Tuesday, May 10

This Ain't Your Grandma's Kitchen!

Stock Photo
When I go to the grocery store, I'm amazed at how much exists solely to make our lives easier.  Everything is pre-made, pre-packaged and pre-processed for our enjoyment.  I love making food from scratch, but life just doesn't allow time for that anymore.  How sad!  I know I'm not alone.  Many people work long hours and/or have children who are involved in an abundance of extra-curricular activities, making meals a rushed and unimportant event, which results in quickly-prepared food.  As I walked the grocery store aisles last night, I bought boxed cake mix and frosting in a can.  Blueberry muffin mix--just add water.  I couldn't help but think that I would rather make these things from the ingredients in my kitchen, but I didn't have time.

Wouldn't our grandmothers be so very upset?

Stock Photo
Our grandmothers might have spent hours in the kitchen to prepare a delicious, home-cooked and home-made dinner for her family.  Her biscuits were from scratch.  Pudding cooking on the stove.  Perhaps you remember your grandmother cooking on a cast-iron stove, feeding wood into the beast to keep it hot.  Maybe you remember her baking fresh chocolate chip cookies and drooling because they smelled so good cooling on the counter  (you might have sneaked one or two when no one was looking).  The ham that she baked for Sunday dinners with the family.  Scalloped potatoes from scratch.   Heck, mashed potatoes from scratch.  Fresh vegetables from the garden that she grew out back.  Pies made from apples and blueberries and strawberries that weren't previously living in a can on the shelf at the store.  Pie crusts that didn't come from the freezer case at Wal-Mart.  Whipped cream made from fresh cream in a cold bowl.

There was pride in taking the time to make such treats.  We have fond memories of those times today partly because of how delicious the food was, but more so because we remember the time and love that went into the preparation of those meals.

Photo from of worldofstock.com
I really enjoy baking and cooking when I'm trying a new recipe.  There's something fun and exciting about trying something new, but I don't do it every day.  Some days, we might just throw a frozen pizza in the oven.  Other days, we might just opt to go out to a restaurant and let someone else cook our meal altogether (which I really like, because I don't have to do dishes afterward!).  Can you imagine making a loaf of bread every other day?  Would you enjoy roasting a chicken every night?  How about kneading dough for making a pizza crust in your own oven once a week?  To me, that sounds like a lot of fun.  The thing is, our mothers and grandmothers didn't do it because it was fun.  Grocery stores back then stocked much of the same food items that they do today.  Generally, it was just cheaper to make them at home and save money, which was why our grandmothers did so--in fact, how many of you remember your grandmother raising chickens for food?  Today, the cost is about the same, so why bother making it? 

Now, don't get me wrong--I'm not against the ease and convenience of store-bought, pre-packaged items.  They truly are time-savers, but in exchange for ease we lose appreciation for quality.  I guess I just don't think that they taste very much like they came from my grandmother's kitchen.

I have a vast appreciation and interest in the way we as a society functioned before the "modern" inventions that we know today.  The main reason that I named my blog  "Hearthside Gatherings" is because of the image that comes to my mind when I think of what the hearth was in a home: a place where the family gathers together, maybe for conversation, games, cooking, or perhaps reading the family Bible.  Architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed his homes around a central hearth, because that was typically the main gathering place for families back in his day, and he felt that it was an important design element in a home.  Before central heating, a fireplace or wood stove was likely to be the main heat source in a home, and was a family's only way of surviving a long, cold winter.  There are two separate Bible passages that can apply to all of this: "If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward" (1 Cor. 3:12-14).  Is the work you do for God and your family  pre-packaged, so to speak, and convenient, or is it a labor of love and devotion?  Will it last through the fire, when everything else is lost?  The other passage is from Revelation 5:6: "Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth."  Are you centered around the hearth of your home, which should be Christ, as it will be in Heaven, or are you the center of your own small world?  Food for thought (hopefully homemade)! 
P.S.  Special thanks to my husband for his contributions to this entry! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! Your input is appreciated. Don't worry, it'll post soon. Have a good day!