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Give Us Our Daily Bread

 

Before I get to the bread part of today’s post I want to share some intriguing information I read on the John Tesh website.

Do you tend to eat more during the holidays? I think most of us do. Have you ever wondered why that is? Lots of parties? Lack of self control? More holidays?

Well, maybe not. According to John Tesh in a piece at his website titled, Why Do We Eat More During Autumn? John cites research that indicates it may be hard wired into our genes.

When it comes to overindulging during the holidays, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the holidays don’t make us eat more. The bad news?  We eat more because it’s the season of autumn! According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a recent study shows we humans are no different from our animal friends. We tend to store up during the bountiful fall harvest so we can survive a long, scarce winter! It’s also known as “chipmunk behavior!”

The study, lead by John de Castro, had subjects keep diaries of every single morsel they ate and drank seven days a week for six years. What he found was striking. Subjects were packing in 222 more calories a day in autumn or an extra 20,000 calories over the three-month period. De Castro found fall eating exceeded winter by 11%, spring by 14%, and summer by 12%. Not only did people eat more in autumn, they ate faster and were less satisfied after meals.

De Castro’s theory is that in autumn, something inside our bodies suppresses that “I’m full” feeling. He suggests that our ancestors scheduled eating-centered holidays to coincide with the deep cravings they couldn’t quite explain! Just something to think about while you’re digging into the Halloween candy bowl. 

What do you think? Is it just the season? Or is it survival behavior? Or is it some thing else?
Featured Recipe           Sun Dried Tomato Bread Dipping Oil

One of the great things about eating out is the delicious and flavorful dipping oils served at many restaurants with bread. There is a small Mediterranean restaurant simply named Shish Kebab, a few miles from where I live. They serve the most wonderful sun dried tomato dipping oil with their bread. I mean, it is to die for.

It looks simple enough: sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, and rosemary. I have tried to recreate it in my kitchen. While it is not AS good as theirs, it is surprisingly delicious. Let me put it this way. No one has ever complained. It gets raves. Of course, the friends I serve it to have never tasted the real thing.

Anyhoo. I thought during the autumnal holiday season when, as we just learned,  we eat more, you might like to try this yourself. It is easy to make.

Now I don’t have a real recipe. I just kind of, sort of guess at amounts. As Rachel Ray says, “Just eyeball it.”

With that in mind, here goes.

This is what you will need for 2-3 people:

About 6 or 7 sun dried tomatoes packed in oil

Olive oil

Rosemary

Bread

Here is what you do:

Slice the tomatoes as thin as possible.

Then dice them. Keep chopping them and chopping them and chopping them until they are as tiny as you can get them.

If I was making this for 50 people or even a small crowd, I would probably just throw the contents of the jar in a processor, whirl it a short while and add some olive oil. But I don’t need that much. And the flavored oil only keeps a day or two, maybe three, in the fridge. So I do the chopping stuff.

Do be careful though. After all that slicing and chopping of the oily tomatoes both your hands and the knife will be very slippery. No cut fingers please.

When the tomatoes are as finely cut as you like throw them in a bowl.

Add some of the oil from the jar. Not all of it. Keep the remaining tomatoes covered in oil so that they do not dry up. But do add some of it for the flavor. Then add enough olive oil to make the dip the consistency of dipping oil you get at a restaurant.

Now add a little bit of rosemary. Not too much. But not too little either. Just enough to give a slight flavor to the whole shebang. It looks pretty too, don’t you think?

The finished dipping oil. Isn’t this mouth watering?

Now for the good part. Get your bread. Slice it.

Break it into pieces. Dip it. Eat it.

You will never be the same again.

You can also throw this mixture over spaghetti. It is w o n d e r f u l over left over cold spaghetti!

Bon Appetit!!!
Cost

8 sun dried tomatoes            $1.08

Olive oil (3 tbspn?)               $0.50

Rosemary                           $0.05

Bread                                 $1.50

Total cost = $3.13
Cost per person for 3 = $1.04
Cost per person for 2 = $1.57

Quote of the Day

Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. 

Mark Twain

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1 comment to Give Us Our Daily Bread

  • Traditional Chinese medicine has ancient theories about how people should eat in the different seasons. It’s more about food type than quantity, although winter is a season of storage and the recommendation is to eat more protein than at other times of the year.

    Foods are considered to have properties — warming, cooling, dispersing, and many more. Cold foods (salad, fruits, raw food, cold drinks) are not recommended in winter. Eating hot spicy foods (chili, curry) may seem to warm us up, but they actually release heat (make us perspire) and aren’t recommended.

    Some of this could have evolved to be genetic, as the John Tesh piece suggests, but mainly it’s about living in tune with nature. Fruits and salad ingredients didn’t used to be readily available in the winter. They are now, but they’re apt to be more expensive, which helps steer us to the root vegetables, winter squashes, and beans (which can be stored for winter). The recommendation for eating fruits in winter is that they should be cooked with warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom.

    There are huge books written on the subject. I used to be really into it and still put ground sesame seeds on many things I eat based on theories of Chinese nutrition.

    What may be more significant than how much food we eat during the holidays is how active we are. In Chinese medicine, winter is the time for retreat, reflection, and conserving our energy. Yet in Western culture, it’s a time of relentless holiday activity. Not good for one’s health, according to the Chinese. Of course, Chinese medicine also says: Everything in moderation, including moderation.