Fat Lovers of the World, Unite!
It started as a trickle and is now a flood: fat-loving bloggers and primal eaters are multiplying faster than I can read them. I’m amazed and thrilled at all the Nourishing Traditions-influenced, low carb, high fat, butter-loving, gluten-free, paleo- and primal-eating bloggers out there. I’d read them all every day if I could, but, I have to eat!
I never read the Julie/Julia Project blog, celebrated in the book and movie “Julie and Julia,” both of which I enjoyed, especially the movie. But clearly, that blog got something started. It may not have been the first food blog, but is in its own way one of the most influential, given that it gave rise to both a book and a movie, and spurred the sales of Julia Child cookbooks.
I gave myself “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for Christmas and made my first recipe from it yesterday: Potage Veloute aux Champignons, Cream of Mushroom Soup.
We gathered the mushrooms—hedgehogs—the day before yesterday in the forest on David’s property. (“Gathering” sounds so pastoral. We crawled through brushy woods with no trails. I got buggy stuff in my face. It was wet.) We gathered at least a gallon of hedgehogs as well as yellow stem chanterelles, but the hedgehogs are the best. Of course, I spent hours meticulously cleaning them with a pastry brush and a toothpick. No specks of grit were going to ruin my soup.
David made mushroom soup from The Joy of Cooking (the edition from the dreary low fat years; he added extra cream) Friday night, then yesterday I made Julia’s recipe, which I think was hand’s-down the winner. I didn’t care for the sherry flavor in the Joy recipe, and I loved the richness and nutrition contributed by the egg yolks in Julia’s recipe. It was almost comical how much fat is in there. Butter to saute the shallots (which I subbed for the onions since we had them), cream, egg yolks (I added an extra one since one of them leaked a bit into the whites as I separated them), and then you stir in more butter at the very end! And so, so good.
That kind of soup makes a real meal. It was so satisfying to eat something gathered from our own land. Plus our own parsley, and chicken stock I’d made the day after Thanksgiving, with chicken as well as turkey parts.
I’m finding that the more fat I eat (healthy, natural fats only) and the fewer carbohydrates, especially refined or processed ones (i.e., without nutritional value other than pure calories), the better I feel, and the easier it is to keep my weight steady or slowly pare down a bit. (At 5’10”, I don’t need to be 120 pounds; I’m comfortable at my current 154. If I were to go below 150 or so, my pants wouldn’t fit anymore—except that pair of skinny pants I’ve hung on to!) I’m more and more convinced that saturated fat, for example, isn’t just “not so bad,” it’s downright necessary and healthful. Cholesterol is needed to make essentials like neurotransmitters and hormones, and fat is likewise a structural material, as is of course protein. Fat and protein are satiating in a way carbohydrates aren’t, and they don’t lead to blood sugar swings and persistent cravings; quite the opposite.