What is a carrot?

Is a carrot that looks like a carrot, but doesn’t taste like a carrot, still a carrot? 

Taste – Texture – Smell – Colour; Seasonal – Local.                                             Simplicity.

The foundations for the oldest and most sophisticated of food cultures.

Past tense in many respects.

Ersatz:  (adj) – serving as a substitute  (n) – artificial substance or article used to replace something genuine.

Ersatz mass-production of food; where feeling, taste, imperfection, individuality are all removed in favour of quantity, mass-defined aesthetic ideal, homogeneity and “quality” assurance.

Where ‘quality’ is defined as ‘posing no health risk’.

Simon Sinek asks for a ‘why’ to begin any journey.

This is my ‘why’

For me, food is feeling, taste, imperfection, individuality. It is also nutrients and energy. It is growing and processing. It is both physical and emotional.

Food nourishes me.

Food nourishes us.

Or it could …

I look around and see texture ignored in favour of look or of colour. I see ‘perfection’ without taste. I see mass-production giving way to ersatz mass production – artificial replacing genuine. I see people being technically ‘fed’ but not nourished – either mentally, or physically …

… and I see people not asking for anything different …

This is the purpose of the blog …

I want to ‘play’ with my food – I want to be able to separate hype from truth; to uncover interesting pieces of information and share them – and I want to provide this information to others so that they can start to be a community of food leaders – as opposed to food followers.

… because carrots should taste and smell and feel like carrots.


Humble bragging

I’ve heard tell that bananas are nature’s perfect food.

I can see the claim to such a title – self-packaged, ready-to-eat, nutrient-dense … lots of compound adjectives.

I’d like to offer an alternative … the egg.

Packaging that, granted, is not as convenient as that of a banana. Not ready-to-eat as sold … although this does depend on which country you inhabit (#Tamago #Japan)). Nutrient-dense … absolutely.

And if we’re serious about accurate comparisons …

The 100g banana offers 89 calories / 23g of carbohydrates / 1.1g of protein / 64IU of VitA (approx 1 % of the daily need) / 0g VitB12 / 0.367g VitB6 (18% of daily need) a little Magnesium, Manganese and Potassium (about 8% of the daily requirement)

The 100g egg offers 143 calories / 0.7g of carbohydrates / 13g of protein / 540IU VitA (11% of daily need according to the Americans …) .89mcg VitB12 (15%) / 0.170 VitB6) / 82IU VitD (20% of daily need) and a fair chunk of our daily iron, phosphorus and selenium requirements …

… and I like eggs better …

That’s actually more important – I LOVE eggs. I love the aesthetic. I love the taste and if I can get the ‘hard-boiled-ness’ of an egg perfect (with a semi-gelatinous yolk) and marry it with salt flakes from any sea/river/quarry … I am really quite content with my lot in life …

It’s #TheSimpleThings that make me happy …

… and eggs are the perfect #SituationalStaple …

Situational Staples … what is this all about

I love cooking. I love chopping, mixing, sprinkling, tasting, inhaling, stirring, whisking …

Unless I don’t.

It’s 8pm I’ve just closed my apartment door on the day and all of these adored verbs find themselves eclipsed by the need for sustenance and ease.

This was me on Friday night.

And on Saturday morning I shared with a friend my Friday night story, and the resultant meal.

And on Saturday afternoon, in the middle of an energy-giving, balance-challenging (aka damn wobbly) yoga class, the term “situational staple” was coined …

… in my own head at least.

Situational meal (n) : those meals that are directly connected to the situation in which I find myself.

Situational staple (n) : the nutritional elements, cooking techniques or equipment that, combined, go to create a situational meal.

… and I added an ‘s’ because there are many staples that can puzzle-piece together to create a situational meal.

I believe that food should be simple, but that we’ve made it more complicated.

I believe that outcomes are a result of preparation.

I believe that everyone should know how to cook … enough to feed themselves should an apocalypse darken the sky and render useless both the Deliveroo and UberEats apps … or just because it’s cheaper … healthier … or more fun.

So – that it what I’m looking at.

Easy elements that combine to make meals.

Easy meals that meet the needs of given situations.

Welcome to Situational Staples.