Old Recipes make me hungry

I saw a cartoon this morning in the newspaper. The gist of it was that the stores need something to urge women to shop for raw food instead of prepared food. One of the young women was aghast that anyone would buy something raw to cook.

As I go through the old cookbooks I’ve been privileged to borrow from good friends for my upcoming book, Meals and Memories of the Boston Mountains, I recall eating many of the recipes years ago and am myself aghast that I haven’t preparedd some of them for my husband lately. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “easy way” to fix a meal, forgetting or ignoring the added cost of such meals. 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for convenience, especially for women who work on a job all day and come home to hungry mouths to feed. But it would be a good idea, I think, for a cook to prepare something from scratch at least once a week. Unless, of course, she hates to cook. That’s okay too. I like to cook, but with this all day everyday job of writing, don’t get the chance to fix some of the more complicated meals.
Last year after we returned from a three-week vacation, and I was struggling to get back in the mode of cooking “my” one-meal-a-day in the evening after working hard all day, my husband suggested that we begin to eat like we had while on our trip. We’d stop for a noon meal, often carrying doggy bags from the restaurant to snack on that evening in the motel. If there were no leftovers, we had a snack. Fruit, cheese, crackers, something good to drink, maybe a cookie or two for a sweet. These food items were easy to carry along in our cooler and a food box we tucked into a corner of the back of our SUV (we have a small one)
Reasoning that it would be easier for me to put together a noon meal before buckling down to a long, hard afternoon of writing, we decided to give it a try. Another good reason to do this is that as we get older, eating a heavy meal in the evening wasn’t suiting our sleep habits too well.
Well, since last fall, I’ve been preparing a noon meal and we snack in the evening, each choosing whatever we want to eat so there’s no big preparation. It’s working out very well. Still, as I copy some of these delicious recipes, I yearn to try out a few of them. Many could be easily adapted to crock pot cooking, or a slow cooker, both of which I have and use a lot. 
There is that recipe for homemade dumplings I found last week. No more difficult than whipping up biscuit dough, rolling it out thin and cutting it into rectangles, then dropping those into hot chicken broth and cut-up chicken pieces in the slow cooker in the morning. By lunch time they’d be tender and delicious. Home made egg noodles are as easy — whip up an egg, add flour and a bit of salt until thick enough to roll out and slice through with a pizza cutter — but they have to dry on the counter for a few hours before cooking. 
I still cook a lot like my mother did, buying whole chickens and making three meals out of one, or saving leftover vegetables in the freezer for a few weeks, then putting together a delicious soup. This summer we are discussing doing a lot of canning again, which I haven’t done in a while. Our son-in-law, who is convinced the end of the world as we know it is coming, is planting a huge garden on the farm he now owns that once belonged to his family. They don’t live on it, but since he was laid off he spends a lot of time out there cultivating crops. His strawberries are in bloom, and he’s got peas and lettuce coming up. So I’m dragging out my old pressure cooker. I’ll have to take the gauge to town to have it checked for accuracy, and hope they can steer me to a place where I can buy a new seal for it.
Don’t ask me how I intend to finish two books and can this summer, but my daughter, who is off in the summer, has promised to help. That way, if son-in-law is right, and food does grow scarce or double in price, we’ll be in good shape. If he’s not right, well, we’ll still have some healthy foods to eat and we’ll save a lot on our grocery bill as well.
Those old recipes I’m collecting for my “Meals and Memories” cookbook will come in right handy, I suspect. 
I’m not sure what this has to do with writing, but I do know a lot of writers are concerned with living with nature, and that includes growing our own food, herbs and beautiful flowers, doesn’t it?
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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
This entry was posted in canning, cookbook, crockpot, gardening, memories, Ozarks, pressure cooker, recipes, slow cooker. Bookmark the permalink.

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