In view of the recent disasters that hit Southeast Asia last year and America this year, I would like to challenge you to practice now picking up the pieces and getting on with life. What would you do if tomorrow morning you have nothing left but a pile of mud, little or no potable water and cooking implements you are not familiar with? What will you cook if you know how to use that round bottomed cast iron kettle (can it be used without a crane since the round bottom will not rest easily on a pile of rocks surrounding an open fire) or the lone ceramic pot that somehow has escaped the mass destruction around you? How will you start a fire to cook—there are no matches (they’re all wet) nor gas nor electricity?
Introducing the quarterly event, Cooking the Old Fashioned Way (CTOFW). Where I live it is now the middle of autumn—across the world it’s spring. Quick, stop where you are, no matter what your climate, season or country, and look around you, really look. Are there communal ovens in the village square? Is there a windmill or watermill nearby? Are you in a city where no one raises a Victory garden—just concrete? Make friends with the elders in your communities, raid the attics for dusty journals and recipes and look into the cellars for old pots. Learn now how they are used. Learn how to make potable water or other beverages. Discover alternate methods of cooking, other than “in” something. Can you think of ways to cook on something with natural energy? Can you find growing in the hedgerows and meadows and estuaries food items that will feed people of all ages and health/dietary conditions (some cannot eat foods for religious reasons or because of injuries)? Once you’ve managed to prepare it, can you store it?
Blog about what you’ve learned on or before October 22, 2005 at midnight--give us pictures of the cultural differences in food preparation, storage and the food in your area that might survive catastrophe. If you do not have a blog, send your entry to me and I will post it for you. Please send entries to: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Old Fashioned” in the subject line. If you cannot blog this time around, you will have another chance at the end of January. Let’s prepare now—before we have no choice.
This post was written by Carolyn from 18thC Cuisine