Thursday, January 7, 2010
Ravioli Making or Time Well Spent
The fact that organic food was expensive never mattered. I am not sure how we did it, but we always stocked our pantry with organic food. I think we were able to budget so well for two reasons--one was that we grew most of the vegetables, and produced some of our own meats, dairy and eggs. But the other reason that we were able to afford to eat organic is that we cooked from scratch. Staples and whole food ingredients, even organic ones, will work out to be less expensive than buying prepackaged or processed foods.
To people who still complain that organic food is too expensive, I would point out that food is a reflection of our core values. It is one of our few central needs. So much of our life now revolves around nonessentials, to the point that food, exercise, quality time with those we love, and maintaining a healthy earth ecosystem don’t make it onto our “to-do” list of life. Is there a correlation between the fact that food spending has dropped from 25% of our income at the turn of the century, to now less than 10%, while spending on health care has risen from 5% to 18%? Our health, our desire for vitality, our ability to nurture and experience a sense of place are reflected back to us in our relationship with food. An additional aspect of this is the extent to which we are willing to invest both time and money into high-quality foods--aka fresh, local, organic or biodynamic. (Chances are if it is even one of those, there will be superior nutritional value and more life forces.)
Things have changed for our family, we are not so exclusively oriented towards a chop wood carry water lifestyle, although we do still do both of those activities. One thing that hasn’t changed it that we still love to cook from scratch. Sure, we sometimes eat out, especially when we are out late at night, keeping up with our two busy teenagers.
Last night we thought it would be fun to make raviolis. I am always amazed at how food and art can merge, and then, after all that preparation, it’s eaten and it’s over with. Spending time in the kitchen with my family, for me, doubles as entertainment, and it’s a tangible way to express love--and this doesn't cost anything at all, yet I couldn't put a price tag on it if I had to.
Flour water salt and eggs (from our neighbor Cynde) filled with some ricotta and mozzarella cheese, and viola! —Christy Korrow
Photos by Chris Korrow