Before getting into dietetics last September I took ‘cooking lessons’ with the best chef I knew – my grandfather. Considering I started our lessons not knowing there was a proper way to chop an onion, I learnt a lot from him. Yes, I could have taken professional cooking lessons from a fancy school but the hours I spent with my grandfather were priceless and now that he’s no longer with us I will cherish those moments forever. I dedicate this post to my Poppa even though he once called blogs “people’s dirty laundry.” Please enjoy his wisdom as much as I did.
Before I start, a quick caveat – these are my grandfather’s kitchen pointers, so some might not be ‘healthy’ or even true but they were what he believed in.
- A safe knife is a sharp knife
- No matter what you’re cooking, preparation is the secret. To elaborate, he would measure out ALL the ingredients before he even turned on the oven.
- Left over roast can turn into the best Sheppard’s Pie you will ever eat.
- If you keep an onion in the fridge it is less likely to make you cry when being chopped.
- He was all about the kitchen gadgets because it made his life easier. Meatball maker anyone?
- The microwave is your best friend - potatoes are cooked in 4 minutes vs. 40 minutes on the stove.
- Staying with the preparation theme, he would peel and chop potatoes before he started cooking, so to prevent the potatoes from turning brown he would let them sit in salty water.
- Sprinkle sugar on raspberries or strawberries to bring out their flavour for dessert.
- Dinner for two should be $10 or less.
- Always cook with butter – life is too short.
- Wash everything! Fruit, vegetables (even if pre-washed), fish, chicken etc
- Freeze everything! His freezer was a war zone of baggies!!!
His favourite meal was corned beef and cabbage cooked in the pressure cooker with pint of bitter beer – cheers Poppa!
PS) You might have noticed that I’m writing blog posts every other week compared to once a week, this is because during the summer Food Yourself will receive a birthday upgrade. Stay tuned for weekly posts starting again in September…