Cooking for Daily Living
Introduction


This little volume was begun with the thought of helping the homemaker who is trying to feed her family on a shoestring with the stretch gone out. Most of these recipes you will not find duplicated anywhere else. I have written them out in a small family-size for you to try, although they are easily doubled and re-doubled. And if I don't give exact amounts each time, well, I don't know how many sit at your tables or their taste preferences. Granny didn't always have what she liked, so she had to like what she had; and if you, like Granny and I are sometimes caught with your expectations down—start improvising. It's a sure way to make a recipe and the resulting product really yours. All you need is a pint of imagination, a gallon of perseverance, a bucket of elbow grease and the courage to try out all your convictions.

TO MY KIDS-THEIR KIDS-AND ANYONE TO WHOM THIS BOOK MIGHT BE OF ANY HELP

Granny wasn't always a great Grandma. She began her homemaking career as a blithe young bride, occasionally concocting something that turned out to be a fizzle…even as you and I. And if Grandad was seen to bat his eyes, gulp forcefully, or stumble "fodder" into his beard, she would take her injured feeling to the hen house and cry. This little matter taken care of, she would stiffen her backbone and stomp her little high-buttoned shoes back to the kitchen to try again. Granny traded "receets" for fun, for manners sake or to better her own interests. When caught short of certain items she learned to sample and judge while Grandad was was busy over on the "back forty".

Grandad declared he'd never heard of chicken hash—until she tried to fry their old red rooster. Never tasted shake-down pudding—until she put hot flummery sauce on the cake that fell (when he entertained their small fry with an Irish jig and shook the oven and the cabin floor)…or eaten any hopalong stew—until the rabbit got into the vegetable garden she was counting on for winter victuals. Moral: Don't give away all your secrets!

Granny was a sugar saver, for sugar was expensive "way back when." Many of her recipes, 'scuse me, receets, were egg savers too, for she hoarded egg money for little luxuries and big necessities. This makes it handy for those of us who have triglycerides, cholesterol and low incomes to contend with. Her brand of kitchen psychology has saved me many the sheckel, not to mention food preparation time. I hope it will do as much for you.

My cooking experiences began with making milk gravy as soon as I grew tall enough to see into a frying pan on top of the old range.

Much later cooking in our little school lunch room taught me a thing or two—how to get buffalo meat down one-hundred and seventy-five kids four years in a row. We had buffalo burger and buffalo stew. We had buffalo hash, noodles and soup. And meat loaf and gravy the kids called "goop". The store room bulged with leftover W.P.A. commodities, largely hundred pound bags and barrels of rolled wheat, corn meal, powdered milk-and raisins stacked to the rafters. All well and good. But war rationing was still in effect and I was sometimes hard put to find something to stick them together with.

Eighteen seasons with my outfitter husband really tried my mettle…eight to twelve hungry men was a normal crew. Rain or shine, frosty weather or snow, I cooked in a tent on two rusty little stoves…but I had "running" water—take two pails and run to the creek!

Four seasons in a Forest Service kitchen and a session in a logging camp cook-house where they furnished me with most anything I ordered. I had a hey-day!

And last, but not least, my seven youngsters all came complete with appetites and served as my "finishing school". The hardest part of writing this book has been setting down measurements. For, like Granny, I learned to cook by "a pinch of this and a handful of that, and butter the size of an egg". I hope it doesn't manage to show through!