On not spending your whole life in the kitchen
Last week I was thinking. Thinking about how in an ideal world I would make all of our food from scratch. Thinking about how if I did make all of our food from scratch, I would be spending a lot of time in the kitchen (which is why I don't).
And then I thought that we really expect a huge variety of foods. Take one food, for example: bread. Just bread doesn't cut it. We want sandwich bread and baguettes and bagels and English muffins and biscuits and any other number of things.
Once upon a time, people were happy just to have food, and ate what they had. Now we have it all, and we want it all. Myself included.
Sometimes I wonder how pioneer women managed to cook over an open fire and keep a garden and do the wash and keep their homes immaculately clean and sew all the clothes for their family as well as a hundred other things that we don't have to do anymore. I'm not trying to make their job easier than ours is—I wouldn't want to trade places with them—but they did have simplicity on their side. A person may have owned only two or three sets of clothing. The house was small. And people didn't expect three-course feasts for every meal. People who did usually had help.
Laura Ingalls ate the same few foods over and over again—corn dodgers, baked beans, game. They used what they had. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the variety available to me. Not only do we have grocery stores full of food, but we have books full of recipes from all over the world. The possibilities really are endless.
My family and I enjoy variety. We like trying new things, and I like cooking new things. But sometimes I think that if I just lowered my standards in the kitchen a little, I would save a lot of time. Although I enjoy cooking, sometimes I think that time might be better spent—I could be playing with my kids, catching up on the laundry, or whatever it is that is pressing at the moment.
Well, I haven't come to any conclusions here. What do you think about all of this?