The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

From scratch

On Thanksgiving (and most every other day of the year), my mother makes absolutely everything from scratch, from pie dough to stuffing/dressing. Fresh herbs in the turkey, homemade whipped cream for the half-dozen pies we made. Even the cranberry relish in later years was from scratch (my sister makes a cranberry-orange relish).
For foodies like us, dear readers, this is the norm. It's from scratch because we don't know any other way. We wouldn't dream of buying the pumpkin pie or (gasp!) plopping a tub of Cool Whip on the table. (Read the ingredients on that stuff. Ick!)
This year I'm not going home because I have to work today, the day after Thanksgiving and Saturday. I'll be at a new house where I know things will be different, perhaps some things a little less homemade.
For my mom and me, Thanksgiving is about the cooking. We stay up late the night before finishing pies, then rise early on Turkey Day to start the bird. It's nothing fancy, just good, from-scratch homemade food.
I was riding on the elevator today, and I heard people talking about letting the grocery store make the turkey or the dressing -- even the whole meal! To me, Thanksgiving is just not a day for shortcuts.
What do you think?

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at 12:02 PM Blogger Rachel Richardson said...

It depends on your skills and priorities. Some people would rather spend time spent cooking reuniting with family and friends. I can't follow a recipe to save my life, and generally don't enjoy toiling away in the kitchen and all the clean-up involved, but I do enjoy helping my mom cook because we can spend time together. But, on the flip side, that time is at the expense of my other family members, who are often in other parts of the house as the meal is prepared.

I try to avoid processed foods as much as possible in my daily cuisine, but I've ruined enough recipes to know when to leave some of the work to professionals. Commercial foods aren't all that bad - Wild Oats, Trader Joe's and even Krojer have a wide selection of organic and natural side dish items that taste great and are easy to prepare.

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