(photo by Darwin Bell)
When we lived in Kenya, much of what I cooked was from scratch and I spent a much longer time in the kitchen than desired. And most of it never tasted very good anyway. But i was a newlywed back then and hadn't spent more than the previous 9 months in the kitchen, which only had consisted of boxed cereal, cold-cut sandwiches, chicken, chicken, and chicken.
In Kenya, we had to drive 45 minutes every other week to Nairobi to get our groceries. The selection got better toward the end of our stay, but I really did cook much from scratch because not only was there a poor selection of what I was accustomed to, but most everything was imported and expensive. I went to our local village market to get produce, which was quite frightening at times due to the village crazy man who hated Americans. I got our meat from the local butcher after a missionary friend of mine went to him and introduced me and threatened him that if he gave me any rotten meat that she would tell all of her friends that he was a schemer. But just stepping inside of his hut made me want to vomit with the stench of not-so-fresh raw meat in the sun. I walked up the hill to a pastor who raised chickens and bought some chickens from him. He even let me choose the one I wanted and he taught me how to catch, kill and pluck them. We didn't eat much chicken that year.
I enjoy cooking a lot more now that I'm a bit more seasoned and acquiring the fresh ingredients is a little less daunting. I would like to cook more from scratch. I like the idea of making things cheaper and more nutritious and fresh for Mr. McB and I. We try to be conscious of what is in our food and where it came from.
I think I want to have some from-scratch recipes in mind when I go to the farmer's market this Friday.
I know some of you ladies are masters at this kind of living. Please tell me some staples that you make from scratch that you think is worth it. I was thinking spaghetti sauce, chicken broth and bread so far....