When it comes to housekeeping and generally knowing my way around the kitchen, I am not nearly as knowledgeable as I probably should be; especially when you consider that I have been out in the real world for quite some time now. I’m not saying that I don’t know how to keep a place clean and well-kept, because I definitely do, but that is pretty much where my talents come to a full stop. My grandmother is not impressed. Not at all.
I have been attempting to learn more about this whole cooking for myself business for a while. It has been more successful than I had initially thought it would be, but that could also be because my partner, who has grown very much accustomed to preparing all of our meals throughout the past five years, has been the person taking me by the hand and easing me into the kitchen. I’m nearly ready to stand on my own now, though, especially after reading chapter 20 of Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living by Heather Solos.
I was recently able to check out the chapter about meal planning and it started out with an uncanny little story that described my adult life thus far. Solos even knows that my kitchen table is the household dumping ground and that we don’t eat at it, practically ever. I have no idea how she knew this, but I’m telling you, it was a little freaky to read. But then something amazing happens–Solos gives hope to neglected kitchen tables everywhere and tells you that the time to clear the clutter off and actually start using it for its intended purpose, and that is to eat real food that was prepared in the kitchen and not in the kitchen of a take-out restaurant. Kitchen tables unite!
We all know that preparing meals at home and sitting around the kitchen table is important and beneficial to everyone at that table. Not only does it ensure that you are getting vitamins and nutrients that your body needs through prepared foods made from actual ingredients, instead of fats and a whole host of fillers that do very little good to your body, but it also gives you a chance to unwind, relax, enjoy a meal and enjoy the company of your family while also getting closer to them. We also know that getting into this mindset and into the routine of actually following through with our intentions is not as easy as it may seem in our heads. So, what Heather Solos does in this chapter is she starts with very basic, beginners knowledge of the kitchen and of food. Very basic knowledge is about all I have in this area, so I appreciated having a resource that didn’t throw terms at me that I then had to go and look up the meaning of before continuing on with the chapter. She then goes on to introduce new ideas as well as reminding you of just how beneficial traditional concepts are in the kitchen. Not to mention, this woman explains how one roasted chicken can last for up to three days worth of dinners and just how important (and easy!) it is to learn how to make soup. This is amazing to me.
More than anything, this particular chapter within Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living is practical. It is 16 pages full of relateable and truly useful information. I have obtained a great deal of inspiration and ideas for meal planning, especially since she includes three 5-day weeks of meal ideas, as well as a recipe for stock and for basic meatloaf. While I could have done without feeling as if I had been warped into an episode of Bewitched with the very blue, very retro illustrations and font usage within this book, the content within was beneficial and I’m sure that if I can manage to master the basic meatloaf recipe, my partner will be thanking the food Gods for Heather Solos’ recipes and tips.
Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also see Heather Solos blogging and answering your everyday living questions at the Home-Ec 101 blog.
I received digital access to “Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living” chapter 20, “Meal Planning: Not Just for the Control Freaks” for review through One2One Network. No other compensation was received, and opinions are my own.