Friday, June 30, 2017

Baking from Scratch


Many of us in the Boomer Generation grew up with Swanson's Foil TV Dinners or Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, as our mothers joined the work force.  Cake mixes and jello were showcased desserts, as our mothers purchased products that offered convenience.  Every so often during the weekend, my mother would bake my grandmother's chess pie or strawberry shortcake from scratch.  It was wonderful.

Since my mother joined the workforce during my early childhood, before daycare institutions existed, I experience multiple babysitters with a range of offered meals.  Kool-Aid was the go to drink, along with baloney (Wonder Bread) sandwich and chips. It was cheap and widely advertised on television.

Fortunately, one long- term sitter, designated 2nd mother, cooked all her meals from scratch.  At her home in the country, we harvested vegetables from the backyard garden to be incorporated into our meals. It was the first time I tasted many vegetables fresh.  Every afternoon, we would help her make and bake cookies.  Of course, we also washed the dishes and dried them by hand while conversing, in the era before dishwashers. These experiences stayed with me.

Today, grocery stores offer to-go foods.  It would be convenient to pick up a pie or box of cookies to bring to a party.  After decades of processed foods, some taste buds seem to prefer the overly sugared and salted variations. I know people that prefer store bought cookies in a box than freshly made cookies. But I stand by baking from scratch no matter how imperfect the end product.