A while back–over Easter, I think–we had a conversation with my kids about cooking food, in part because the topic came up, but also because my oldest is growing up and needs to realize that making meals is more than just opening a can of soup and calling it good.
Honestly, he actually is interested in learning to cook which is a good thing because he certainly likes to eat, lol.
Back to our conversation… my wife and I began to explain how easy it is to make meals these days. For instance, he loves something called “green bean casserole” which is little more than some green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and shredded cheese combined and cooked in the oven.
Anyway, we tried to explain that making a meal “back in the day” (before modern canning, for example) consisted of way more than just opening a few cans to make your meals. It took a lot of work! Which is probably why women stayed home… it was a full time job. No doubt we’re spoiled in modern society if for no other reason than modern canning.
Just trying to make this green bean casserole from scratch would have been a big ordeal. For instance, the green beans would had to have been picked, snapped, washed, cooked, and then maybe cut into smaller pieces.
I’ve never attempted to make homemade cream of mushroom soup but it’s obvious that mushrooms would had to have been picked, washed, sliced and cooked. It appears that onions and garlic and involved too, along with some more cooking, as well as chicken broth, and flour. Heck, just making bread from scratch is bad enough (here’s a great recipe I’ve used many times).
All that work and we’re not even done yet! The shredded cheese involves a lot more planning as this article points out and far more work than I would be willing to give it, not to mention the waiting involved for the cheese to form. Honestly, I would have just skipped the cheese by now. 🙂
Granted, I know it wouldn’t have been quite this hard. Our ancestors would have canned foods and planned well in advance but, if we’re talking about making a meal from absolute scratch, it’s a lot of work to be sure.
Ultimately, that example was just one side dish. We didn’t even mention the mashed potatoes made from “scratch” (meaning we had to cut and cook the potatoes rather than making the boxed version), or the meat that somebody else had processed–that is, killed, plucked, and cleaned)–or the bread which was already made… you get the idea.
Like I said above: our modern society has us spoiled. I’m not complaining, I’m just worried that when the canned foods run out nobody will know what to do… me included, lol. Seems you and I had best stock up on our canned goods or learn how to cook and eat very, very differently.