As I scroll around social media, it is obvious the "algorithms" have pinpointed my weaknesses. Ads and stories for kitchen remodels, recipes, what to buy at Trader Joes, the best at Aldi, ingredients that have fallen out of favor (sorry, I love sun dried tomatoes) and things Grandma taught us in the kitchen. The most recent was a list of old things that used to happen in the kitchen. It even referenced that the kitchen used to be the most popular room in the house. I have news for you. It still is, at least under my roof.
When I was a kid, the kitchen was a long way from our den where the big TV was., ( minuscule by today's standards...and no remote!) We spent very little time in the den, maybe a couple hours at night. My mom had a little black and white TV in the kitchen, but it didn't come on until 5 pm. We'd watch the news and Hogan's Heroes waiting for my dad to get home from work. In the morning, my mom was perched on an old milk can (which is in my kitchen now) and would sip her coffee and listen to the radio. Wally Phillips did a morning show out of Chicago, and he was with us every morning.
This list I just read in one feed or another, was almost laughable for anyone who loves to cook or entertain. The 9 Things You Won't Find in a Kitchen Anymore. Shall we explore?
1. Grinding coffee, meat or nuts. False. One of my favorite recipes that I use as an appetizer is Aunt Evelyn's Ham Balls and they are best made with a meat grinder! Also I often use that same grinder for my Pimiento Cheese. And grinding nuts? Yes, all the time. I love buying whole nuts and making them just the size I like. And coffee? Whatever.
2. Defrosting the freezer. Granted, all new appliances probably have this defrost feature, and I haven't done it manually for a few years. But if you have ever had a power outage or a freezer door left ajar, you have done the modern version of defrosting.
3. Coffee in a Percolator I sold a lot of percolators at Williams Sonoma, and usually to people looking for a hot and strong cup of coffee. I personally don't have one, but I do have a Toddy for cold brew, a Bialetti for stovetop espresso, a regular brew coffee pot, a Nespresso, a Japanese felt drip, a French Press, a pour over... I love coffee and I am always trying different ways to make it. If this article is trying to imply people are just going to Starbucks, I think it's wrong!
4. Using an actual cookbook. Just no. Sure we head to the internet for recipes, but cookbooks are still a mainstay for most of us cooks. Sometimes it's just for bedtime reading or inspiration! I get that it is easier to find that same recipe online, but I love those books! I have an enormous bookshelf that is just cookbooks. I have an assortment of celebrities, Junior Leagues, restaurant chefs and ingredient specific. Of course my signed cookbooks that we discussed at May I Have Your Autograph are some of my favorite!
5. Churning your own butter. I'll give them this one. I can't make Kerrygold in my kitchen.
6. Flour, Sugar Coffee canisters. They might not be lined up on the counter like the old days, but where are we supposed to keep this stuff if it isn't in a canister? We buy everything in bigger packages than the old days, so the airtight containers are in everyone's pantry. I keep coffee in the fridge, so there's that! And my sister somehow got my Grandma's old canisters and I would love to have those beauties on my counter! I'm not sure what I would even put in them, my flour comes in jumbo bags!
7. Making preserves and canning them. I love to can. I don't do a lot of jellies and jams, but I love to pickle the peppers! I have boxes of jars, a canning pot and an enormous garden full of an assortment of peppers.
8. Beautiful Jadeite displays. My mom didn't have jadeite, and neither do I. But I do have some milk glass, some McCarty Pottery, Ruby Glass and other collectibles that we use for various holidays, courses and foods. A piece of crystal here, pottery there makes things interesting and less sterile. I hope my great grandchildren eat pudding out of one of my Grandma's beautiful goblets one day, I did as did my children!
9. Making things from scratch. Seriously? I make almost everything from scratch! Do you know what I hate to make? Reservations! Going out to eat is expensive, a hassle and almost always a disappointment. I started this blog a jillion years ago because I was amazed at how many people didn't make their own Pizzelles , Biscotti, Salsa, Sloppy Joes, even Dog Treats and Kettle Corn!
Am I above a Trader Joe's frozen Onion Soup? Nope, love it. A take out pizza? Love that too! But I find great joy in creating in the kitchen, and I seriously hope this little article has it mostly wrong.
So what are you waiting for? Get in there and cook!