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About our classic recipes

Let me start out by saying that this IS a departure from the rest of the sourdough home page. Sourdough will be mentioned in passing, if at all. Some of the recipes will use bread, and I'll suggest that a sourdough bread is the one to use. But, in truth, I think this page focuses on two larger issues.

Many countries, not just the USA, are giving up their culinary heritage. In the pursuit of ease and speed, we surrender culinary treasures, and even comfort food standbys. And what do we gain? More time to watch brain rotting drivel on the television. And of course, more sodium, more sugar, and more chemicals in our food. What we lose is fiber, taste, sharing, caring, having family meals together, and - most importantly - the growing and deepening of love that happens when food is shared with those we love.

It's a bad bargain.

Maybe I'm a not-so secret slow food advocate. I certainly am an advocate of family meals together - and all the more if they follow the family cooking together.

But none of this really gets to the heart of the matter for this classic recipes page. All of the recipes here are favorites of a style and type that are being forgotten. A friend recently told me, in no uncertain terms, that a grilled cheese sandwich has to be made with Wonder-like bread, plastic cheese food substitute, and margarine. It should also be soggy and sloppy. Anything else was to meddle with a classic American icon. While I hope he was kidding, I fear he was not.

At a recent church luncheon I brought a bowl of Macaroni and Cheese. I had made the noodles myself, and the sauce was made with a good amount of sharp cheddar cheese. It was baked until the top was browned and had a slightly crunchy surface. Almost no one recognized it for what it was. When I explained it was Macaroni and Cheese, the young ones were dubious. The sauce was wrong.

In a feeble, and perhaps misplaced, attempt to save some classic recipes I've posted them here. As usual, I prefer to post them with pictures. If I haven't included pictures, they'll be forthcoming as soon as time allows.

I'm not pretending that any of these recipes are haute cuisine. They are just plain, honest food. Food that feeds the spirit as well as the body. Perhaps these recipes will cause some people to rediscover foods they had forgotten.

In these recipes, I have attempted to avoid the phrases, "open a can" and "open a package". These foods are from scratch. And, in most cases, will take little more time than using a less healthy pre-packaged product.

Some people will reject these recipes out a misplaced sense that they are "unhealthy". Oddly enough, as we move forward our definitions of healthy keep changing. At one time butter was deemed evil, and we were encouraged to substitute margarine. Now there is a growing concern that artificially hydrogenated fats, like margarine, are actually worse for us than fats like butter. My odd notion is that we are designed to eat a wide variety of foods, but all of them in moderation.

Interestingly, Dr. Andrew Weil - one of the gurus of the alternative health movement - recently wrote an article in which he talked about "health food", and concluded that any food that is prepared with love, and shared with friends and family in a spirit of love and sharing is health food.

So please prepare these recipes together, share them with love, and enjoy them in good health.