Way back when – which is the way those of us who have a little age under our belt start our stories when we don’t actually want to give away how far back we are reaching – way back when, I started down the pathway of becoming a good cook. When I say good cook – I am referring to the skill level of those of us who have discovered how to please the pallets of our family. Years have passed, many a failed attempt has been forgotten, and my culinary skills have gotten perfected. I may not be gourmet, but I have home cookin’ down to a science.
Recently, my husband was diagnosed with a condition that demanded we change our diet. Experts told us that we should try the Keto diet. Not to get too technical, but just let me say that the principles applied to this particular style of eating are not what I am used to using. It means out with the pasta, potatoes, and breads – yeah, pretty much every carb that I like. And forget about the chicken and dumplings. We can still have the chicken but no flour and eggs mixed together into the perfect texture and then rolled into those thin layers of delicate dough and dropped into a kettle of boiling chicken broth. Oh yeah! Your mouth just watered, didn’t it? But – out with the dumplings.
Did I tell you that I was a pie-baking queen? I can make a pie crust that melts in your mouth without even measuring a single ingredient. My fruit pies cry out for ice cream and demand you eat a second piece. My lemon meringue is the same recipe that my dad’s mother used, that has passed down through the generations, and that is the crowning masterpiece to any great meal. And – for all those who need dessert on a more down to earth level – I can whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies without even pulling out the recipe.
But – all that is a story of a day gone by. I’ve returned to a kitchen novice. New principles, new recipes, and new ingredients are now my everyday norm. We are measuring macros. That’s what I said – measuring macros! In case you think a macro is a kind of fish – you would be wrong. That’s a mackerel. In case you think it is a cookie – you would again be wrong. That’s a macaroon or a macaron, which are both great cookies that don’t work on a Keto diet. Macros tell you how many carbohydrates you can eat compared to the amount of proteins and oils. Keto means high fats and low carbs. Keto means medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Yep! MCT and MUFA cooking! Did I say kitchen novice?
We have now been on this new regime for five months. I am learning. I can now move past strictly following recipes to adding a little Patti flare to my dishes. I still have to count and measure my macros, but I have discovered a new version of some of our favorite dishes. Did you know you can make fake mashed potatoes with cauliflower? Much to our delight, we also discovered that cheesecake can be made Keto – friendly. ust today I created my own version of a two-layer cheesecake that I’m calling chocolate mocha delight. I added the word delight to the title because I am delighted to see a little of my culinary skills returning after a long Keto-learning journey.
To all of my fellow change-your-regular-routine-and-find-a-new-way-to-live companions in life, be encouraged. If this old dog - which is the way those of us who have a little age under our belt start our stories when we don’t actually want to give away how far back we are reaching – if this old dog can learn new tricks, then so can you.