Sunday, September 09, 2012
There are a number of things my mother has always done in the kitchen, that I have come late to. I recognise that in my younger years it was an immaturity in that I didn't want to acknowledge that perhaps my mum knew what she was talking about and that what she said made sense. I am big enough to admit that with the passing of years I see more and more the sense in all she says and just quietly, think I am becoming a younger version of my mother.
I've said many times just how much I enjoy making my own bread and it's something I now do every other day. For so many years I thought breadmaking was beyond me, too hard, too instinctive, but it's really not true. We can all learn anything, with enough interest. What I'm talking about here isn't instinctive or even particularly creative, but it does give you more control of what you eat and is generally more cost effective.
Mince. Is there a meat eating household who doesn't consume it once a week in some form or another? I've always been wary of beef mine, particularly the cheap versions in a strange pink colour reminding me not at all of a good bloody red steak. For years my mother has minced all her own meats and extolled the virtues of it, how easy and the reassurance of knowing exactly what was in your minced meat.
When I turned 40 my parents gifted me a Kitchenaid and for the subsequent birthday a mincer attachment. I've been mincing all our meat for the past almost 2 years and declare that it's easy to do (even the cleaning up) and pleasing to see what's in my mince, just like mum said. I buy rump steak on special and mince that, trimming most of the fat away so effectively having a "heart smart mince". For pork mince, such as that in the picture, I buy either pork spareribs (avoiding those with too many bones) or a piece of pork belly and trim off the skin and first layer of fat. Chicken, I generally only buy whole chickens and joint them - so from a $9-$10 chicken (@ 1.2kg) I will have two breasts, two legs, two thighs, wings and the carcass for stock. Depending on what we're having - bone out and mince away.
In years to come I imagine the girls flipping over the books I'll one day print from this blog and recognising the wisdom of mine, and nan's, cooking ways.