Friday, July 31, 2009

Mission Reformed Artery: Failed

delicious "get well" cake from Ganache in Greensboro

Okay, so it might seem like I just dropped off the face of the earth for a while. That's only partially the truth. I was actually in Greensboro, NC for a week, which is kind of the same thing, but with grits. The purpose of my visit was to tend to Alpha Dad, who was having heart surgery and needed a little TLC. With a little a help from our family's history of heart disease and Alpha Dad's penchant for fried foods, well, let's just say those arteries were not happy. And since I would be helping out with a lot of the cooking and menu planning, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share my “good for you can still taste good” philosophy.

Now one would think due to the serious nature of his condition that this would be the perfect time to step in and say, maybe you should think about throwing out that deep fryer. One might also think, now is the time to get the parental units to really inject some healthy eating habits into their diet. And maybe, maybe even get them to admit that the whole Atkins diet thing was just plain...crazy.

It seems that one would be completely wrong. Let me just give you a recap of my attempts to inject some reasonable dietary changes.

First attempt: healthy takes on bad-for-you foods. Cheesy jalapeno poppers and zucchini chips. They please crowds effortlessly. They are grilled and baked, respectively. What does Alpha Dad want to do? Fry them of course. Let me sum up this mentality briefly: If it can be grilled, it should be fried, and if it can be baked, then it should definitely be fried.

Brief diversion for arguing about which salad dressing has less fat.

Second attempt: the healthy snack. Everyone likes snacks, no reason we all shouldn't get to enjoy them because of hereditary conditions. My suggestion, get an air-popped popcorn maker. No oil, no fat necessary. Just plain old popping corn and some seasoning of your choice. At least with this one, I thought I was free and clear.

Enter, the mother ship in restricted airspace.

“Uhm, where's the butter?”
“We're not putting butter on it, that's the point. If you go and put butter on this popcorn, you have just completely defeated the purpose of this experiment.”
“But I like butter on popcorn.”
“The only reason we are having this popcorn is because dad agreed to not put butter on it.”
“But I'm still allowed to have butter.”
“Yes, but we're all eating out of the same bowl.”
“Okay, I'll just put it on my side.”

Butter appears seemingly out of nowhere.


Mission fail. Full retreat.

Or perhaps, just advancing in the other direction.

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