Mom Orner leaned over the stove with a fork poking at his creation deciding if she should sample it. She withdrew from her impulse saying “there’s too much stuff in your stuffing” and took a helping of her “One Step Mix.” That boxed fabrication boasting of real chicken that cooks in five minutes had been requested by some of her grandchildren.
Rusty challenged her to compare her stuffing to his. He suggested the contest winner would have the fewer number of ingredients. Not wanting to arm wrestle, Mom conceded and mumbled “it is what it is.” Being a diplomatic son, he respected the end of discussion . . . that day, but felt compelled to research what “it” is.
“It” contains enriched wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, high fructose corn syrup, dried onions, salt, partially hydrogenated soy bean and cottonseed oils, yeast, chicken broth, a few flavor enhancers: monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, caramel color, turmeric, dried parsley, preservatives: BHT, citric acid, and propyl gallate, and confinement chicken fed genetically modified corn.
He was excited to discover turmeric, a bright yellow spice that is anti-inflammatory. Containing two percent of this healing herb, it couldn’t touch the inflammatory consequences associated with the genetically modified corn and soy, the allergy triggering MSG, and the ADHD inducing preservatives. Twenty-six ingredients in all, not including Mom’s good well water and her special doctoring she puts in every dish.
Rusty counted twenty one for his stuffing mixture. The bulk of the ingredients came from Claire’s bread, in addition, to organic wild rice; walnuts; Quiet Creek apples, parsley, sage, onions, yogurt, shiitake and oyster mushrooms; wild-picked cranberries and chanterelle mushrooms; local raw milk; and local free-range eggs.
His combination of flavors mixed deliciously and healthfully to compliment the meal and the leftovers that followed. Although after strutting around as the winner, he admits that Mom’s comfort food is overflowing with her special ingredient—LOVE.
Here’s to good food, the best stuff, and plenty of love.