by: Beth Hoven Rotto, Cheese Buyer
Recently I’ve noticed that many of the young people I run into don’t know much about cooking. Many families are on the go with working parents and students who are expected to study when they aren’t scheduled with this, that or another thing. Which means there’s not much time to spend making food together. This is a definite disadvantage both in terms of nutrition and flavor, as well as the grocery bill. With a little bit of experience and some basic knowledge, cooking for yourself can be quick, delicious, and mean a huge dollar savings.
Before my daughter gets out on her own, I hope to carve out more time for cooking together. I also plan to gather a few basic, non-electric tools for her (a paring knife, a knife for chopping, a 4-sided grater, mixing bowls, a whisk, a garlic press, etc.). We also just scheduled a day to make Italian Soup (stracciatella) and Italian Toasts (bruschetta), and the really fun part, fresh mozzarella, with some of her friends.
I’ve made mozzarella 2-5 days a week at the Co-op since last April, but this will be the first time I’ll try the process with my own equipment at home. (Remember, if you’ve taken the mozzarella classes we’ve offered at the Co-op, we can sell you the mozzarella curd so you can do this too. Just call a day or 2 ahead to be sure we’ve got plenty on hand and we can package up what you’d like.)
One of the tips I hope to pass along to the kids is to ask themselves not “what do I want to make/eat?”, but “what do I need to use up/what can I make with the ingredients that I have on hand?.” There’s usually bread at our house and it’s not always fresh. The recipes I plan to introduce work best with dry bread and are quick, inexpensive and easy.
Note: These recipes are basically from Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary edition with my additional notes. Joy of Cooking is a MUST HAVE cookbook! Each section starts with a cooking class, and recipes are very understandable. Look it over on our book shelves.