Want to learn some “new” tips to make cooking easier? All you need to do is lead a class in the Senior Center then sit back and listen to all the ideas. Many in the class started cooking a half century ago when there were no microwave ovens, crock-pots or digital appliances. Many recipes and cooking shortcuts were passed along by family and friends. Here are five of their quotes.
- “If you are going to make a mess, make a big one.” Why cook and clean up every day of the week? Isn’t it easier to make large batches of food one day and divide it up in jars to store in the ‘fridge for meals later in the week?
- When buying or digging root vegetables, “Remove the green leaves and stems before storing them in the fridge. The leaves will draw flavor from the roots.“
“During the war beef was scarce and expensive. We bought the cheapest, toughest cuts and had the butcher make cube steaks (run meat through a machine that made thin cuts in the meat).” The meat was breaded and fried for a budget-friendly, easy-to-cook meal.
- “I would buy 5 lbs of cheap hamburger and fry it all up at once, draining off the liquid but reserving the fat. Then, while still warm, I would use some in spaghetti sauce, some for taco filling, and some (with added fat) for meatloaf or meatballs. Then I would use it for meals during the week.” This sounds like it came from our “Cook Once For Three Meals” booklet.
“Our relatives used to gather on Sundays for huge dinners, usually on the farm or Grandma’s. After dinner we would pack our new Tupperware® containers with food-to-go. We ate turkey Ala king, turkey gravy sandwiches, turkey pot pie and turkey soup all week and repeat with beef or pork the next week. “ We now call these “Cook-Ins.”
The best Quote of the day was “We’ve come full circle” after I mentioned the cooking trends* over the past 60 years:
- 1940-1950’s Whole foods (except margarine and shortening}
- 1960’s TV Dinners
- 1970’s add supplements, protein smoothies and fad diets
- 1980’s add fast food dining out
- 1990’s add processed foods with corn sugar
- 2000’s add low fat/ carbohydrate revolution
- 2010 add “Choose My Plate” model for healthy meals and we’re back to cooking with whole foods (but..trans fats are now bad)
* This list is just how I see it. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to cite that supports these generalizations. I merely witnessed, and to some extent, participated in the above trends. You have to admit though, it would make for an interesting study. donR