Sunday, December 19, 2010

In the begining...

Before a meal gets prepared, there is hunger. For most people, hunger is something of a constant. Many cant afford or figure out how to satisfy that hunger with a maximum of return for their investment. The main reason this occurs is that the main limiting factor is plain and simple cash; now, I'm not saying that this is a mistake, but its not that much of an impediment as we are driven to think. With the years I have found that the lack of cash forces me to be creative; after all, this is how most of the world gets around the cash problem. Some of the best cooks in the world, toiling in the fanciest restaurants are of the poorest and most deprived nations, who learned how to make small miracles out of plain and simple survival need.

They are not superhuman; they simply rise to the challenge. In the western world, where we have access to a greater variety and more abundant supplies, our greatest challenge is to rise against the media and societal image of what a meal is, and how much we are supposed to eat. The simple fact is that we have lost much of our kitchen skills after WWII, simply because the main meme in society became convenience, which tends to sacrifice value for speed. When that sacrifice is made, we lose an important trait, self-sufficiency. If you run out of microwavable diners (and how small and horrid they are) we fall back on takeout and drive-through fare, which piles on those elements that make us addicts: salt, sugar and fat.

There is a way around that, and that's to reclaim the kitchen. When you start mastering basic kitchen skills, you start paying attention to the returns on your investment. When you make it yourself it is quite possible, and far more nutritious, to spend you one-person-one-sitting fast food trio budget on a few staples and be able to feed a few for two or three meals. The trade off is that you now have to spend some time and effort producing that food; but it is my opinion that it is more than worth it.

In the coming posts I will describe the basic system I will be using to organize the posts. I am no academic authority in the culinary arts, nor am I a professional chef.; I am a Ms Peel, a talented amateur. I am also no professional photographer, but I will do my best to take clear pictures when they are appropriate; just don't expect a pictorial step-by-step of each and every single recipes. I will also be posting videos when they are relevant, and useful links to online resources. As an advance disclaimer, I don't make a penny off of these links, I am doing this out of personal experience and preference.

Keep your wits and your knives shard, and have a towel handy. If anything, it might be necessary to staunch that nasty learner's cut!

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