An Old Fashion Kitchen

I would consider myself a pretty average cook. I can follow a recipe when baking. I can “wing it” when making up a meal. I understand spices and flavors. I would say I have even gotten down that whole “cooking timing” thing. However there are a few things I would not say I was very comfortable with in the kitchen. Things that had I grown up with a pilgrim of a mother I may have learned, but alas, my momma worked for a living.  I also didn’t really have extended family (little old grandparents) interested in teaching me the proper ways around a kitchen.

Most of what I learned was self-taught. Not that my mom didn’t cook for us almost every night, she did. But teaching us HOW to cook wasn’t really on anyone’s list of To Do’s growing up. Kind of a bummer.

Now as an adult with my tiny family, with dreams of adding onto it, there are some very traditional skills I am desperate to learn. I know that the internet and youtube are full of How To’s for anything I might desire to learn, but there’s something to say about actually being in a kitchen with someone….hands on.

So here are a few things I’m DYING to learn:

1. Canning/preserving (including pickling and drying for fruit, meats and Veggies)

2. Jam Making

3. Bread and other dough making

4. Baking from scratch

5. Processing Dairy (making Cheese and yogurt, and even making Nut Milk and Cheese)

6. Curing Meats

7. Home Butchering (I know it sounds gross, but I think it’s a skill people should know. I’m mostly talking Fowl)

8. Kitchen Medicine

Learning these skills are not necessarily so that I can use them every day or even every month. But in a world of over processed and under appreciated, I think knowing how to do these things would make me a very valuable person if there ever was a need. I’d love to feel like I could make an entire meal with my hand with raw ingredients. If there was ever a natural disaster that I would be able to survive using my own skills. It also could mean saving my family money and feeding them healthier safer foods.

I’ve done a small amount of research and haven’t really been able to find classes in the area on this. Most of the “cooking classes” I have found are things like “10 minute Tapas” and “Christmas cookies” which I’m sorry, those are not SKILLS those are just dumb people spending $60 to decorate some cookies for 2 hours. Online I found this website that had practically EVERYTHING I want to learn in class from, too bad its in Oakland.

It’s almost like I need to find a good “country mom” who is willing to show me how to do these things for a bit of money. That’s the other thing, I don’t think someone should have to pay $65 to learn how to bake bread. We are all people and I think learning these techniques should be affordable. Hmm…maybe thats a job opportunity?

There is also this Web Site called URBAN HOMESTEAD which has an awesome slogan:

“pioneering a journey towards self sufficiency, one step at a time”

Ummm yes please! Again located in California. They are a farm in Pasadena that is on a similar mission to get back to nature and “old school” ways to be more self-sufficient and more hands on with their life, food, and land.

But here in good old Bellingham, there doesn’t seem to be a whole heck of a lot of options for learning this stuff. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled still, and until then I will just have to try to self teach. Let me know if you know of anything!


10 thoughts on “An Old Fashion Kitchen

  1. I know what you mean.
    I tried to get Grandma to show me how to make her bread and it took me til I was 37 before I finally stopped taking the “I dont know…I just do it…the ingredients are different every time…I dont measure anything” – as an answer and had her SHOW me. Of course that didnt make much difference because she was just throwing stuff in the bowl and teaching me how to squish it properly – but hey…at least I got her to show me once!

    Id love to learn how to can foods too. And smoke fish and other meats. And make stuff from scratch so I dont have to rely on Betty Crocker. Id love to learn how to make the perfect stew without packets of “beef stew mix” involved in it somewhere….

    I wish sometimes that our society was more like some of the other cultures – where the “Elders” of the family stay with them or see them more. I wish I would have spent more time in my early years – asking my grandparents to show me how to do those things – along with how to change my own oil, fix my engine, basic plumbing skills, etc etc that they all seem to know all about. Now Im “Too Busy” and they are “too achy” to spend a few hours at a time teaching those things.

    If you find a “Country Mom” out there that gives classes – let us know!
    I should tell my grandma that she could make $100 in about 2 hours just teaching us “young-ins” how to can some carrots 🙂

  2. My mother knows some of those things. The first two definitely, possibly the first four, and maybe some of the last one. I know she’s been looking to get back into it; she needs an excuse. Or rather, initiative. Something to give her a reason to do it. She used to do a lot of canning when I was younger.

  3. My Gramma Bev could teach you quite a bit of those… Pretty much all of them except anything pertaining to meat since she’s a vegetarian. She makes the best homemade bread (without a bread machine) and she also make her own dinner rolls for family events.

    I have 2 cookbooks I got as wedding gifts that I’m pretty sure show you in detail how to do quite a bit of those things as well. I would be happy to loan them to you if you would like. I’ve never used them for anything and probably won’t anytime soon.

  4. I make jam and am learning to can other things too! We own a smoker and food dehydrator too 🙂 tyler could teach you about fileting and butchering (not sure about fowl though) and he does stew from scratch! We could have a lot of fun 🙂

  5. I’ll be happy to show you how to make jam. It’s not canned, it’s just water bathed so it’s very easy. And the first Moosewood Cookbook and the red gingham Better Homes & Gardens cookbook covers most everything you’d want to do. Fun to spend the evening with you last week.

    • Rita was talking about the moosewood book, i should check it out at the library. And yes it was great seeing u guys too!

  6. I know this is kind of weird, but I totally read your blog thru Jama’s blog (that she doesn’t keep up anymore) but I’m here in B’ham and I would/could totally teach you how to do a lot of your list. I make and can jam every year, as well as applesauce – unfortunately it’s not really the right time because the best is to go pick the berries from the farm and then use them rather than berries/apples from whoknowswhere.

    I also have a dehydrator which makes it really easy for meat/jerky and homemade dried fruits and fruit leather.

    Bread is a cinch to make. Really!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s