, herbs & spices, and cooking in general, I began learning more and more about organics, the slow food movement, and what Michael Pollan describes as, “real food”. What is “real” food, you ask?

To be continued in Part 2 – REAL FOOD.

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4 Responses

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  1. lena said, on August 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm


  2. cousin jeen na said, on August 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    ah food.. I am glad to see that you are not one of the many that are being duped.. another great doc is smart foods… the Gerson Institute is amazing… and last but not least specism.. you can find it on you tube.. its a documentary..

  3. hannahlee said, on August 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Yayyyy! Nice.

  4. […] Find Part 1 here. […]

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