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5.21.2012

REAL SUGAR AND REAL BUTTER

When I was a kid my Grandma made square hamburgers fried in a pitted aluminum skillet with mushroom soup gravy (long before the aluminum scare and red meat alerts!).  After the hamburgers were removed from the pan, grease was mixed with a bit of flour, a can of mushroom soup and a cup of milk or so.  It was salted and peppered to seasoned goodness and served with the hamburgers.  It was a sort of poor man's swiss steak, and it was good!  She had melamine dishes that were a coral-pinkish hue and we consumed those square mushroom-gravied burgers on them.  She also made the best custard in the world.  Never was there any skimping or trying to "lighten up" the recipe.  It was rich and creamy with full fat whole milk and real eggs, sweetened with real sugar and real vanilla.  The top was dusted with a bit of nutmeg.  My other Grandma made the world's best fried chicken.  She used chicken, with the skin on - eeh gads!!  It was dipped in egg and milk and rolled in a seasoned flour mixture, and then browned in a high temperature skillet with butter.  Yes, I said butter.  The real deal and lots of it.   After it got to a crispy brown goodness on both sides, it was transferred to a large granite-wear covered roasting pan and baked it till done.  There was nothing like it.  She also made real tapioca pudding from scratch, not a box mix.  It was, as my grandpa used to say, "fish eyes" - the large pearl kind of tapioca.   After it was cooked in whole milk and sometimes half/half with several eggs and had cooled, she added real whipping cream that she had whipped.  It wasn't COOL WHIP or any of its derivatives with poly this and that as ingredients.  It was just cream, whipped with a bit of sugar to the consistency of whipping cream and then folded in to the tapioca.  The final product was creamy and rich.  It was full bodied and smooth and you wanted more than one helping.  Did we eat like that constantly, no.  But, it was part of our eating world.  My husband and I were talking about diets now days.  They are ridiculous.  There are the; I won't eat bread, only protein, only low fat, only fruit, only cabbage soup, only light/diet versions of processed foods diets out there.  When we were growing up there were relatively few very overweight people.  There were no video games, no cell or smart phones, no computers, no I Pads, no WORDS WITH FRIENDS, no FACEBOOK, no cable TV, no dvd or blue ray players.  There was nothing to keep you inside or sitting except the occasional TV show, a book or a board game.  None of that stuff existed AND we ate butter and bacon grease and fried chicken sometimes.  But we did not have processed foods.  Oh sure Twinkies were introduced in 1930. McDonalds first started in Arizona in 1975.  And, cake mixes that required adding only water appeared as a product of General Mills in 1947.  There was SOME processed foods, but even those were not filled to the brim with the amount of preservatives we consume nowadays.  Seeds that farmers used had not been genetically altered to produce higher yields by combining seed species with herbicides to make them resilient to bugs and weather conditions.  Fertilizers and chemicals were not the norm in farming like they are now.  Ground water was not polluted from run-off of chemicals put in the ground to produce a bigger end result.  And, our asses moved constantly.  Food was made from scratch more.  There were not ingredients listed that couldn't be pronounced.  Portion sizes were not inflated to Biblical proportions and people were built smaller they than are today.  There are "light" and "reduced fat" versions of everything today.  They are part of the mixed bag of culprits that cause people to not lose weight. They have high chemical contents with ingredients that our bodies don't process.  30 years ago you could eat full-fat tapioca and fried chicken from time to time because you didn't sit around and it wasn't made with artificial anything.  I think not eating bread is totally unreasonable.  But, I think eating bread constantly is too.  Eat a piece of bread occasionally.  Eat a piece of pie once in awhile.  In the interim, move your body and eat veggies and fruit and lean protein.  Eat things that aren't boxed and are fresh.  Sugar won't make you fat consumed occasionally.  I think the population of the U.S. would physically feel way better if they didn't eat chemically laced products dubbed as "food" and would set their smart phones down and go outside! 

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