Here’s how to get rich with gourmet food. I’m not advocating selling gourmet roots nor growing them. I propose EATING ROOTS! Yes, I refer to those dirty tubers that your great-great-great grandmother dug up in the old country and boiled relentlessly for her indigent family. Economic strife was her way of life. But for us? – well, we are only in a temporary downturn. This too shall pass. Meanwhile we can taste sweetness in the good life because we can transform roots into gourmet food!

And here are some reasons why we should:

  • Roots are healthy for us! Yes, they obviously contain lots of fiber, (perhaps you groan). But beyond that, they contain many important phytochemicals, -such as the carotenoids in orange roots like carrots and sweet potatoes.
  • Roots are cheap! The price of a potato, carrot, or onion is still written with that increasingly scarce cent sign. Perhaps you’ve seen it? – the C with the vertical line through it.
  • Roots can taste delicious! Yes, innovations in the culinary arts have educated us in new cooking techniques. They have elevated the flavors of those underground foods to new gastronomical heights. Gourmet chefs in expensive restaurants now impress our table with colorful, seasoned, and roasted roots.

So how can you get rich with roots? Follow this recipe for Roasted Root Au Gratin. Beyond serving your family delicious, nutritious, heart-healthy, and inexpensive vegetables, you will be saving money by eating at home, and by not joining that exercise class. You won’t need it, – all that root chopping, walking around the kitchen, and hauling those economy-sized tuber sacs will melt the pounds from the waistline.

Alas, you remain discouraged and unmotivated. You counter my optimism with sad resignation that should you make root au gratin, you would still, ultimately, be eating roots, – the classic staple of the poor man. Yes, roots can help you get rich, but you want to feel rich too.

Okay, let’s address the psychology of wealth. We’ll throw in a chicken. In my great-grandmother’s day, a chicken dinner was a luxury reserved for company and Sundays. Our prosperous 20th century expanded chicken meals to the lunch counter and even the basement vending machines. Yes, we are lucky! So what if skinless, boneless breasts of chicken are rising in price?! We can season and bake a whole chicken that will please any gourmet. And I’ve got just the recipe: Chicken with Mediterranean Olives.

I’ve chosen this recipe because I’m on an olive kick. My friends and I so loved the Stump’s hot olives in the chili I made, that I ordered Stump’s Mediterranean Olives. Stump, aka. Jim Haakinson and his wife, Roberta,  gave this chicken recipe to Wisconsinmade.com and I got it off of the store’s recipe page. “What?” you object, “You save money with a whole chicken and then spend it on gourmet olives? – How’s that helping the bottom line?” Aaah, you are right. Gourmet olives seem a frivolity I cannot afford.

But you see, that’s just where the psychology of economizing plays its role. Frugality is like dieting. It works for a day or so, then I begin to feel deprived. I start feeling sorry for myself that I can’t have the things I want. I feel sooo sorry, that soon I recklessly grab the very thing I’ve responsibly shunned. So, just like dieting, my trick to staying on a budget is to splurge (well, I call it splurging) on little things. Things special enough that I feel rich, but not expensive enough to break my piggy bank. Regarding food, I’ve found this strategy works. When I spend a little bit more on a special seasoning or ingredient then I can make my home-cooked food taste superior to restaurant food. As I learn to make better tasting food, I WANT to eat my own cooking. Thus, in the not-too-long run, I’m saving money rather than spending it on restaurants and the gas to get to them.

My new, stricter budgetary confinements make me feel a little like the exotic monkey that zoologist, Gerald Durrell, wrote about. Following capture and in transport to the zoo, the poor monkey became so despondent about losing its freedom, that it gave up eating. Fearing it would soon die, Durrell fed a bright red, candied cherry to the woeful animal. The little monkey had never before experienced such exquisite flavor. A momentary joy revived the tiny animal’s spirits. Encouraged that this new life could hold wonderful benefits, the little monkey decided to eat its monkey chow. Every day, Durrell fed the monkey a candied cherry, and the two of them became good friends. Yes, so if I splurge on some olives, know that my gourmet treat is sustaining my spirit through these troublesome times.

And we all can create the good life, right here at home.

click on “Continue reading…” for the recipes for Roasted Root Au Gratin and for Chicken with Mediterranean Olives.

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