Sunday, November 2, 2008

I am craving pickles and capers

I promised myself that I was not going to get on here and blog any more today; until after I made the meal and took the pictures, but...I have to share my distraught for a beautiful lemony chicken with capers I planned for our meal tonight. A salty quest that was just not meant to be.

I woke up this morning and rummaging through my husbands newspapers he brought home from his recent business trip and saw an article that caught my attention (any food related does). As big as life itself can be right there in the Health section of the Los Angeles Times the headliner reads...Under Pressure. The picture was a box of salt that had a arm blood pressure pump wrapped around it and the salt spewing out like old faithful.

Taking up much of this section other headlines read...Fancier, but not healthier- Artisanal salts aren't much lower in sodium (wasn't hard to figure out)...Joining the bandwagon- Food makers offer lower-sodium choice (yeah not much)...How to kick the habit- It's not easy, but your taste buds will get over it (that is the killer right there that makes my day so much easier, not)

My heart already pumps to the beat of 'low sodium' hymns each day. Years ago I had to give up pickles, canned goods of any sort, like artichokes :( ; which we all know are bad for us, sardines and saltines(I know, ask my father, he started that one), and many other kinds of preserved foods. Why? My blood pressure shot up so high once that the doctor sent me to the emergency room. Now it is under control, but I still crave the salt, but my diet almost consists of no salt today. When I cook for clients and in the restaurant I use only a splash. I figure let the customer do the damage to themselves, and I advertise that as well. I myself do not purchase chips and any other kinds of junk foods that have high sodium or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in them at all.

Continuing today's story with a trip to the grocery store this afternoon to buy capers for my lemony chicken recipe. I happily pick up a movie, and then stroll down to the store. Suddenly out of know where a poet friend of mine (she is every where I am lately) jumps out at me and says 'Hey'! We talk about what is going on, and about my going to the theater last night; which we have in common, she has produced high school theater. As soon as our conversation is over I continue to shop, and in such a good mood. I return home and start preparing our dinner; then I realize...I forgot the capers! (I am having these moments lately) I also am too used to being in a professional kitchen 24/7 and having ingredients at my beckoning call (spoiled).

I remind myself that they are too salty and the doctor would want me to improvise and give my heart a few more years. So, I pull out the Portabella mushrooms and chop, chop, chop away...chop, chop, chop, the onion, three lemons and an array of seasonings to make up for that lost flavor. That salt story really did a number on me today!

Issues like our health is only one reason we cook fresh foods for our families and ourselves. Why we are trying to stay away from eating out as often and avoiding bad and unhealthy ingredients in prepacked food. What is a person to do when we cannot get a hold of fresh chokes, capers, and make good crunchy pickles with little, or no salt? My quest has been the substitution of other flavoring over the past three years. Like citrus, fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, fresh peppers and chillies, and many other wonderful things. Many of the recipes are working and my clients are happy... me...I just wanted a small jar of capers!