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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Old Cookbooks

Frugal Kitchens 101
Many home cooks turn to cookbooks for inspiration while other use them for specific recipes. One problem that is often experienced is the use of ingredients you might not readily have on hand and depending on your location cannot easily get. In addition to this some ingredients listed are brand specific. In a time when many are feeling the pinch and are trying to stretch their food budgets a simpler source for recipes is called for. Now don't get me wrong because using exotic and brand specific ingredients is fine but if you can get a great meal without the added expense, why not? The reality is unless it is an ingredient that is only made by one specific company a cheaper brand will get the same or very close to the same results. In these trying economic times, turn to the older cookbooks!

Two of my favourite and dependable older cookbooks are dated 1974 and 1964 respectively. The first is my Betty Crocker cookbook and the second is Kate Aitken's Canadian Cookbook. Both contain recipes that really don't call for fancy ingredients or brand specific ingredients and home preserved foods (dried, frozen, canned) can easily be used in the recipes. Both give you excellent basic cooking advice with recipes anyone could duplicate with the ingredients they have either on hand or easily available. These types of cookbooks are a must have! If you want go back a bit further looking for wartime and Depression era recipes. These will tend to be even more frugal as far as ingredients go but they still put good food on your table without breaking the budget.

Older cookbooks can often be found rather inexpensively at yard sales and resale stores usually for well under $1. I always check these resources because you never know what you will find even in newer cookbooks.


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