When I was given my first assignment at creative college I wondered what on earth I was going to write about.
I took a quick visit to the nearest magazine stand to gather inspiration and I found a slice in a Jamie Oliver magazine. Food has always been one of my most loved interests and it was very easy to deduce that my first article would be a cooking one!
I was not going to write about the Naked Chef, but all the cooking tips I knew my gran had shared with me. You see, when I was about five I was gifted with a Blue Ribbon cookbook. It was from my Grandmother of course! At that tender age I would flip through the cookbook and imagine how each delicious delight tasted.
I picked up the phone and dialed my Gran, the 500 words were then formed after that phone call.
Below is the article.
How to make it like Grandma used to
“It simply doesn’t taste like how Grandma used to make it!” I bet that is what most of us moan about after we attempt to make Grandma’s sacred Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Sunday’s Chicken Pie. We cannot deny that the thick, heavenly smell of melting chocolate and butter made her kitchen the place to be!
I phoned my grandmother to complain about my pastry that ‘did not puff’ and that was when I gathered the most precious tips to bake and cook like she did and it does not start off with a secret ingredient!
- Buy an apron. This is a shield against oil splatters, flour and icing sugar that always seem to love staining the waist area and dark clothing. It might be strange (who even wears an apron these days?) but you need a charming apron to be in control and being in control means being the queen or king of the kitchen. Getting an apron that actually has a quirky saying like “I am the king of this kitchen” will earn you 100 points!
- Do not dance around the kitchen. So now that you look like Gran, you need the moves like Gran! Take out all the ingredients you will need first, that way you are not opening and closing the cupboards and fridge or looking for the garlic flakes that seem to have hidden themselves while the onions are burning!
- Preparation. If following a recipe, read it a few times and understand what you have to do. Chop ingredients that need chopping, do not turn the stove plate on and then decide you need to chop an onion. If you are baking, use butter and eggs at room temperature, unless the recipe asks for cold ingredients.
- The party is in the pot! Having a little drink of wine is okay with Gran but watching your favourite soapie from the kitchen or playing music loudly while cooking for six is a distraction and a risk you do not need to take! Focus! Keep your eyes on the pie!
- Conquer Bread! Conquer all! Or scones. Grans’ are great at making the yummiest fresh bread. Do you want to know why? They made bread all the time! If you are like me and find bread intimidating to make, practise making scones! They are quickest and easiest to make of the bread family.
- The more, the merrier! The more you beat your batter, the better your batter will be. Try and say that tongue-twister twenty times! Mix all your savoury and sweet batters thoroughly to prevent the dry ingredients from forming clumps and to ensure the even spread of your baking powder or yeast.
- Keep it fresh. After using your baking powder, make sure that you turn your tin upside down so that the baking powder remains fresh. Empty your flour packet into the most air-tight container you have to ensure its freshness.
Most importantly make it with love. Making it with love means humming as you cook, making it with whole milk, double cream, full fat butter and extra chocolate! So make it with love, whether it is a dinner for ten or a sandwich for yourself. After all, grandma never runs out of love and hugs, or cookies!