Friday, May 04, 2018


Aidan told me the other day that I cook "like a peasant from the 1840s or something."

In a way, he's right. I've always been pretty good at anything that all comes out of one pot and benefits from being left on low for hours on end.  I love bread bowls and hand-held meat pies.  Of course, I haven't cooked on a wood stove since my teens, and my fireplace cooking skills don't extend beyond a campfire...and I use much more meat.

I've tried several different recipes for Cornish pasties and Scots oat cakes and such, without ever being satisfied with the results, but any sort of meat and vegetables I can toss in a pot usually turn out at least edible.  (I have been told that I set my sights a bit low, but I know my limitations.  I will always settle for edible.) 

I grew up on my mother's cooking, which varied from awesome (fancy stuff) to awful (vegetables).  So holidays were heaven, but the rest of the year was purgatory, at best.

Speaking of campfires (was I?), the Girls' Auxiliary badge I was the most proud of earning was Campcraft.  For that one, we were divided into pairs, and each pair had to get a fire going on the beach, using driftwood, in a stiff breeze.  We were given half a sheet of newspaper and two matches.  Beyond that, we were on our own.  My team was the only one to succeed, and all the other pairs came over and cooked their Mulligan stew (yum) in our fire.

I love making soups and stews meant to be eaten out of thick crockery bowls.

I loved my grandmother's Victorian china with its deep dinner plates.  Those people were serious about their gravy!

Generally, the kids would know when the Spirit was upon me. (Look out...Mom's getting out the iron pans!)  They would be surreptitiously checking the milk levels and the cereal boxes, hoping for a backup meal, just in case they would hate what I was making.  Experience had predisposed them to do so.

Still, they survived, and became good cooks, all. 

Mostly in self defense.

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