Article by Donna Brond here.
Learning to cook wholesome food from scratch enabled my grandmother, and her daughter in law (my mother) to feed a small army. If you’re a big scared by the whole ‘home cooking’ thing, don’t be. It’s pretty easy. Now, I’m no gourmet chef. My secret is that I know how to cook about five different things. I can do a pretty simple curry, a basic soup, a pastry-free quiche, a simple pasta sauce, and a fried rice. Everything I make is a variation of one of those things. I don’t usually stuff them up, or burn them, because I make them regularly. Learning to cook takes practice.
Words to live by! Way to go, Donna. I’m definitely in your corner. My grandmother grew up during the Depression and was a young wife during WWII. I learned from her how to use every scrap of pastry, how to make scones from scratch (much cheaper and much tastier), how to adapt recipes, how long soup would keep, right down to how to make delicious porridge.
I owe Nanna a great deal and whenever I go back to the basics in the kitchen, making food from scratch instead of buying pre-packaged food, I thank her in my heart. On the weekend we had a delicious lamb roast, something which is a rare treat. The splurge on red meat was counteracted by me being thrifty at the greengrocer’s, making a roast vegetable medley of parsnip, potato, sweet potato, and little onions. Steamed beans and carrots were a delicious addition. Apple pie was a simple dessert. A meal for 6 worked out to be around $6 per person, and there was cold lamb for dinner the next night.
The other thing I am thinking about a lot lately is how much processed food DH, DD and I have been eating. If I showed my Nanna some of the stuff we have had in the fridge or pantry, she would be really worried about the preservatives, high salt, saturated fats and lack of fibre in a lot of those items. One woman told me that we would improve our health a lot if we didn’t eat anything that our great-grandmothers wouldn’t recognise.