redroanchronicles: (farmersmarket-corn)
Friends, I come to you today as a neophyte, a humble student, a seeker of knowledge, a person who only recently learned to distinguish between a parsnip and a rutabaga.

There is much work to be done, as you can see.

Part of my Epic Quest for Awesomely Healthy Living (patent pending) is a re-tooling of my diet. To this end, I have tried repeatedly to whittle away at my definitions of "allowed" and "not allowed" sweets, and have finally been forced to conclude that, in order to control my sweet tooth -- which left to its own devices, would eventually destroy Tokyo -- I really need to have a hard and fast rule: no processed sugars. At all. Not even in my tea.

Since my tea was my less-delicious substitute for the delicious sugar-filled soy chai beverages that I decided weren't worth their price (my waistline and $5 a pop), it pains me to limit myself to no sugar in my tea. I am of the opinion that without sugar, tea tastes like warm water. But I am steadfast in my resolve! I am going to kick this thing! I am not going to eat those freaking sugars!

Anyway, I have only come here seeking knowledge (because they would not teach me aaaaall in colllllege). I hoped that you, the people of the Internet, might have recommendations for me of tea flavors or specific brands that, when brewed and consumed with no additional sugar-y deliciousness, actually taste like something. (Teas that taste good sweetened with honey are also allowable. Honey is good, I've just found that it tastes kind of awful in most of the teas I like.) I prefer the spicier teas like chai, ginger, cinnamon, peppermint and whatnot, over the fruity ones, but I'm willing to experiment. ([personal profile] malnpudl, you need not apply. Your favored tea could strip paint, and/or my esophagus. You are clearly made of sterner stuff than I.)

Also, I've been cooking. It would be fair to say that I have been cooking up a storm, in fact. Over the weekend I made chicken curry, parsnip soup and pannekaken with tasty improvised fillings. I felt like a for-real chef. Occasionally. (Except when I was sort of scorching the ginger honey carrots.) They were all delicious and pretty easy, but I have to say that the parsnip soup was my favorite; I think the chicken curry would've been more interesting if I'd been braver with the spices (and not afraid of killing Mal with the spiciness of said spices), but the parsnip soup was just really simple and wholesome and filling. It tasted like autumn.

I'm just curious, for those of you who do cook and who may find my attempts to do so perhaps simultaneously charming and horrifying, what advice would you give to someone who is just beginning to cook and is struggling with all the technique, planning, budgeting and organization that apparently goes into cooking one's own meals? What trick do you wish you'd known when you started? (For me, it is the peel-garlic-by-crushing-it-with-a-knife thing. Time-saver!) What gadget can you not live without? What ingredients do you consider both versatile and indispensable?

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redroanchronicles

August 2011

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