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Sure to Rise

2nd January 2009

JUST ADD WATER AND SIMMER FOR 7 MINUTES…THEN SERVE…

Posted by: Campbell

blogtrolley.jpgHave we become a pre-prepared, convenient and time-deprived community…? My recent trip to New World got me thinking… and not about which way my Bananas were pointing.

The supermarket is clever little consumer empire and a huge proportion of their products are tailored to absolute convenience. I mean really… who has time to cook a meal from scratch these days, what with demanding and hectic careers, hobbies and socialising, gym memberships, realtionship/family commitments and a growing selection of Dine out and Take out options? Why bother cooking? Bless Me… I was raised on a farm in the bowels of the South Island, I have inherited many of my Mother’s  genes and not just the ability to prune roses, shorten a pair of trousers and make and hang  a perfect set of net curtains but also the abilty to make chutney,mint sauce, preserve fruit, bake a hearty selection of cakes and biscuits and make my own pastry and salad dressing. The slightest hint of winter and it’s time to make a hearty pot of soup from scratch or cottage pie, smoke some fish and while the Oven is on I will throw together an apple crumble. On a good day I can make a cheeky loaf of bread and a fantastic date scone. So they say you can tell alot about someone by what is in their basket as you wander the isles of the mighty “Convenience Supermarket”. The whole world of cooking at home can be made very straight forward and timely with the pre-prepared items we can so easily purchase. I say easily, but easily comes with a price tag. We pay for Convenience. So if you are completely deprived of time and having the ‘girls’ over for dinner then lets grab a hot roast chicken - actually we might need two, a selection of gourmet salads from the Deli, oven roast potatoes from the freezer, petit dinner rolls from the Bakery, oh and a slab of the naughty chocolate brownie and well-back to isle four for thickened cream (no time to whip it yourself). Better get some wine, 2 whites and a red and should get some water… Pelligrino x 4. Stand in line, eye up the boy at Checkout Six and $93.00 later it’s time to head home and slave over a hot stove. Get off the cross, it is literally going to take you 25 minutes to whip up dinner.

So maybe you are not entertaining and you are just shopping for the household. Great. Frozen veges so no boring peeling and chopping, handy well portioned servings of meat, bottled sauces, packet gravy, microwave rice, bladders of soup, pre made pastas and sauces, muffin selection, ready sliced deli meats… This is so easy. Nice and easy until you get to the Check Out and almost have to sell you left kidney to pay for it.

The cost of living is escalating on a weekly basis and constantly people are quivering at the cost of buying food. The mighty consumables. Don’t get me started on the price of cheese and bacon. Let’s export it and then charge those on the home soil exorbitantly. The time has come to be a little more savvy and resourceful and use a few techniques from our Pioneering Ladies.

Make some time and get in your kitchen with recipes, cookbooks and ideas. Start reconnecting with the art of preparing food and arranging what you are going to eat and enjoy for the week.  Give your pantry a good spring clean and see what gems may be hiding behind the cans of sweetcorn and creamed rice. It can be quite rewarding and also makes shopping easier as you know exactly what you need for the week ahead. Think outside the square when it comes to produce that is a smidge past its best. Ideas for a soup or casserole (I know you have a Crock Pot) - and stewing fruit is just way too easy. 

Just imagine, with the saving of your hard earned Pink Dollars, in one month you and your beloved could do a little trip to the bowels of the South Island and stay with my Mum. She will certainly put on a good spread. Bless Her… “Save a Penny… Save a Pound”… or is that put on a Pound?

Tags: General

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Mark A. Thomson // Jan 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    A man after my own heart! A cook and raconteur! I remember a trip back home, not to the bowels of the south, but to the guts of London, about a decade ago and went shopping with a friend. In the days when I lived in London this friend was a passably good cook. But on this visit he took me to Marks and Sparks and Waitrose and filled his little trollies with all manner of pre-prepared and frozen meals. I was astonished and coined the phrase, Lazy Cow Syndrome, or LCS. What I have discovered over the years is that LCS is endemic, a pandemic, perhaps? People who should know better complain that they have no time to cook and serve crap for dinner.
    Well as an old pink reactionary, I will not succomb to the myth that cooking takes time. My partner and I, here on the East Coast of the North Island shop in the farmers market for fresh fruit and veggies, and grow our own. We buy affordable cheese and wine from the farmer’s market. We bake our own bread, cakes and pies. Jams and chutnies are made with seasonal ingredients and stored and gifted to friends. And both of us are good cooks.
    The idea of getting a takeaway, eating out or, god forbid, buying a frozen meal is anathema. Having a library of cook books helps and there is nothing more satisfying that a good home cooked meal.
    But Campbell, it is not just the cost of junk that we should be worried about, it is the content of the stuff that is being sold.
    At least by growing our own food and preparing our own meals we reduce the amount of lethal chemicals that we digest!

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