Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Pantry Files

Privilege per Webster's is defined as a right or immunity granted as a benefit, advantage, or favor

Perception seems a bit tougher, involving observation and comprehension...

This past weekend I spent time at my older sister's house in Oregon and both my brother & were left with some serious questions. My sister has the perception that in comparison to her own diet, my mother's is extremely unhealthy as my mother likes the occasional cookie or donut or candy bar.

Yet my sister's pantry is filled with boxed and canned goods filled with sodium that Mom's diet should not include. We ate fried eggs and pork products everyday. Erica made cupcakes from a mix, used frosting from a container and baked premade biscuits, all of which have partially hydrogenated oil.

Oh and she drinks Ovaltine everyday. Isn't that technically a sweet?

The third, or maybe it was the sixth, time my sister griped about my mother wanting to buy danishes at the store, I opened the pantry and said "Do you have any idea how much sodium is in all this stuff?" Her response was a shrug and a comment about the fact that her husband liked that food, so that is what they had.

The only meals with vegetables we had were Thursday at Sizzler because we had the salad bar and Friday night when my brother made vegetable goulash with veggies my mom gave us money for. 

This has got me deeply thinking. I came home to a lovely beef stew with fresh potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans. The weekend left me longing for fish. My perception is that my mother is eating the same crap my sister is serving only adding a few sweets here and there. My mother is known for liking her dessert, and we used to have 'a little something' every night when we were kids. In summer she would buy strawberries and douse them in sugar before putting them in the fridge and I would always ask if she could leave just a few plain so I could eat them that way.

So am I just responding like someone of privilege who is lucky enough to eat fresh produce with ease and has almost no canned or boxed food in their home? Or is this an issue of perception: she believes that canned food is perfectly acceptable because it isn't sugar and in her view the lack of sugar makes it 'healthy'?

When we stopped by the Ashland Co-Op on Sunday, Erica commented that she noticed how expensive things were. I said that with all my health issues in the past and our family health history I was willing to pay a little more for good, fresh food that wouldn't make me sick. She responded in the positive, so maybe in the end, she heard me after all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tacos Mi Tierra

The best meal we had while visiting family was on Friday in Medford. After we got off the bus we saw a library, so of course we had to go in. The library was closed but the store was open. lucky me, I got two books and scored a bunch of magazines for the whopping total of $1.50. 

href=""><img alt="Tacos Mi Tierra on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" />

Then we walked across the street to Tacos Mi Tierra which smelled so good upon first entering we knew we had made the right choice. We decided to share the chicken nachos, which were enhanced the excellent tomatillo sauce we poured over them. We also got chicken tacos to go that we scarfed later. We ate another Mexican place Saturday but to our dismay, it didn't even come close to being as good. Tacos Mi Tierra is already in our list for places we plan to eat on our next visit to Medford.

The chips were wonderfully crunchy and the meat was fresh & hot off the grill. The prices are great too, we fed two people for $10, which was well within our budget. The couple behind us had burritos which looked and smelled amazing. My brother said that is what are trying next time we go....

what to eat, what to eat

I love the look of this, like an old fashioned kitchen

Meat is cooked fresh for every order and it tastes like it

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oaktown Jerk

There was a new booth at the Old Oakland Farmer's Market today, and one you need to try!

Oaktown Jerk is artisan beef jerky made using all local ingredients and ranges from mild to spicy to slightly spicier! We tried the Chili Lime Cilantro and the Thai Basil, which my brother immediately declared was the one for us.

Make it a point of stopping by on your run to the market for fruit and vegetables, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lunch at Phnom Penh House

Phnom Penh House on Urbanspoon

When we first moved to Oakland, we had some pretty bad food luck. As much as we have grown to love Oakland over the years, the food booming happening now still can't quite touch the amount of bad food that the Town has settled for.

Lucky for us, we discovered Phnom Penh House early on and we love the consistently good food as well as the wonderful family that runs it.

I actually didn't realize the flash was on....

Acme makes a pretty good beer

I know, I know, eggrolls? But majority rules
The snapper had a gorgeous sauce. The mushrooms were lovely.

They just added this to then menu. Its been a hidden extra for years! Chicken soup with pineapple and thinly sliced baby coconut. Its so incredibly good.

Hands down, the best fried bananas I have ever had. Anywhere.