Monday, July 27, 2009

Strawberry muffins

  • 1-cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2-cup sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-cup low fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4-cup butter, melted
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and baking soda. In another bowl, mix eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Toss strawberries into the flour mixture. Then pour yogurt mixture into flour mixture and stir. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.

Calories: 150
Fat 5g
Carbohydratess 24g
Protein 4g
Fiber 2g

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Chopper

This past week I moved my wife up to a residency program in "upstate" NY. We went grocery shopping at a place that chops prices. In order to participate in the chopping, we needed to wait on the line for both lottery tickets and the chopping card. It was a long line in this economically depressed area. So I began reading all the hanging signs with neighborly faces, women always, stating how much they chop off their grocery bill by shopping at the chopper. It started to make me feel uncomfortable -all this chopping. The goal in america seems to be to spend as little as possible on food. I know, I grew up this way. My father did the grocery shopping (or was that chopping?), and probably wouldn't let my mother because she would be extravagant in some way or another. He would clip coupons, go to double coupon stores, the whole nine yards of saving on food.

Anyway, the signs made me wish we were saving somewhere other than food. The attitude seems to suggest that calories mattered most, no matter what form. Get those calories cheap! What if the advertising, the zeitgeist of american food shopping was different? Can I tell you, I participated in the chopping zone! Oh, dear, get this one -its cheaper. Chop-chop! Let's chop those prices! I stepped into that environment and I became a chopoholic.

Back in NYC, I have stores that I go to because they are less expensive. A place called Golden Farms (they're all called 'farms' around my neighborhood) has the lowest price on Organic Valley milk (3.79 1/2gal) and Peace (whatever its called) cereals (2.99/box). I think they sell them close to cost just to bring in the customers! But I won't buy meats or much veggies there. I go to a variety of butchers or grocers depending on what I need. The farmer's market has the best vegetables in season, but the prices are much higher. I buy there anyway (Cortelyou farmers are less expensive than Grand Army farmers, but I am so eager by Saturday I go to Grand Army). I spend way more time shopping for food in NYC than I suppose I would if I lived in the suburbs or rurals.

When I was on residency, I found food in Wilton, CT to be really expensive, but completely ordinary. Was it because I had only one choice, one store? I hate food cards, where they sell your info as a trade for a deal on sliced mushrooms once every few weeks (like the chopper). In upstate and western NY, things are hard, it's been a bad economy for 30 years. But there are still many family farms across NY state. I hope they are producing more than corn and soy. If people are willing to spend more on food, locally grown can be a reality in season. If the lowest price is all that matters, then it's unlikely it will come from those farms. It would be unethical to have those upstate farmers producing for a NYC market, while those who live around them still buy frozen or shipped "fresh" from name-a-place. It will be up to the retailers to make the push for local, more expensive food in their stores, although I suppose there will always be a market for cheap food and those who will sell it.

Chop chop.