We hold most valuable our relationships with each other. Preparing fine food and enjoying it together is a simple pleasure that strengthens the bonds of family and friendship.
Corporations spend billions every year to convince us that "convenience" is worth any price, and that "popularity" results from buying expensive toys. Many are so tangled in the struggle to afford "convenience" and "popularity" they have far less time for family and friends than our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors had.
What keeps this hamster wheel turning is people spending money - but today the top 1% have over 40% of all the nations wealth, and that disparity is getting more extreme at an astonishing rate. It's getting so bad even some of the 1% are getting worried. "Historically, these kinds of gaps get closed in one of three ways: by revolution, higher taxes or wars. None are on my bucket list." - Paul Tudor Jones II (2014 net worth $4.3 billion).
Whether you like it or not, it'll be getting worse before it gets
better. It's time to be getting back to basics - and there's nothing
more basic than food. Fortunately, delicious and nutritious food can
be greatly enjoyed without great expense - if you care enough to learn
how. Painting of Plato and Aristotle by Raphael, copyright
Simple Methods, Affordable Ingredients, Wonderful Food
North America has always been the land of cheap beef - but that is coming to an end. The resources that supported cheap beef are running out, and the price increases we have been seeing are only the beginning. People turning away from beef are driving up the cost of other meats.
Incomes for the vast majority are not keeping up with this increase. Clearly, a new approach to food will be needed that uses meats more sparingly, as flavoring ingredients, not bulk content - like most of the world already does.
Some cultures that know a lot about really good food at really low cost and how to enjoy family and friends are precisely those countries to which American jobs are being "outsourced" - India, China, Indonesia, Mexico - perhaps it's time to learn how they do it. Perhaps we'll have to.
To the distress of "purists" there are no truly pure cuisines - save maybe with the cannibals of Borneo and in the darkest depths of the Amazon jungle. In the 1500's Europeans developed sailing ship technology of unprecedented sophistication and efficiency, allowing goods to be moved quickly, in bulk, worldwide, and at acceptable cost.
Major articles of trade from the first were foods and spices - because the gourmets and the gourmet "wanabes" were willing to pay the transportation (and a goodly profit besides) - then as now.
Who today can imagine Italy without tomato sauces, Thailand without hot chilis, Germany and Ireland without potatoes, England without tea, or the American West without tumbleweeds (Russian thistle)? This exchange has accelerated and become less expensive with today's fast ships, containerized cargo and affordable air freight.
Yet "authenticity" is a major point with us. Each culture has integrated imports in its own very unique way and in combination with its own unique local ingredients yielding startlingly different results.
We believe in the authenticity of how the best cooks in each culture cook now and within personal or written memory. By hewing as closely as practical to "authentic" you can broaden your experience and explore delightful tastes you would otherwise not think of. Ignore "authenticity" and you'll just end up making the same old things with some exotic names attached.
We are here to help you explore that "authenticity" easily and affordably.
While this is not a vegetarian site, there's plenty here for every variety of vegetarian, and we try to keep things distinct as to whether it's vegetarian or can be made vegetarian. We are putting up plenty of recipes and products that don't use animals.
For the vegetarian, the aspiring vegetarian, and people who just want to depend less on meat, ethnic cuisines provide wonderful variety. In particular examine the several vegetarian cuisines of India. We also recommend the Mediterranean and Turkish cuisines which provide a great many vegetarian dishes and dishes easily adapted to a vegetarian diet.
Pills & Potions
Current research shows that a varied and well balanced diet is far more effective at warding off disease than supplements and miracle potions. Supplements often have the right ingredients but not in the most useful form, and they aren't much fun to eat anyway. For these reasons we recommend few such potions, concentrating on real herbs, spices, sauces and the like and how to take advantage of them.
Many American families are facing economic problems keeping food on the table, and it will get steadily worse and affect more and more families.
Back in the 1970s the fabled 1% possessed around 9.5% of Americas wealth, today the 1% possess 40% of America's wealth, the very rich have 33% and the lower 80%, where you probably fall, now has only 7% of this countries wealth. Yes, those are real 2013 figures. This concentration of wealth has not been happening fast enough for the 1% (soon to be the 1/10%) so they have financed the Tea Parties to help make it happen faster.
Costs for everything are rising fast due to population growth, increasingly expensive energy, depleted aquifers, ill considered acts of Congress (like making SUV fuel from food crops), and especially climate change. You don't believe in climate change? Doesn't matter, climate change doesn't care if you believe in it or not - you'll be paying for it - just watch the price of beef.
As it stands, the traditional meat and potatoes diet is now beyond a very large percentage of the American population - and it doesn't stand still, it's getting worse. Do not expect help from government. Our government is a wholly owned subsidiary of the 1%. The voters? They're who got us into this - almost every election goes to whoever has the most money to spend, and guess from whom they get it, and whom they actually represent? Hint: it isn't you. If all this is hard for you to understand, you probably watch Fox News (another wholly owned subsidiary of the 1%).
Pressed for time, possibly working more than one job (Wal Mart has revealed they just presume their workers work more than one job) and money, a huge number of Americans have turned to the Fast Food industry. This is where they can get the most calories for the dollar, and get it fast.
The fast food industry (and to be fair, the entire food industry, including the "health food" industry) has no interest whatever in your health. Despite what the Supreme Court has said, corporations aren't people, and they don't give a damn about people. The only "health" they are interested in is the health of their "bottom line" - and guess who that money is coming from and who it is going to?
So, what you get from the Fast Food Industry is carefully engineered out of the least expensive, least perishable (and least healthy) ingredients: high fructose corn syrup, salt, msg, refined starches, trans fats (and now trans fats substitutes, which may be even worse), fillers, gums, chemicals, preservatives, "natural" (actually means highly processed) and artificial flavors and colors - and as little of expensive agricultural products as they can get away with - and they're experts at "getting away with".
The result is that Americans pay far more for health care than the people of any other country (and I'm sure you can figure out to whom all that money goes) yet are in much poorer health than much of the world. "But, we have the best health care in the world" - and we'd better, because we really, really need it.
So, if you cant' fix any of this, how can you do better for yourself and your family when you don't have the time? Actually, you probably do have the time - if you turn off the 1%'s mind control machine (it's called Television). Advertisement by a television satellite provider, 2013: "The average American watches 13 years of television during their lifetime - shouldn't you have the best?"
Now that is totally scary. The average American is throwing away 13 years of his or her life for mindless, sedentary entertainment. You could prepare a whole lot of healthy, attractive, inexpensive and delicious food in that 13 years, and you'd be spending a whole lot less on health care and junk you don't need.
But only a very few of you will have the strength to do that - such is the power of the mind control machine. These pages are dedicated to those few.