If you are reading this blog in a tense diet-rules-ridden worry about healthy eating and weight loss (I am all for the former for all – and for the latter, for the people who need it only), I have one word for you: relax. There is nothing more likely to cause you stomach ulcers than stress – and getting those stressing over food issues is just sad – not to mention totally unnecessary.
To borrow a derogatory term from one of the cookbooks from my collection, I can’t stand diet dictocrats. Not only have they done little other than help plunge the Western civilization into the depths of an obesity and diabetes II epidemic (do the words “metabolic syndrome” mean anything to you?), but to add insult to (the very real) injury, they have systematically tried (and in the cases of too many people, managed) to take away the joy and love of good – and healthy! – food.
Regrettably, I do not exaggerate – neither the size of the problem (individually or population-statistic wise), nor the amount of food-related neuroses I have encountered. Oh the sad people at the supermarket, staring wistfully at the butter display and then picking up a tub of light margarine, if you only knew how much better for you that coveted block of butter is than the over-processed box of “healthy” junk you hold in your hand!
So, in the spirit of revolution against the above (and because it fits with what I like, know and believe), the recipes in this blog are written with as relaxed and anti-dictocratic and politically incorrect attitude as possible. After all, who am I to tell you how much parsley you want in your pasta (or how much pasta you want in your fresh-ground black pepper for that matter), and in what proportion you like your bacon to your beef. It would be both rude and presumptuous for me to try to tell you how you should like your food and what constitutes the perfect this, that or the other – and I do not hold cookbooks or cooking shows by celebrity chefs that exhort you to do things “just so, else it is a waste of whatever and time” in any sort of good regard.
Therefore, from the very start – and until further notice (nor foreseen anytime at all) – all measures in recipes are given approximately. They are a guideline and a suggestion of good consistency and usually above-average (for a Northern European taste) amount of seasoning (the way I like it), but when following any recipe, I would strongly urge you to modify it to your own taste and preference – since it is far more likely that you will be the one eating it, or maybe your friends, rather than I. Food, like sex, is neither a competitive, nor a spectator sport. Or, I don’t think it should be.
In line with my education in food and biochemistry, and my hate towards political correctness – especially in food and other items of personal preference – I refuse to use butter-, milk- and meat-substitutes, regardless of whatever “ethical” and health claims (both usually unfounded beyond superficial advertisement hype) they make. Quite aside from the fact that they all taste like… well, not like what they claim, but rather much like shit – thus violating not just the “good for you” but also the “good to eat” rules of my food philosophy. I like my food unfucked-with and natural, and thus tasting of actual food, thank you very much. And while on the subject of ethics, I would rather finance small dairy farmers than large vegetable-oil processing plants with my butter habit. Loved-and-cared-for Daisy the cow tends to give far better butter than vegetable oil-and-water-plus-emulsifiers goo that comes out the pipe at said industrial facility. I won’t even speak of meat and milk substitutes in any detail to avoid ruining your appetite for a week.
And thus the butter is real, and usually (for cooking with) unsalted. I will use good quality gourmet salted butters for eating, especially when prepared with sea salt and the like. Likewise, meat is preferably fresh, bloody, non-Kosher, and whenever possible, free-range and bought from someone who raises it and sells to small butcheries. Or at least from a good butcher shop or counter – easier in Sweden than most places, with its good livestock welfare standards.
I refuse to feel guilty about eating things which were produced without inflicting undue cruelty on animals, and I refuse to make quality compromises regarding what I eat – we are what we eat (and look like it). So please do read, try, change, cook, eat and most importantly, relax and enjoy it. Else what’s the point, really?