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What's old is new?

July 6th, 2010 at 07:39 am

What’s old is new again.

OK, that’s a little trite, I realize, but the book I was reading, “Cheap Eating” has a copyright of 1993. I checked it out because it looked a little different. But what is funny is most of the stuff in the book is being published again in 2010. I do like the author’s style – kind of down to earth.
And, the author is realistic. Not everyone is going to do everything in the book. But these are suggestions made to help save money.

A lot of the items mentioned in the book have been on the Saving Advice forums or blogs. The nice thing is they are in one tome.

At the end of the book are recipes to help save money. Although the prices are outdated, she compares what a commercially made boxed dinner you mix with a pound of hamburger costs and what it costs to make from scratch. Plus, she talks about the fact eating homemade is far healthier since you aren’t eating lots of preservatives and fillers.

I enjoyed her writing as well. In the text, she talks about making a white sauce and says you put the dry ingredients with the water and “shake like the dickens.” Bet you don’t hear that on a gourmet cooking show! Later on in the recipes, she discusses using this white sauce or white gravy in place of some of the condensed soups we use for casseroles. I think it is worth a try, so I’m reprinting her recipe:

White Sauce (or milk gravy)
½ cup dry milk
¼ cup flour
½ tsp. salt
1 ¾ cup cold water
2 T margarine
Melt butter in a 1 quart sauce pan. In a covered jar or shaker combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add water. Shake until all ingredients are dissolved. Stir in flour-milk mixture and cook over low heat until mixture thickens and bubbles. Keep stirring.
To make the recipe to equal 1 can of cream soup she offers these measurements:
1/3 cup dry milk
2 T flour
Dash salt
1 cup cold water
1 T margarine

Some variations include:
Chicken sauce – substitute cold chicken stock for water
Cheese sauce – add ½ cup of shredded cheese to the 1 can recipe. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until cheese is melted.

Hey, I’m all for progress, but I also feel “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

2 Responses to “What's old is new?”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Yeah! And to turn it into cream of celery soup, or cream of mushroom soup, mince your mushrooms or celery and either steam them and add to the white sauce, or saute them in the same oil you are going to use in the white sauce.

    Add beef or chicken bullion instead of the salt and you've got a gravy.

    Add beef or poultry pan drippings instead of both the salt and the oil, and you've got a tastier, more authentic gray.

    White sauces are so useful. (Heck, there is not much more to turn it into a custard or pudding instead, right?)

    Similarly, everyone could learn how to make the sauce with corn starch which yields a clearer sauce.

  2. whitestripe Says:

    i do love the gourmet style cookbooks, but i get frustrated sometimes that they use very expensive ingredients and a lot of them promote waste when suggesting to use only a certain part of something, not to mention their recipes often involve a lot of salt, a lot of sugar, and a lot of fatty ingredients - whereas the more down to earth cookbooks are focussed on wholesome and healthy meals that don't cost your wallet, and often times don't cost the earth either.

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