“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, February 20, 2012

Slowing Down In The Kitchen

Cooking from scratch takes timing and thinking ahead.  A well stocked pantry, freezer and cold storage room are a cooks best friend.  Getting in the habit of mentally thinking what tomorrow's dinner will be helps to make home cooking run smoothly.  I've given up the 'go to' use of my microwave oven and have opted for thawing meat the day before cooking by setting it out on a glass plate for a few hours, then putting in the fridge overnight.

That little bit of maple syrup needed for breakfast .. no longer zapped .. but put into a small stainless steel pitcher (found at a garage sale) to heat on a slow burner.  Trying to undo the quick-fix ease of microwave cooking takes a step back in time and makes for better thinking skills that have been lost with the advent of so called conveniences.   There are a lot of articles about microwave use that question its safety on food.  Learning to rely less and less on it will help better develop your cooking skills.

I leave you with this great website .. Feeding America .. it has an online collection of Early American cookbooks filled with directions and recipes for s.l.o.w. cooking and home keeping.

My current 'go to' book from the collection is 'The White House Cook Book, 1887 Edition' .. it can be found on line here to read from cover to cover.    Update .. you can download the book(s) to your Kindle according to one a comment.

A family's health is most dependent on the skills and knowledge of the household cook.  Learn, learn, cook, cook .. enjoy!




12 comments:

Dani said...

Mrs Mac - I have a feeling that if we all slowed down the preparation, cooking, eating of our food, our overall health would be a lot better too :)

Exactly what solar cooking teaches you :)

Obviate fast food in your life - it only helps your body decay faster...

Lynda said...

Great post...thanks for the web link and I just downloaded the White House Cookbook to my Kindle...FREE!

Sue said...

I was so guilty of using shortcuts that weren't the best for our health....but I've been making changes slowly and don't miss any of those "time-savers" the marketers convinced us we needed.

Mrs. Mac said...

Yes .. Dani .. I need to look into solar cooking for the summer months, I'm sure the skills developed to this method would become second nature after a bit of practice.

Lynda .. I'm glad you downloaded the book.. never thought about it .. I just visit the website (every other day;) And I have the hard copy of the White House Cook Book. Great tip!

Sue .. It's amazing to step back and observe all of the 'seen on TV' gadgets that are peddled to us right in the living room, eh? Most end up not used, broken .. and/or taking up space in the landfill.

Carol said...

I agree. Preparing food from scratch is healthier, more satisfying and there is the joy of the process. Not to mention it is so much thriftier!
I do have that cookbook on my Kindle. There are a lot of free cookbooks like that one and free homemaking books like it as well for Kindle. Another thrifty trick, as I was surprised with a Kindle as a gift.

Humble wife said...

Excellent post!! We are microwave free as of a month or two ago..and worked to ween ourselves. I love the connection and planning I am required to do because of this.

ps...I am having a cookbook giveaway for any and all that wish to enter!!

Jennifer

Felisol said...

The best housewives ever were those educated by need. My mother and her likes learned to make everything from scratch and to utilize everything nature could give them, simply because the occupying Germans took everything of value for their own troops and also for their own country for five years. Even into the fifties food, wool,cars e.t.c. were only to be bought with additional rationalization coupons. My Mom can make anything from scratch, be it made from animals, fish, wool, wood, old coats turned inside out and dyed. I know about it, because I have seen it done. Fish skin shoes I have only seen in museums though. They were not durable nor good smelling. I have all my mother's recipe books from WW2 till the eighties. Serina loves to look and try out recipes too.
A golden heritage.

Ruth Trowbridge said...

Awesome post - meat thaws fastest on a cast iron pan! no microwave for 20 years now! peace

Laurie said...

I gave up my microwave a number of years back. The only time I miss it is when we're warming up a bunch of leftovers, and have to dirty lots of pots. That looks like a great cooking link. I'll have to check it out.

Joyful said...

I too have minimized the use of the microwave. That requires planning ahead like my mom used to do and taking frozen meats out of the freezer in enough time to thaw for dinner.

Thank you for the tip on the "Feeding America" cookbook. When I click on your link I saw that the book is available in a pdf file to download to one's computer. I'll be sure to have a look!

JoyceP said...

I LOVE the White House Cookbook. I received it as a gift some years ago from a woman I used to work with. I keep trying to make the lemon drop candy recipe but it never turns out. Still, there is so much in that book -- and not enough time to try it all!

Wendy said...

that is a good point. We should really reduce our microwave use in this house. I still see people microwaving their lunches in styrofoam. Yikes.