Thursday, October 11, 2007


My mother and Grandmother had an entire section in their recipe collections for Jell-O. Jell-O with fruit, Jell-O with vegetables, layered Jell-O salads, Jell-O flavored dump cakes, fruit salads with cool whip, marshmallows and powdered Jell-O for flavoring and color. The list goes on. They lived in the transition era between having to make everything from scratch and instant soup mixes and canned everything. They embraced the convenience and the economy of these new exotic products, wowed by the happy women with perky hair advertising these products on television. As a result, I grew up eating a lot of casseroles made from cream of something soup with Jell-O salad as a side.

They, along with all women of that era, evolved to embrace mass production and consumerism, eager to toss the labor intensive processes of broth and bread making aside for canned soups and prepackaged sliced loaves. They were eager to get out of the kitchen after centuries of confinement to start living their lives. How anti-feminist of me therefore to be allured by the siren call of the kitchen and the slower paced, time intensive processes. Little by little, I find myself regressing back into an early time period of food preparation. First it was just making bread by scratch. Then it was making bread from scratch which I kneaded by hand instead of using my Kitchen-Aid mixer. Then it was making large batches of chicken broth from the left over carcass of my roasted bird. Now I have this strange desire to make homemade yogurt and cooking large pots of dried beans instead of using canned. *Gasp!*

Because taste was lost when we, as a society, embraced convenience foods. And while I will never be able to taste food before it was irrevocably, genetically altered, I am on a quest to find out what real food tastes like without the added preservatives, the high fructose corn syrup, growth hormones, and excessive sodium. Survival of the fittest through de-evolution. Hmm. Interesting concept.

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