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December 14, 2010
No Offence taken Ruthmarie. My intent was to show the effect of the changing times on the demand and need for certain education. When I was in school, every school had a home ec course and a shop course. Most of those courses have become part of the VoTech school in Harford county. The 4-H programs are as close as we get to any organized teaching of home making skills.
February 22, 2010
I've often thought they need a "life skills 101" class in the schools… mandatory.
Basic cooking,menu planning,sewing (if nothing more than sewing on a button and mending a seam) budgeting, how to handle finances, simple car maintenance, how to job hunt, write a resume.
As far as that goes all of these things could be worked into the curriculum…cooking would fit into math, chemistry and health…finances and budgeting could be taught in economics…job hunting and resumes would fit right into communication arts…
We are too busy teaching to the tests ( that funding for our schools depend on) that we don't teach how to apply the academic skills to our lives. A lot of students see most high school classes meaningless…except to make a good grade.
Sorry, I think…I've gotten a bit off topic.
May 5, 2010
Judy, I don't think a side path about survival skills is off-topic to folks being picky about food … they're all under the same umbrella of human behavior and society losing track in passing on common sense. DH and I have had mucho discussion about Life Skills 101 … he, is quite frustrated with lack of financial basics, crappy money basics (math FAIL) … and, as you might have guessed, I'm increasingly alarmed at no baseline in basic cooking and budget use. Doesn't help that we have at least the majority of 2 generations seduced by convenience foods & tech distraction.
Since our schools insist on a semester of sex education, I agree Skills 101 would be massively prudent, but, considering the hidebound survival approach of schools (yes, testing insanity!), the implosion of "extraneous" classes with recessional state budgets, I'm so at a loss of how to worm this into any curriculum considering our school systems are inherently broken. VERY broken … a political opinion which I'll sidestep as definitely off topic, lol! But, since there is now a thriving business in tutoring outside the public system (<img class="spSmiley" title="lips-are-sealed" onclick="spjEdInsertSmiley('9453.gif', 'lips-are-sealed', 'http://chickensintheroad.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/', '');" src="/wp-content/forum-smileys/9453.gif" alt="lips-are-sealed" />), I wonder if parents would ever see the light in Survival Skills through those outlets?
Ross, thank you … had a day yesterday of "foot in mouth" mode with family and was seeing slips everywhere by evening. Amazing how different your post looked after a night's sleep and coffee. <img class="spSmiley" title="happy-flower" onclick="spjEdInsertSmiley('happyflower.gif', 'happy-flower', 'http://chickensintheroad.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/', '');" src="/wp-content/forum-smileys/happyflower.gif" alt="happy-flower" />
December 14, 2010
April 1, 2009
September 12, 2011
My mom didn't cook much because she was always working to support the family (read: Minute Rice with tuna and cream of mushroom soup?), but my MIL was wonderful.
This is a big "thank you" to her for all her skills that she shared with me. I, in turn, try to share with my daughters and DIL. I also admire my DIL and try to learn from her…it makes her more open to my suggestions if I am open to hers. I have been very blessed with wonderful women in my life who taught me the love of taking care of my home and family.
I feel that same admiration for the contributors here. This is a community of people who are willing to share ideas and recipes, who feel "safe" sharing moments of their lives with people they may never have met. Life is good.
March 9, 2011
Hee hee, 'that blows my skirt up' was one of my dad's favorite sayings. Sigh. I miss him so much; he knew how to do so many things & didn't mind teaching them to a daughter.
Let's not put all the cooking off on the women, either; I think all guys should learn cooking basics, too. My brother taught his wife how to cook and do laundry. My nephews always impressed their girlfriends by cooking them a nice meal. It's a good independence thing for anyone, and much better for a person's health.
Here's a thought, though: some people think eating krap is ok. They think it tastes good , and studies have shown that eating processed food with additives all the time makes real food taste 'funny'. And frankly, if that's all they've ever known, it's their 'normal. That makes me a bit sorry for them.
I am a secretary for 15 maintenance guys, and I'm appalled at what they eat and what they rave about as fine dining makes my eyes water. But on the other side of the coin, they look at some of the things I bring from home, like Indian food or a good Italian veg stew, and say I eat weird stuff. Go figure…
March 30, 2009
This hit me:
Here's a thought, though: some people think eating krap is ok. They think it tastes good , and studies have shown that eating processed food with additives all the time makes real food taste 'funny'. And frankly, if that's all they've ever known, it's their 'normal.
I wonder if this is why my son is turning into a better cook than I am? Now I always had home cooked food growing up, but at the same time a lot of package foods were used. They were used as lunches, some regular meals, and in casseroles. However, my son probably doesn't even know what hamburger helper or canned chow mein are. We gave that type of stuff up while he was still little. Though one can still find boxed mac and cheese in my cupboard, most everything else is cooked from scratch. So I wonder if he has that "knack" of adding spices because he can taste better than I can?
May 5, 2010
SarahGrace, I also grew up with a single mother who fell upon convenience packaging with gratitude because she worked full time. Cooking meals during HS is when I started reading cookbooks (for fun!) & experimenting with leftovers … by the time I was on my own, I rarely bought packaged foods of any sort save the same occasional guilty pleasure of mac 'n cheese (distinctive flavor, lol!). I'm know taste buds recover from being overwhelmed by salt & MSG as now I can't stand near all of packaged meals because of the salt. Plus they're TOO bland & need spices, period. Bet you can train your taste buds like your son … if you can taste what spices he's adding then you certainly can find out what combinations do well. We all have our favorites …. mine is Italian seasoning, love the oregano, followed quickly by mild curry blends.
I have to agree with the "taste funny" comment. Those who eat alot of the processed foods don't always warm to home-cooked unless it is seasoned well to balance the absence of salt. I can't describe my mixed emotions when someone looks for the salt & pepper before they taste my cooking but I know where the urge is coming from.
November 14, 2010
New guests to my famous Sunday night dinners will look for the salt and pepper "shakers" as well, before they even have lifted a fork. When they ask, I point blank tell them, the food is properly seasoned.
I don't even own a salt or pepper shaker….I have a salt cellar that I pinch from when I cook or bake as needed that contains pink sea salt, and I have probably ten different salts from around the world in crocks in my cupboard. And I have a pepper grinder that has my personal blend of peppercorns that I mix. (This makes me sound like a total snob).
Everyone I know likes the idea of home made food, with pure whole foods, made with care and technique. But very few are willing to put in the work. And if we are being honest here, it does take extra work to make good quality food from scratch, as opposed to popping ready made sauces into a pot, and boiling up some pasta. Some of us like to create food for fun (as well as for money), but some people could not be bothered.
I think there will always be a place for scratch, and a place for convenience. Not saying one's right or better, but people are different, so is their love or lack of love, for food.
December 14, 2010
Justdebby, you are quite right that cooking takes time. It takes time away from watching tv, it takes time away from recreational reading and it makes such very good food for your family. To purchase the ingredients, prepare and can chicken soup is likely to consume most of a day. But then I have eight jars of soup that I can open and have on the table in less than 20 minutes. It will allow me to know what I am feeding my family and it returns my labor at a later date. I count it as an investment of labor on which I get a return both in the present and in the future.
I am concerned that there is a pink salt for table use because the salt/sodium nitrite cure for making ham and bacon is dyed pink to identify it and to differentiate it from table salt.
May 5, 2010
I don't even own table shakers anymore, but DD has begun to use a naturally "pink salt" which refers to Himalayan salt. This is considered a very pure salt and isn't the same thing as the curing salt loaded with sodium nitrate. Just how true the pink salt is to its fame I imagine depends on the rep of the company selling it. It's a booming business now. The variety of salts sure have taken broad jumps in the past decade!
justdeborah20, it's been some time since someone asked for shakers in my home (manners seem to improve with age and reputation, lol!) … my usual diplomacy was to suggest they taste the food FIRST. It did take a few dinners with DH's family before requesting shakers ceased.
December 14, 2010
Ruthmarie, The curing salt contains 6.25 % sodium nitrite and is added to canning salt and sugar to cure pork. The rate for two and a quarter pounds of meat is four teaspoons of canning salt and a half teaspoon of curing salt. This provides 156 parts per million sodium nitrite which breaks down into nitric oxide and produces the charactaristic pink color and the taste that we all love in a ham. It has the added benefit of preventing the growth of clostridium botulinium.
May 5, 2010
Okay, I'm confused because I know I've seen the spelling of nitrate … A, not just I in the word associtated with salt for curing meat. Don't use it, but curiousity leads me to read about alot of things I may not do especially when I now have to avoid cured meats. I understand your thought of possible confusion of curing salt vs the gourmet "pink salt" but imagine packaging and cost would cut a difference.
November 9, 2010
Getting back on track about WIC/Food Stamps…I fully support both programs and understand that many people need them to survive. A surprising fact that most people do not know is that basic cleaning/hygene products are not covered under Food Stamps. Toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergent, toilet paper and other basics must be paid for by the individual. I would much rather pay for toothpaste than a Snickers Bar. Great discussion everyone.
May 12, 2011
In regard to the use of WIC, many people that get the assistance from WIC do need and use the items they get. Others get them only because they can, and never use them. I think the concept of the WIC program is wonderful, if used properly. When my oldest 2 children were eligible, I did receive assistance from WIC. The milk, cereal and peanut butter were often a God-send for me and my children. Thankfully, I did not need it for my 2 younger ones. One thing that always irked me about it though – you could buy instant oatmeal, but not the kind you have to actually cook. That never made sense to me. I work full time, run my kids here and there daily for ball practice, games, etc., but I still cook each day for them. Seldom do I use any "convenience" type foods, for 2 reasons: 1) my kids prefer homemade foods, and 2) my food I make is much healthier for them.
And I completely agree with Miss Judy – Life Skills should be taught in EVERY school system – beginning in middle school, with more advanced classes at the high school level. Also, the 4-H program can be very helpful for teaching youngsters to cook- unless you have a 4-H extension agent like the one in our county. I am appalled at the fact that so many people my age and younger simply do not know how to cook – even the most simple of dishes. I offered to teach a cooking skills class through the 4-H Foods group. The agent, who will tell everyone that she can't cook, told me no, that she was going to do it. Those poor kids know nothing more about cooking now than they did before she started.
My children have always been in the kitchen with me while I'm cooking, and they want to know how to cook. Even my six year old daughter could make a simple meal with adult supervision and assistance with the stove!
November 14, 2010
Salts are available in alot of different "colours", depending on where they are harvested from. Blue, black, red, grey, white, pink, coral, yellow….those are just a few of the different salt hues I have, from all over the world. The pink salt I use with cooking is from France. The mineral content in the seas give it the beautiful pink blush that is characteristic of the region.
I do have some curing salt, that is also a pinkish colour, but I use that in making jerky. I don't think I've ever seen curing salt ever sold as a spice, only as an ingredient for charcuterie.
December 14, 2010
Curing salt is only sold on request and is always well marked. Ruthmarie cure#1 contains sodium nitrite and salt, cure#2 contains sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate. Sodium nitrate is reduced by bacteria in the meat to form sodium nitrite. I hope that this clears things up a little for you.
A question for those that buy color salts. Do they impart a different flavor? If not then I should think that the attraction would be in a nice clear shaker on the table.
May 5, 2010
Thank you, Ross, good to know my memory was good, placement was iffy. Yeah, well, that doesn't improve with age! I don't know about the colored salts as I avoid 'em all but they are certainly pretty. DD says the pink salt was a clear sharp flavor, requiring less for taste so I'll take her word for it.
June 1, 2010
Ross, the different colors of salt do have slightly different flavors. I don't use regular table salt at all. I cook with only minute amounts of kosher salt, p-articularly when the salt is required to change the texture or flavor of an ingredient. It took a while to be able to distinguish between the flavors--and textures-- of the exotic salts. They've become my guilty pleasure.
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