We’ve operated a small bed and breakfast inn in Southern Vermont for 16 years, and as you can imagine, I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen, much of it looking for ways to save some of that time while still offering something special to my guests. We are now open only for special events and weekends, and a little catering to keep things interesting.
Even before then, some of my earliest memories include cooking with my mother, or watching her cook and create feasts for our family and friends. There was always something luscious baking in the oven, or a pot simmering on the back burner. Now, my mother had four children, a cranky, elderly mother-in-law, a hungry husband, and a full-time job outside of the home, and yet the food on our table was home-cooked, fresh, and creative. We had one car, few modern conveniences, and a homemaker who must have been as stretched for time as we are today. Of course, she had no options; she could not afford the pre-packaged fancy foods and had to cook from scratch. She managed time without batting an eye, and she did so wisely and with techniques that not only freed her from the kitchen, but ensured we had a full and balanced meal on the table every night.
I still cook as much from scratch as possible, using traditional tried-and-true methods, but certainly looking for the modern time savers available to us. My food processor, blender, and mixer remain on my counter ready for quick service, and if I end up kneading my bread with a machine rather than my hands in order to save time, I’ll not apologize!
The modern “vintage kitchen” includes a little of the old, a lot of the new, and an outcome that is sure to please – good food served up with pleasure and pride.