I'm one of those strange birds that wants to taste what they're eating. Weird, huh? So, I don't use salt when I'm cooking (unless, like for baking, it's necessary for some required chemical reaction), but leave the salt shaker on the table for everyone to use as they see fit. Another example: I despise cooking oil in my baked goods. Even if it is flavorless, even if it is yummy, it adds calories to a product that just doesn't need it!
This morning's breakfast was coffee cake. I used just the plain old basic recipe, flour, baking powder and soda, salt, an egg, some honey, a little buttermilk, cinnamon, all the usual suspects. I left out the 1/2 cup of oil they wanted me to add (blech) and put used applesauce instead (yes, ALL applesauce.) But then when I got the batter in the pan, I thought about what it would taste like and my reaction to reach for the butter dish for that hefty sensation and rich flavor that would be missing. Instead, I heeded the call of the Amish and cut up a couple tablespoons of butter into tiny little chunks and pushed it into the batter before baking it. The cake baked, the butter created tiny craters of buttery melty goodness, and the cake was just right. And to me, a couple small chunks of butter is better than 1/2 cup of tasteless oil any day of the week.
Is coffee cake a local, seasonal food? Not this one. But the wheat was freshly ground from wheat berries purchased at Whole Foods, if that counts. The buttermilk came from the grocery store, but from a dairy in my state. The butter, well, there's nothing local about Land O'Lakes. But I did ask my CSA dairy agent if they could bring me a pound of raw local butter to their next drop. I can't wait!