Omigod, I found my Grade 8 Home Ec notebook this week!
Looking through it, I realized that I’ve been saving recipes for longer than I remember. Maybe it didn’t “count” when I cut them out of magazines in junior high because it was for school, not for me, but I know it had an long-term influence.
From a cooking standpoint, what fascinated me most was the section on “Creative Meal Planning.”
In handwriting that was much rounder and fancier than it is now, I listed the “important elements of meal planning,” including “pleasing colours and attractive & varied combinations, wise use of food, and variety in flavour, colour, shape, texture, temperature.”
I used the term “kitchen artist” in one section. I doubt I came up with that one on my own. There were references to eye appeal, taste appeal, and colour combinations. No wonder I see cooking as creative and satisfying.
It’s funny, Home Ec wasn’t my favourite subject, even though we got to eat everything we made. There were a lot of rules and expectations, so it wasn’t strictly a “fun” class.
But I remember some interesting dishes, one of which inspired a recipe for sautéed red cabbage, apples and sesame seeds on this blog a couple of months ago. The original recipe calls for white vinegar instead of apple cider or umeboshi, only one apple, and brown sugar instead of (preferably dark) maple syrup. I prefer the updated version.
I have red cabbage in the fridge. Now I know what I’m going to do with it.