Food and Music – Who Could Ask for Anything More?
We seem to enjoy many situations where food and music are combined. In fact music and food are often foundations of social events. Consider soft music playing in the background during family meal times; the special live music often playing while dining out; the outdoor festivals where food and music are the main attractions. Thank about pot lucks, dances, weddings, carnivals, street fairs, all combine food and music.
Hearing music is an invisible path to joy, laid out in various forms for us to listen to, contemplate, and savor. Music, like food, can stimulate many pleasing memories. As cooks, we often enjoy not only the sounds of our cooking, for example sautéing veggies, but many listen to music in the background, for enjoyment or to inspire.
Taste enables us to distinguish between sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, the four basic flavors that all cooks have to play with. The fun and adventure begins here, as the cooks choose their ingredients. The simple splendor of enjoying the creations prepared by the loving hands of others is an experience we all enjoy. All we need to enjoy these foods is an awareness of our own particular pleasure.
In Quebec, the maple syrup harvest is celebrated with fiddle playing to a meal of brown beans, ham and maple syrup. Why not celebrate our cold winter season by stimulating our senses with music and a big pot of home baked beans? How about taking home baked beans on a picnic? Beans contain an abundance of B vitamins, iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and copper, and are said to be one of the five least allergenic foods. They are an ideal complex carbohydrate, loaded with fibre, necessary for good bowel health. They fight cancer, help with blood sugar balance, and reduce cholesterol.
My favorite method of maintaining generous amounts of good quality legumes in my diet when Im busy is to soak four batches of four kinds of beans separately, then cook all four separately at the same time. I drain these and save the nutrient laden cooking water for soups, casseroles, etc. and spread the drained beans on four cookie sheets and place in the freezer. When frozen I place them in separate bags, label, date, and return to the freezer. Cooked beans keep well for about three days in the fridge, and about three months in the freezer. Voila! Fast food, nutrient dense! Whip up a salad, soup, stir-fry or a casserole in minutes, or make the recipe for Baked Beans given here.
Sprouting legumes raises the nutrient value a great deal. Using sprouted beans in your diet on a regular basis contributes to an even higher level of nutrition than using them cooked and unprocessed. Sprouted beans are best sautéed for three minutes and added to a stir-fry, salad, or soup for a great source of protein. For more information on Sprouting read the article in Eat Away Illness, available at www.healingwithnutrition.ca.
Experiment with different kinds of beans in this recipe for home baked beans.
Baked Beans (from Cook Your Way to Health by Paulette Millis)
For ideal health, use organic ingredients
4-7 cups of cooked navy beans (or beans of your choice)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp. lemon juice
3 cups blended tomatoes
7 chopped dates (blend with tomatoes)
1/3 tsp. oregano
3-4 chopped fresh garlic cloves
½ tsp. chicken like seasoning
3 tbsp. blackstrap molasses (or to taste)
2 tbsp. tamari sauce
¾ tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. powdered sea vegetable or flakes
1. Combine everything but beans and mix.
2. Add 4-7 cups of beans, depending on how saucy you like them.
3. Bake at 325° F. for 2 to 3 hours until the liquid is absorbed and onions are tender.
4. Remove 2 cups of beans, mash, and return to pot.
Author, Speaker & Registered Nutritional Consultant