Monday, November 16, 2015

Modern Conveniences in and Old-Fashioned Kitchen

     Just because I am advocating returning to basic ingredients in cooking, it doesn't mean that I want my kitchen to function like it belongs in a pioneer cabin.  There is a big difference between advocating for scratch cooking over pre-packaged foods, and thinking it's a good idea to whisk a meringue by hand when there is a perfectly good kitchen aid sitting two feet away.  In fact, I think that the modern appliances that we enjoy in today's world give us even more reason to get back to basics.

     My granny made delightful biscuits.  Everyone raved about her biscuits and, though she's been gone for over 20 years now, we still talk about how we wish someone could duplicate the recipe.  Sadly, it hasn't happened yet.  Her "biscuit bowl" is in my kitchen cabinet.  It's a heavy ceramic mixing bowl that has obviously been well used and well loved.  I've made more biscuits in that bowl than I care to remember, and not a single one of them tasted like Granny's.  One day I stumbled across a tip to make various types of dough in a food processor.  I thought it sounded like an interesting idea, and so I gave it a try.  It works great.  Super fast and easy, with tasty results.  Now that's how I make my biscuits - the food processor.  They still don't taste like Granny's biscuits, but they are good.  They are also quick and low stress.  In fact, they are easy enough to make that it seems absolutely silly to even consider buying canned biscuits.

     It turns out that I can also make fabulous pie crust in the food processor.  That was a game changer because I always hated making pie crust and it never turned out very well.  Now I have the best pies at Thanksgiving dinner.

     A deep fryer can change the way you look at things, too.  If you buy one that is easy to use and easy to clean, it's a great appliance to have.  My mandolin and deep fryer combine to make better french fries and pub chips than you could ever hope to find on the frozen food aisle.  (Are pub chips even a thing in the freezer section yet?)  I also whip up hush puppies as a treat on pork chop night sometimes - just because my fryer is there and it's so easy to do.  My country fried steak and fried chicken have improved exponentially since using the deep fryer. 

     I could babble on indefinitely about the joys of baking when you have a kitchen aid for prepping your cookies, bread and pizza crust.  Pancakes are the easiest breakfast in the world when you own a griddle.  Who needs cold cereal when you have that?  Well, I do.  Sorry.  I do love my cheerios.  But still...

     My point is that with all of these wonderful appliances at our fingertips today, why wouldn't we make everything from scratch?  Aunt Bea slaved away in the kitchen for days to bake all of the treats to sell at the church bazaar in Mayberry.  You and I can make those same treats with half the time and effort that she used and they can taste just as good.  Probably better since our modern ovens cook much more evenly.  Yet we choose to purchase cake mix in a box?  Personally, I think we are crazy if we do.


  1. ok Michelle here is where I am so guilty!!!! I use can biscuits I used to try and make things from scratch. I should go back to this.... this motivates me to just DO IT! & BTW I love the picture of the appliances!

  2. Thank you for the compliments. I know just how it is about those canned biscuits. Took me forever to get rid of them. So glad they are gone, though.