I LOVE to cook but like many other entrepreneurs – I just don’t have the time. BUT in this economy…I make the time. It is much cheaper and healthier to cook at home, after all I am there most of the time. My biggest tip: plan ahead – at least THINK about it. Not to say I have time to sit and plan each meal, but when I do grocery shop, I have what I want to cook in the back of my mind.
Most importantly – I cook from scratch. I was one of those women that hung out in the kitchen with my grandmother. We called her Nana and she cooked dinner EVERY day. It was very rare for us to go OUT to eat. Nana cooked from scratch. She baked ALL the time (from scratch) and we always had freshly baked cakes and cookies, and pear preserves – I literally mean ALL the time. EVERY Sunday we had a freshly baked sweet potatoe pie.
How many of you really know what cooking from scratch is? That means – no boxes, no packages..all ingredients came from a recipe of some sort or just from remembering how to fix something – scratch!! The best…
My Nana – baked for everybody. She was constantly baking cakes, cookies and taking them to people when they were sick, members of her church, our friends as well. I grew up in my grandmothers house so I was VERY exposed to her cooking. Our (me and my sister) friends would come over and expect to get something sweet from her and dinner if they were there in time. Everybody called her Nana or Ms. Taylor.
When I was about 11, I started cooking based on what I saw her do and I wanted to surprise her. I will never forget my first meal – fried chicken, not sure about the sides though. I do remember that the chicken was not cooked all the way, at least the larger pieces still had blood coming out – lol. She did not fuss, she was so proud I had tried to cook for her. After retirement, she volunteered at the hospital and took baked goods to the sick and shut in until a few months before she passed at the age of 84. She was spunky! Hmm – did I get mine from her?
At her funeral, we all laughed and related to the minister when he talked about how she always brought him freshly baked cookies and how much he was going to miss that. I miss my Nana.
Ok – let’s begin – first things first, to be successful at this and truly efficient, you must have the basics in your cabinet and refrigerator. Make sure you have a variety of things such as:
- Seasonings, broths chicken & beef, sugar, flour
- Packages – the type that allow you to add additional ingredients for quick meals like meat loaf, tacos, spaghetti – if you see something you wanna try buy it (I know not scratch – we will discuss that later as I improvise!!)
- fresh vegetables – always have bell pepper, onions, celery, fresh garlic, spinach and cabbage (those will last long in the refrigerator)
I eat meat, I do not fry too often, but I always keep chicken, beef, and fish in the freezer. With the basics – you can make a variety of meals.
I use some packages for seasoning . I am always looking for various ways to add flavor. As this blog grows – we will talk about the best packages to buy and discover new ways of cooking with them and mixing it up with scratch recipes.
We’ll this journey has just been born- Thanks to my Twitter and Facebook friends that encouraged me ….til next time
PS. Having left-overs tonite – red beans & rice with smoked sausages cooked a few days ago!!