It's a $5.00 word for a one-cent concept.
"Keep it simple" is a popular buzz-phrase of first-world players from around the globe. Ironically, those who talk most about "keep it simple" are the hustle-bustle mongers of a more-is-better lifestyle. Right off hand, I can think of half a dozen moderately expensive magazines that peddle a simpler, cleaner, more meaningful way of life, as long as you buy their publication and perhaps patronize some of the advertising brands. So - if I'm understanding this right- the Captains of the "keep it simple" industry will help you elevate your clean and basic philosophy, but you'll have spent the money you would have used to purchase seeds for your garden, or vinegar for cleaning, buying a magazine that preaches "less is more".
Probably. I'm old-school though. I'm not afraid to call a spade a spade. Modern day lifestyle gurus of any sort can be fodder for irony hounds, and no one is immune. I can say that because I'm also not afraid of laughing at myself. I see the irony in my own life as I shoulder my Dooney & Bourke handbag and head off to wade in mud, weeds and pig poop. My family farms because we want independence and freedom, not because we can't do anything else. In the zen hours of weeding and maintenance work, my mind often wanders to those who came before us- the pioneers of the American experiment, our immigrant forefathers (and mothers) who carved out the American dream in brutally difficult circumstances. Rural or urban, the first few generations of Americans did what they had to, to survive. They brought with them the traditions of the Old World, skills and habits distilled from centuries of hardship and struggle, that helped them adapt to their new surroundings.
No magazine necessary.
I would love to watch our ancestors look through a celestial window, and observe modern life. I'm sure they would snicker at the passion with which today's bourgeois chases the perfect lawn, or an immaculately waxed sports car, or the way parents wring their hands over their child's tendency to color outside the lines in art class. Looking through that time-travel window, I know for a fact our forbears would be astounded as they watch contemporary diners make surreptitious notes on the compatibility of the entree and wine pairing, snap covert plate photos with their cell phones, and turn smug noses up at the mere offer of tap water, while eating in the newest, trendiest restaurants.
I can poke fun. I've done all that myself. You see, glass houses hide nothing.
Although our Old World predecessors had little of what we have today, they made the most of everything. Meals were seasonal, because they simply couldn't get lettuce or tomatoes in February. They used what was around them in what would today be called a Locavore, Farm-to-Fork, or Green Eating style of cooking. Their food was exponentially better tasting than ours because it was consumed at the peak of its life- plant or animal. Today's recipe, from Martha Stewart Living July 2003 is a classic example of that concept: a simple, seasonal meal from ingredients harvested at the peak of their flavor life.
You might need to wait until August to make this. The tomatoes aren't ready yet.
The Rediscovered Recipe Box #20- Seared Tuna With Tomatoes And Basil
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds tuna (1 inch thick), cut into 1-inch chuncks
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 onion chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups (about 12 ounces) small cherry tomatoes, stems removed and tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves roughly chopped
1. in a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Season tuna generously with salt and pepper. Arrange half of tuna in skillet in a single layer to prevent crowding. Cook, turning once, until golden brown on top and bottom, about 1 1/2 minute per side. (3 minutes total). Tuna should be slightly pink inside. Transfer to a platter. Cover to keep warm. Add another 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, and repeat with second batch.
2. Wipe out the bottom of the skillet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until onion is golden brown and soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine, and simmer, stirring often, until the tomatoes' skins just begin to wrinkle. about 2 minutes. Cook at a bare simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes more. Add basil to skillet, and cook, stirring, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon hot sauce over tuna just before serving.