A Limited Palette

I have many interests, cooking being just the latest. Pursuing one of these I read J. Michael Straczynski’s The Complete Book of Scriptwriting . When discussing writing the television script, he explains the very strict time constraints of TV programs. It breaks every so many minutes and is a specific length. Then he said some people are offended by this because it limits their art for purely commercial reasons (no pun intended). JMS every art has its limitations and an artist learns to work in those limits.

This occurred to me recently in relation to cooking.

To me cooking is an art. Actually I think it is an art and a craft, but for me it is an art. Some cooks are annoyed when they have to conform to a person’s dietary requirements. Those cooks are like the artist above, complaining about the limits of TV. Others look on it as a chance to show their skills.

I used to be a vegetarian and one year I was on a business trip to San Francisco. A large group of us went to a fancy restaurant. I found nothing on the menu that I could eat, which is unusual. So I asked the waiter about it. She said, “The chef can make something for you.”

I furrowed my brow and asked, “Like what?”

“Don’t worry you’ll like it.”

Since I didn’t have much choice I decided to live on the edge. They brought me out a bowl of something. To this day I don’t know what it was, but it was probably the best vegetarian meal I ever had.

That’s art.

All this as a preamble to say I’m going on a diet. I recently went to the Hotze Health & Wellness Center and you can follow the link to learn more. Part of what they want me to do is go on a yeast free diet. I’m not really willing to do that right now, but I am removing all refined sugar from my diet, and all non-whole grain starches. This ends up being very similar to Atkins or South Beach, but with whole grain pasta etc. I did Body For Life last year and this diet will work with that as well.

This means don’t expect any more cookies and ice cream. Much more meat, sauces and vegetables.

I made Pan Steak and Onions from the South Beach diet last night and I was impressed. South Beach actually went to chefs and got them to create quality recipes for their diet.

My first challenge will be to create a menu for our New Years party. I want it to conform to my diet, and still be “party” food. Expect to see a menu up soon.