People in the past knew how to feast…..and how to enjoy a simple dinner.
Holiday feasts weren’t the casual throw-together meals that we generally create. But their everyday meals were often kept quite simple, unlike our weekdays meals which can be time consuming.
I don’t want to over-generalize. All you need to do is pick up Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls and read the descriptions of his meals and you will know that many a farmer had bigger meals then we could ever imagine! (and there was a farmer’s wife who made it all too). But still, there are many literary illusions to simple meals of the past that have always appealed to me.
For example, in Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, set in the eighteen hundreds, Molly toasts bread and cheese for a rustic dinner together with her Father. A dinner her more refined step mother sticks her nose up at.
A favorite childhood book, Heidi, by the Swiss author, Johanna Spyri, was written in the eighteen hundreds. In this sweet story, you get a picture of a poor man’s food in Switzerland. She and her grumpy Grandfather ate warm (grassfed) fresh goat’s milk and toasted cheese and rye bread.
Another childhood favorite book, The Good Master, by Kate Seredy is based off of her Hungarian growing up years right before World War One. She describes big bowls of rich milk for breakfast, crawfish for supper and home cured sausages hanging from the rafters.
I read once in a bread making bread that shepherds in the past would often make thin, crisp, almost cracker like breads that would keep for long periods of time, just once or twice a year. Talk about spreading out your baking days!
Don’t you just love the simplicity of it all?
We may not need to keep things quite so simple as necessity dictated in the past, but we can certainly learn from these examples!
Enough from the past and on to the present! How do you keep things simple? Share recipes and tips for making nourishing food that’s simple too! I can’t wait to see what you all have to share.
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