What is your husband's favorite dish? My hubby loves pan cakes. If it wouldn’t be for my vote we would have them on the menu every day. As the name suggests, they are made in a pan. Since moving to Ireland and for the last couple of years I have been trying to bend over backwards to make decent pan cakes but I have failed so many times. I've got so frustrated that I almost quit making them. And, I have spent a fortune on frying pans. The last one I have bought cost €35 and even that one didn’t do the job.
Maybe I cannot cook the way I used to? I often wondered. Or, perhaps the stoves (hobs) in Ireland are just so very different than the ones we used to have in Germany? I’ll have to admit that a few frying pans went into the bin because I’ve bought the wrong ones for the stove. However, the one I have bought for €35 is supposed to be made for all kinds of stoves. It did not work, though — and it almost went into the bin as well. The only reason I have kept it was that it had been so expensive and dear to me.
The other day my husband bought a new hob for me. It’s one of these single hot plates, an induction one. Guess what? Yes! Hubby’s favorite dish came out just fine. Meaning, the frying pan you see in the picture above is perfectly made for the stove.
Having the perfect appliance but using wrong cookware on it will not lead to good results. And, even the best cookware won’t work on the wrong appliance. Sometimes we are so eager to find the perfect match that we rush into something we might deeply regret later on.
God knows us well. He has made us!
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18)
God made us for (our) man. He has made us the perfect match for the one He has made us for. F. B. Meyer wrote in his commentary that Eve was, therefore, given to crown his bliss; taken from his side, as afterward the Church from the opened side of Christ. What a wonderful thought.
The following is a repost of "The Homemaker's Kitchen" which I had posted on my former blog back in December 2018. It talks about my struggle of not liking my kitchen anymore and how I have solved this problem. I hope you will enjoy reading this post and perhaps gaining some useful tips out of it.
A homemaker will spend many hours of her day in the kitchen. What a joy for her if she loves to spend time in it. It’s the place where she stores her food supplies and where she bakes and cooks her family’s favorite meals.
Imagine for a minute, how much more is going on in this part of her home. Look at her kitchen table where she can do her arts and crafts and sewing projects, or where her children sit down to do their assignments. It’s there that the family gathers for daily worship, to play board games, or to host their guests.
What do you think of your kitchen? Do you like it? Or do you find it would need more cupboards? Perhaps its front doesn’t have such a lovely color as you might wish and/or the countertop reveals its age by now? Say, would you like to spend more time in it again and transform it into a cozy, clean and pleasant place for your family and guests?
“You don’t understand. We don’t have the money to buy a new kitchen,” some of you might say.
Theodore Roosevelt once said: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." This is exactly what I’ve reminded myself of when I struggled very much with my own kitchen (we are renting the house we are living in).
You see, shortly before Christmas time I had just received the workbooks of my new home economic course and began working my way through a section called Efficient Kitchen Organization. The more I read, however, the more I frustrated I became. Why couldn’t I have a different, a better kitchen? One that works? I longed for a bigger and nicer one with new appliances; one that would have more than one hanging cupboard; one that would have a sink with two basins. It was no fun baking and cooking in this place. Oh my goodness! After taking a break and slowly reading through the same section again, I rolled up my sleeves and began to work with what I have and where I was at. By the end of the day the job was done and I was quite pleased with the outcome.
Yes, I did struggle and, to be honest, it wasn’t easy at all to rearrange everything and reorganize my working space according to what the workbook said, especially since my space is quite limited. But, I did it. Now it makes such a huge difference and working in it is so much fun again.
I worked my way through the lesson about Efficient Kitchen Organization which suggests to divide the kitchen into several areas. Here is what I have come up with:
The storage area for dry food and the refridgerator are to the left. In this area I keep everything I need to prepare bread, cakes and meals: measuring tools, mixer and its attachments, bowls, wooden spoons, baking pans, cupcake liners, dry ingredients like flour, sugar, seeds, recipes and cookbooks.
The workbook of the home economic course says to use a round tray for storing spices. However, I’m using a small box for salt, pepper, herbs, etc. (see on the countertop) and a small tin box that contains baking powder, soda, cinnamon, vanilla and so on (see right-hand side of top shelf inside the cupboard).
Here is where I store the frying pans and cooking utensils (hanging on hooks to the right), pots and colander and slow cookers (in the cupboard below), and where I’m baking and cooking (see the double oven with built in stove to the left).
Washing Up Area
There is a dishwasher on the right-hand side but I’m actually washing my dishes by hand. I find this more efficient and hygienic.
Dishes and Cutlery Area
I keep coffee, tea, bread and oats in the cupboard above and the coffeemaker, foodslicer, etc. on the countertop so I’m also calling this the Breakfast area.
I stack the plates that I use daily in the front and the others in the back. Cutlery, towels, cling film, aluminum foil and bags are found in the drawers.
I’m very happy that I was able to arrange all of the areas right next to each other and that I can continually work my way from left to right. You might doubt at first that dividing your kitchen into these specific areas will change anything. I did, too. I can tell you now, though, that this does make such a big difference. Give it a try and you will see!
It takes time to cook a meal from scratch.
It's great when we can skip cooking now and then, isn't it? Maybe we are invited by friends or family, or we'll pick up fast food, or we'll go out to eat in a restaurant. One great advantage of eating at a restaurant is that we don't have to wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen afterwards.
To ease some of our workload at home, we could also buy food that has been prepared. Yes, it helps to start off with ingredients that have been washed, cut and precooked. It will save some time compared to having to prepare it all at home. Today I want to draw your attention to processed food, though.
Buying processed food is convenient, yes, but in the end we will have to ask ourselves: Is it really worth it? What do we gain out of this? We surely are paying for already prepared food, prepacked food does cost more. (BTW, from the youngest to the oldest, children should be involved in rinsing, cutting and cooking ingredients. They usually love to help and it is quality time we should spend together.) Sad thing is, that much of the processed food can actually be cheaper - or at least it seems to be - than fresh, healthy, organic and unrefined ingredients.
What's In It?
When we are cooking a meal from scratch, we will know exactly what's in it. Just take the time to read labels of processed food and you'll find out that there are many "ingredients" in them that can cause quite a bit of health problems. Generally speaking, these food items are artificial-laden by added colors, flavor enhancers, sweeteners and preservatives. Not only that, many of them are refined products that have been robbed of their natural and healthy ingredients.
A few years ago I came across a book by Rex Russell called What the Bible Says About Healthy Living. I highly recommend it. I will do a book review in the near future.
Homemade Meals Taste Better
Yes, it does take more time to cook meals from scratch. On the other side, that way you will know exactly what's in them, you can adjust them according to your family's taste and you will rest assure that your family is eating better and healthier than many others who are left to eat processed or fast food.
Memories Of Mom's Food
I've been invited to a lovely German dinner last week. It has been such a treat and brought back a lot of memories. On stepping into the kitchen, my nose immediately picked up many familiar smells (I love the smell of Sauerkraut cooking in a pot) which triggered some childhood memories. While taking the first bite of the dessert called Käsekuchen (German Cheesecake) I had to hold my tears back. That cheesecake tasted so, so good - just like my mom used to make it (she died in 2011).
My point is, that shared meals in the family home are something very special, a treasure of memories to keep. Cooking a meal for your family, seasoned with love and precious time you are putting into it, is a priceless legacy you will leave behind for your children and children's children.