Cooking From Scratch

Does not mean that you have to cook all the time.

I have always liked to set aside Sunday as the main day to prepare meals and cook for the week.  You save on utilities when you wait to turn on your stove to prepare most of your meals at one time.  You can roast meat, vegetables and potatoes as well as bake at the same time.  You may not have everything in the oven at the exact same time, but you want to be able to following up your roasting with baking so as to not waste precious cooking time with warming up the oven each time.  It is far better for your health to roast things rather than sauté or fry them.  Your alternative to preparing most of your meals this way is fast food and most of that is fried and you all know how bad it is for you.  I see so many so-called experts on cooking shows preparing deadly meals all the time.  Using recipes with way to much fat, salt and sugar and then frying it.  A few deadly meals a year shouldn’t hurt you and these kinds of meals were only eaten a few times a year back in the day because of the cost in both time and money.  They were usually eaten at holidays and these were the only times of indulgence.

Nowadays we try to comfort ourselves with so much readily available food that we think nothing of the budget we blow as well as the diet because everyone else is doing it.  Workplaces seem to be one of the worst influences on people’s nutrition.  Donuts, bagels and other snacks are prevalent along with chips and candy for energy or to try and fill the “unhappiness” void.  It really is OK to just say no thank you.  Don’t pass by the cubicle with the snacks or just do whatever you need to avoid the temptation.  Some try to bring healthy snacks, but are thwarted by odd work rules suck as no fresh fruit because it will attract fruit flies.  The crumbs from the crackers and donuts were acceptable to attract other insects though.

I feel that there are way too many cookbooks on the market today.  Everyone wants to write a cookbook and probably can but it does not mean you should unless you want to self publish to raise money or give as gifts.  Good luck trying to market it in the overly saturated market of today.  Since this is the case, I do not plan to have many recipes on my site except those that I have managed to make the recipe  more healthy and not lose any taste.  I am here to tell you that you never have to cook any recipe as they are listed.  Feel free to play around with the ingredients listed.  Once you get used to cooking from scratch, you will be able to judge portions and measurements by eyeballing them.  I know that you will be able to put together really tasty dishes in no time!  You will find that recipes just slow you down.

Suffice to say we are placing way too much importance on food and recipes because it is big business for those that can afford the initial marketing expenses.  The reality is if you are hungry enough, most things will taste pretty darn good.  You do not need recipes for most meals and if you do, make them up as you go along.  Most things taste great just fresh and mildly seasoned.  I have known people so used to fast food that they can no longer appreciate the taste of good food.  They will grab the salt shaker and pile it on until it tastes just like what they are used to in the fast food joints.  People were not meant to feast on a daily basis.  Eating like this will kill you prematurely and that is exactly what is happening.  Too little exercise coupled with rich food daily is a deadly combination.

Drop that Twinkie and give me twenty!

Sorta kidding!

Most of my life I have eaten very naturally and what would be considered plain.  Light salt will give most food plenty of flavor and does not overpower it.  I prefer a small piece of lean meat, any number of fresh vegetables, preferably the ones in season for the freshness and lower prices, a salad and a baked potato.  I will sometimes replace the potato with rice, brown or white or some kind of pasta depending on what I have planned for the meal.  You always want some kind of protein and some kind of starchy base as well as any fruits and vegetables.  Go easy on the fruits due to the high natural sugars in them.  I was never much of a bread eater and not just because of the added calories.  Be sure to choose the whole grain breads as much as possible and that goes for using at least half whole wheat flour when baking, your intestines will thank you later.  Some experts state that it helps you to lose more weight by substituting whole grains for all the white bread and pasta some used to eat.  Once in a while I will eat roast up a slab of ribs or make some kind of whole wheat pasta dish but I am one that eats to live, not lives to eat.  I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything by doing this.  Most of my life I was normal or underweight, but not by much.  It had to do with fact that I was always physically busy as well as lack of excess foods.  I learned to be very disciplined when it came to meal planning and for some reason I had no desire for junk food until recently.  I still don’t like chips or fries and only feel in the mood for pizza once in a while.  Ice cream, pasta and chocolate are my vices.

I love fresh vegetables right from the garden.  There is no comparison to canned vegetables, which are very blah and I can see why kids don’t want to eat them.  If purchased in season, it does not cost much more to buy fresh if you are not able to grown your own organically.  Organic is always the best to eat when you can afford it.



I don’t know what was happening here but it was too much.

Cleaning as Little as Possible

First hint: Walk slowly through your house so you don’t stir up the dust! Sort of kidding. You want to keep your home as dust free as possible to cut down on asthma and allergies. If you are not able to vacuum or clean up when you need to, try not to stir up the dust until you can.
The less things you have, the less there is to collect dust, making it much easier when you do clean. You usually do not have to wash a lot of things down unless you have small children with sticky fingers. The most important thing to do in your home, besides use less chemicals is to keep the dust at a minimum. When you do clean up don’t just stir up the dust temporarily but actually find a way to trap it in a good hepa vacuum or dust cloth. I used to use Swiffer to pick up dust until I realized that soft tissue or toilet paper works just as well. If you still have that Swiffer broom you can actually tuck in Bounty paper towels that work just as well. The paper towel has to be full size as well as very soft. Those cheap hard paper towels do not work, not fibrous enough.
If you can always go hardwood floors that can be regularly actually cleaned. Carpets are horrible! They gas out, have continuous fibers coming from them as well as hold in all the dirt, even when you clean them.

Invest in a good air purifier.

I seldom use any chemicals when I clean. There is a time and a place for certain issues, but vinegar and baking soda can clean many things. I also invested in a Shark Portable Steam Pocket years ago, can’t really use it much now. I had no problem with mine but I have seen many bad reviews on this fairly expensive product. It is chemical free cleaning but you can’t use this hot steam on everything. Great for sterilizing bathrooms, floors and counters. Distilled water keeps it running clean, much like you would use for your iron.
I used to use a toothbrush and Ultrabrite toothpaste to scrub out dark or deep streaks on my white, yes you heard it, mostly white linoleum kitchen floor. Smelled minty fresh! It’s a slightly abrasive toothpaste that I used to get at the dollar store.
There was a recent video on some morning show showing how to naturally keep your drains running free. I have been using vinegar and baking soda for many years to do this. I use a half cup baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar, wait about 15 minutes and flush with boiling water, may not work if the water is not hot enough and you may have to repeat with the hot water for the desired result. You never want to use a lye based “liquid plumber” if you can avoid it.

Let him that would move the world, first move himself!    Socrates


6 thoughts on “COOKS & CLEANS

  1. Inspiring post, dear Po’ Girl (what does Po’ Girl mean or stand for? I just know that there’s a band by the same name…). I hate cooking but I have to, for my son who’s still living with me. If I would live alone I’d cook less often and eat more bread with all kinds of healthy spreads like pesto or sesame and chickpea spreads (called Techina and Hummus and both very popular here in Israel; here is a link where they show how to make it:, and cheese. I also LOVE all fruits, my body craves them. And vegetables, salads etc. I do eat junk food once in a while, but not that often. I am increasingly cutting down on meat because of the awful cruelty in the meat industry. Heila

  2. Po’ is short for poor, really poor, and I am no longer a girl. I plan for this site to have much more information on living on almost nothing and since I am just about to lose another job next month, I will have time to post more information. Most of my life I lived very frugally and my early years I was very poor. Seems the end of my life is going that way again. Thanks for the information. One of my sons and his wife are vegans, but I really do crave meat once in a while myself so I try, but fail to stop eating meat. God bless you.

  3. As long as I can leave the market without the junk food I am fine. The rising prices of everything has made me much more frugal about insuring that the spent money is on healthy foods, and not empty calories. Thank you for this thoughtful essay.

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