“The things we take for granted are the things that are essential in our lives…”
A List for Keeping it Simple
While packing to head up north for the Canada Day long weekend, I was thinking about quantity… or rather quality over quantity.
You know the drill, how little can you get away with packing without sacrificing comfort. When heading into cottage country the consideration for me is always about food rather than clothing. Bathing suits by day, yoga pants by night, that bit’s simple, but Surf & Turf require the correct accompaniments! And let us not forget to check if there will be fresh mint growing up there as mojitos without are just… well… sweetened rum!
The menu for any cottage weekend is, in my opinion, the single most important factor for a great weekend. But it has got to be simple… few ingredients, fresh and local whenever possible, and easy to pull together is always high on my list (and no it has nothing to do with the fact that cocktails tend to start a little earlier than usual… okay maybe it does:)
Another rule of thumb I like to use is that if it has more than five ingredients you probably leave it off the menu… any menu, anywhere for that matter! And so in keeping with my considerations for packing light… conscious reduction… of everything… okay MOST things… alright not so much with wine, I wanted to make a quick list of my top five essentials for anytime. No easy task when you read recipes and food blogs all day, plan the next meal while eating the current one, write about food, photograph food, dream about food… well you get the point. It’s not easy to always keep it simple.
I think it’s the foodie mag Bon Apetit that does an interview on the back page and often ask the question “What is the one thing that is always in your fridge?” A truly surprising amount of answers are Champagne! I’m not really a champagne drinker… don’t like bubbles… but it got me thinking about what five ingredients I couldn’t live without.
Let’s get something straight right off… I’m not talking about indulgences like chocolate and cheese and wine. Dark, delicious chocolate, rich and creamy or irresistibly crumbly or perfectly sharp cheese. Nor silky smooth and buttery white wine or thick and fruity or peppery red… no… this post is about health so let’s just get back on topic here folks!
I can’t possibly include salt and pepper on the list ‘cuz well they’re sort of like breathing right? By that token so are garlic and lemons. Almost everything is improved with the addition of both or either and given their relative health benefits they can also be considered substances required for life. And obviously a good quality olive oil. So now we have a dressing for virtually anything, but we can’t be expected to exist on GLOSP alone. So on with the list.
1. Do you suppose we could count eggs and chicken as one thing? Yes? Great! Agreed that’s one. And honestly the only reason that chicken gets billing and not a delicate flaky fresh fish is that I couldn’t figure out how to combine it with eggs to make them count as one 🙂
2. An assortment of green veg. I’m not fussy which as long as I can have at least one… spinach, broccoli, green beans, fresh sweet peas, brussels sprouts.
3. Gotta be sweet potatoes which means;
4. Fresh herbs.
5. My gut says I will have to choose brown or wild rice as five although I struggle with not adding a thick crusty whole wheat bread, mmm or pasta, fresh pillowy made from scratch pasta… no it’s got to be rice for its purity. Man I really like a crusty whole wheat bread though.
I guess it’s now obvious to you all what issues I deal with daily.
Enjoy & Namaste!
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup olive oil
- S&P to taste
- Combine lemon juice and finely minced garlic in a small bowl
- Whisk as you slowly drizzle olive in
- S&P to taste
- Store in a glass jar in fridge.