About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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Cooking and Routine

January 29, 2019

First off I want to tell you about our surprise visit of a Baltimore Orioles. The Cardinals have been all around lately but a bright orange color caught our attention.  Charles and I have never seen an Oriole in our yard so it was quite a surprise.

We thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

The older plates are much smaller than our modern plates so this does look like an extraordinary amount of food.  It is a little more than we normally put on our plate but we were hungry.  That is leftover roast cut up with gravy, rice, peas, carrot salad and tea.

This is what happens when we fill our plates at the stove instead of using serving bowls.

As we continue to study pre-1940s we can see changes with food and see more grains in the diet.  Our issues are food sensitivities living in today's time.

I wanted to make meals such as those in the 1920's and 1930's but it has become complicated as we need to continue to eat healthy.

What has changed is our shopping habits and we are reducing our grocery bills quite a bit.  We are actually surprised at how much we are saving.

There are several factors, we are meal planning, we are changing brands as we have been brand shoppers such as we like certain brands but since we are focusing on 1932 and this is during the Great Depression we are shopping carefully and that means more store brands which to our surprise is quite a savings.

Today I want to talk about cooking routine and I remind you that all of this is putting me back on track of what I did long ago but had forgotten living in a society that when one does not want to cook, the option to eat out is everywhere around us. 

I am against plastic and there was no plastic bags like we have now in 1932.  But right now I am using these to get me back in rhythm of cooking regularly. We go to the store and I separate the meat and put it in bags and I mark it for what meal and what day this is for.  It is portioned out right after I get home from the store.

We have hardly any food waste at all anymore. I am trying to get away from the freezer use, but finding this not easy.  I have canned more meats but we are going to use the tiny freezer we have until the day we solve this issue.  We have found through the study that people rented cold storage in ice houses. I do have some containers I am going to try for the freezer but this is common so I am showing what I am doing at this time.

There are many people that come to my blog that hardly ever cook, some say they do not know how to cook, some cook all the time, some do canning and some do not.  There are those that want to learn to cook but find it difficult and messy.

One thing that is important is for us to get into a cooking routine so cooking is not difficult. Having a weekly menu is very important so we can get to a point that we just know how to cook what we are cooking without having to look at a recipe.

Also keep it simple and organize before we start, always have a plan.

Above the stove is set for cooking the meal cubed steak that I showed how I do it last week. So yesterday was Monday again and Monday is cubed steak or hamburger steak day.  The menu is Cubed steak, gravy and onions, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

The stove above has everything set up. Notice the white enamel small pitcher, it has water for the gravy, the flour is sitting to the left with the flour shaker and a tablespoon, the shaker is to shake flour on the cubed steak, the tablespoon for adding flour to the skillet.  The small pot front left has a small amount of water for steaming the broccoli, the back left is cut up potatoes, the skillet of course is for cooking the meat and making the gravy. The small bowl by the flour container is to put the cooked onions once they are sauteed, then the meat while setting aside to make the gravy.  It is all done in a flowing motion.

Charles is coming home for an early lunch because he has to go out of town. Lunch will be at 11:00 and I will show you how this is done.  I will also be cooking some turkey for our pets and cooking chicken for the next days chicken salad lunch during this hour I am cooking this meal.

This meal will be cooked and served the old fashioned way.

The first thing I did was peel the potatoes and put them in cool water and sat them on the stove burner but did not turn it on. 

Then I cut up the onion and started cooking it in olive oil...

While the onions were slowly cooking I floured the cubed steak...

The onions are cooked and removed to the bowl, now time to add the cubed steak to the same skillet...

I still have not turned on the potatoes nor put the broccoli in the pot because the cubed steak bakes half hour in the oven...

I forgot to take a picture of the clock in the beginning but I started at 10:00 peeling, slicing and setting things up and here it is 10:17 and the onions are cooked and the meat is sauteing.

The meat is sauteed and removed from the skillet..

I have turned on the potatoes now..

Starting the gravy, I go by sight at how much flour to use and I add a little more...

I have made the gravy and put the turkey for the pets on to cook on the back right burner.

Meat and onions go into the gravy and put in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.

Now that the cubed steak and gravy is baking i saute the chicken for tomorrows chicken salad lunch.  I also put on the broccoli.

I drained the potatoes and added butter, milk, salt and pepper and mashed them in the pot.

I started putting food in the covered dishes, potatoes and broccoli in the dishes with lids as I am waiting for the cubed steak to come out of the oven.  Serving spoons are setting in a bowl to have a place to lay them down when finished using them for clearing the table.

Now the cubed steak is finished, I added water to the glasses...

I added a towel for the lids to sit on when we take them off the serving bowls.

Just in time the meal is ready and sitting on the table and the serving bowls with lids will keep the meal warm in case Charles is running late but he was not late. :)

This is a good Monday meal and better than going out to eat.

While we were eating..., the chicken continued to simmer on the stove..

Charles left and the chicken cooled so I shredded the chicken.. I used one chicken breast and two small chicken thighs.

I saute the onion that goes into the chicken salad because I cannot eat too much raw onion and I add a small amount of diced raw onion besides the sauteed onion.

I add the sauteed onion and raw onion, to the chicken...

I keep a onion jar in the fridge for leftover onion so I don't waste onion.

I add two tablespoons of mayo, salt and pepper, and sweet relish.  We like a good bit of relish.  Sometimes I will do half sweet relish and half dill and sometimes just dill relish, it all depends on what we have.

Now the chicken salad goes straight into the fridge.

First thing the next morning I get up and start cooking our oatmeal with stewed apples and start packing Charles lunch.

I line his container with lettuce, we have reduced gluten or this would have been a sandwich.

Add the chicken salad...

He is going to be eating apple and celery sticks and crackers with his chicken salad.  My mother would chop up an apple in chicken salad or tuna salad and add the celery to it too so it can be done either way.  Charles has the celery to snack on and he wanted to eat the apple with the chicken salad.

Lunch box packed, the chicken salad on bottom and the celery container next to it, crackers, apple and a ice pack on top.

Charles is getting dressed and his coat, hat, lunchbox and thermos is ready and waiting.  It is still very early in the morning. There will be no big meal to cook so this is a good day to iron and make a egg custard pie. :)

Coming up next another diary. :0 yes another.  This is Phoebe's house and we will be reading her diary.

As soon as I can figure out how to do it, I will put the diaries and the journals to the right hand side where we can click the posts for each months reading.  I may have to get my son to come to help me.

Grandma Donna

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