Imagine cooking all day every day, this being a chore not a pleasure well in Africa most people still cook on open fires from early in the morning and it is festivals for the chief or other important guests (special occasions like weddings or religious festivals) which include an extensive variety of food. Cooking in general is very simple for the poor while cooks for the rich can be extravagant.
Basic Cooking in an Africa Village
Spits are used to roast animals over open fires. Iron, bronze, copper or clay pots on open fires are used to cook soups or stews; open fires with brick or clay ovens. It is mostly hot in Africa food does not keep. Salting (like salt fish), pickling, smoking and drying (like bonga fish or Ethmalosa fimbriata) are common preservation methods for food. Hunting and cooking bushmeat is common too, this is traditional and a matter of survival for some villages. We have a lot to be thankful for.
Fast forward to your modern kitchen...You can cook fast and slow, with top kitchen gadgets. It can be called easy peasy. Labour saving devices reduced house work and fridge freezer are changing the way food is kept, cook and eaten. We have energy fast boil kettles so less waiting and slow cookers are perfect for an easy home cooked meal after a day's work.
If you are looking for a home kitchen makeover choose copper pans. A great investment, copper pans and pots are an excellent heat conductor, so food cooks evenly with no hot spots. Choose a copper triply with a 15 year guarantee. An example is the Cuisinart CTP-7AM Copper Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 7-Piece Cookware Set and Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper 10 Piece Set.
Look out for cast Iron grill pans, casserole dishes and roasters. Cast iron is the best material for heat retention and distribution and it can take some heat--up to 600 degrees F see in black Emeril by All-Clad E96440 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Square Grill Pan / Fry Pan Cookware, 10-Inch Long lasting cast iron is now suitable for the hob to the oven.
Ceramic are becoming lightweight. Baking is better with ceramics. Ceramic bakeware is perfect for puddings and pies. A gift for all is the grass colour CorningWare Etch 7-Piece Bakeware Set it has handle holes and flared lip design which make bakeware easy to handle and pass. The washing up is easier too, due to non-stick surfaces. Select ceramic coated cake pans and roasters suitable for induction hobs.
Once you have the kitchen of your dreams check out this helpful hints for great cooking.
Helpful Hints when Cooking
- For thinly sliced bread, trim crusts of normal sandwich slice (fresh) and flatten with rolling pin. Makes it easy to roll into asparagus rolls, etc.
- To stop butter from burning when sauteeing, sprinkle a few grains of salt in pan.
- Chop onions without tears! Cut root end of onion off last, or freeze or refrigerate before chopping.
- To prevent boil-overs, add a lump of butter or a little oil to water. Helps stop rice, noodles or spaghetti sticking together.
- When making tarts, mince pies, etc., brush filling with melted butter and it will stop filling from seeping out of pastry.
- Roll pastry between sheets of wax paper and avoid sticking.
- Food too salty? Add raw potatoes—discard once they have cooked and absorbed salt. You can also add sugar or for salty soups and stews add one teaspoon each of cider vinegar and sugar.
- Too sweet? Add salt for a main dish or for vegetables add one teaspoon cider vinegar.
- Place paper towel in plastic bag with washed lettuce and it will keep crisp. Also place paper towel in vegetable crisp drawer of refrigerator. It will absorb moisture.
Sharpen your Knife Skills
Knowing some quick cutting techniques can speed up your work as well as help to ensure there are no accidents. If you aren’t comfortable teaching yourself, look for local courses to boost your confidence. Kitchen utensils & accessories when there has been Inspired Design make us want to show our home to others. Here the top choice is Chicago Cutlery 1090390 Fusion 18-Piece Knife Block Set, Stainless Steel with Honey Maple Wood Block. These are professional high carbon stainless steel forged blades with black comfort grip poly handles and for the UK market see Knives in your Kitchen.
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