Who knew?????

Courtesy of Abby Glann - Spring 2010

I swore I never wanted to be a teacher.  I had no/none/nilch desire to work with kids and teach anything!

But in the last few years ... I have discovered I love love love  to share some of the knowledge I have scraped off the kitchen floor over the past few decades.

Cooking, like sewing and knitting, changed to a scientific art of perfection during the 50's.  Baking was soooo precise. Very careful measurements.  Just mix it exactly the exact number of minutes.  And don't open the door while its in the oven!!!!  Baking a cake was made intimidating by Betty Crocker and her friend, Duncan Hines. So let us make it easy for you, they said. 

So two and three generations of women walked down the cake mix aisle instead of grabbing a dozen eggs. a bag of flour and a wire whisk.

If you can't make something that is as easy as pie, why would you make cheese or bake bread or make your own pasta??? 

Let alone can green beans.  You know that pressure canner may blow up.  It did on great-great Aunt Hilda in 1924. Blew the ceiling right out of the kitchen and the green beans were spewed for a quarter of a mile.

But I digress........

All that detail to perfection ... left many of us scared and frightened to try anything new and different. Why, I might ruin it! What happens when it fails?

Ya know what happens if you ruin it???  You try again. 

And if it turns out really lousy, you order pizza.  And you try again. 

After all ........ you are going to eat again in 6 hours!  You are not going to starve!!!

It's not rocket science.  You don't need a PHD to make cheese.

Which leads me to why I love teaching at Prairieland Herbs.  Every time I am there, I am so impressed with the enthusiasm of the students.  They want to plunge in and make cheese.  And they want more.  Can we make pasta?  Can we do an all-day class and we make mozzarella, pasta and ricotta??

I'm not sure if Maggie and Donna are ready for a marathon cheese, pasta session in their classroom. I'm pretty certain that I would be kicking off the high heels I wear for classes.(otherwise I am waaaay shorter than the students and they ask where they found the gray-haired 10 year-old!  And ....... I trip on the hems of my jeans.  And tripping into hot whey is not good!)

Maybe I can get Dawn to teach hula-hooping while we are letting the ricotta drain?? I am sooooo there!!!!


Barb said…
I had an 83 year old client tell me that she wanted to make a chicken casserole but the tiny convenience store in her town didn't have any cream of chicken soup. So....she made something else. She asked me what I would do in that situation. I told her I never use canned soup, that I make white sauce and flavor it accordingly. She was in awe of this!! Truly, Betty Crocker and her friend Duncan did do a great dis-service to a couple of generations. Thanks for repairing it!! :o)
Margaret said…
It wasn't until I went shopping on my own did I know there was Betty Crocker! I just stood there in the aisle in awe. I grew up in a slow food house, where both my parents grew up in a slow food house. I learned early how to make a rue or brownies, or fajitas. I look back on it now and think "so that's how my parents taught me my fractions!" Keep it going, Miss Effie! And you are right - yesterday I doubled my Yorkshire pudding recipe.... I'll be making it again tonight.

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