June 2, 2020. Around the World in 80 Ways, eating very, very well all the Way. 80 recipes based on traditional healthy cuisines from around the globe. From places and times that never heard of diabetes, overweight/obesity and cardiovascular disease epidemics. These very different places had very different diets. But all these diets have two things in common: no highly processed foods and very low daily glycemic loads.
Today’s Way is about the time of the Great Depression. The wolf at the door was hunger. Or scarcity. Or anxiety about scarcity. Something that’s very right now for a lot of people, don’t you think? Time for this cool, flavorful lettuce soup.
M.F.K. Fisher wrote How To Cook A Wolf at the tail end of the last Depression. So she wrote recipes for making the most of scarce resources. How to stretch a budget and get maximum nourishment, pleasure, entertainment and satisfaction from what you have. Without worrying about what you don’t have. At least when you’re at the dining table. When the meal is an important social experience that reinforces relationships.
I go back to this every June when I start thinking about lettuce. All the remarkably tasty greens I start getting from my CSA farm. I always make this lettuce soup.
“One delicious soup I have gradually evolved is made from one quart of garden lettuces, scallions, parsley, herbs, all chopped fine and then ground to paste in the mortar. Slowly I add seasoning and one quart of rich milk, and then chill it very well … for a summer lunch“. From How to Cook a Wolf.
This is really a salad cross-dressing as a soup. Lettuce and herbs with milk. It’s surprisingly satisfying. Almost shockingly flavorful. And it’s very, very cooling. When it’s too hot to bother making dinner, this is a wonderful dinner to make.
The World’s Greatest Hits
No deprivation diet here. Just a focus on better, low glycemic calories. Because all calories are not created equal. No weird food. Just the most loved meals around. The tasty, satisfying stuff. Buen viaje. Buen provecho.
The goal: a full-day Glycemic Load of less than 80.
Less than a dollar per serving for a flavorful, light, refreshing lunch or dinner.
I haven’t found anyone near you or me who serves lettuce soup, but I did check out the menu at P.F. Chang’s, chain home of the lettuce wrap. They want $4.95 for their “Shanghai cucumbers” appetizer: sliced, cold cucumbers sprinkled with soy and sesame.