Wednesday, 6 March 2013

St. Martha (not Stewart)

This is the last of the Hospice de Beaune.  Most of the rest was about the wealth of the two main patrons, their tapestries, statues, paintings, carved wooden chests, etc.  

The kitchen cracked me up because there was a statue of St. Martha, the patron saint of the kitchen.  Actually, when I've looked this up it says housewives, but never mind.

There was also information provided about what sort of food was thought healthy for a person who was ill.  I remember something about chicken and beef broth.  Barley was apparently also considered good.  The rationale about various 'humours' and the 'complexion' of foods was more than I cared to know.

I'm always astounded at how good a job the advertising industry has done of convincing a lot of people that cooking from scratch is laborious. Looking around this kitchen reminded me how good we have it these days.

I love the spouts on those faucets!


D A Wolf said...

I'm smiling at this. You're so right. An assortment of influences have convinced us that cooking from scratch is difficult and time consuming (or expensive) when none of those things are true.

What is true is the time involved in doing the shopping, since we no longer live in village-like communities where we only have a few blocks to go in order to pick up fresh food for the next day or two (something I miss about parts of Europe where I've lived and visited, where that remains true).

When you've spent 8 or 10 hours working and another hour or two commuting and there are kids to pick up or drop off (somewhere), the fatigue and time factor kick in with the additional hours of shopping and thus, having to shop more frequently for fresh ingredients becomes the chore.

Still, people are astounded when they hear (or actually try for themselves) that an entire healthy meal (with plenty of leftovers) can be made in 20 or 30 minutes start-to-finish and sometimes less.

Nor do we need all the fancy gadgets we like to line up on our kitchen counters. (Something else we've been convinced we can't live without?)

Shelley said...

D.A. - We do our best to only shop every 10-14 days and we prefer 'fresh' veg and fruit to tinned or frozen. I have a pantry list of items I keep stocked up; if I see a good price, I'll buy enough to last as long as a few months. We buy a lot of fruit and veg and then race to eat it before it goes off - that's one strategy to increase one's healthy intake! If we're not going to make it, I'll pop anything about to go off into the freezer for later use in spice cake (fruit) or soup (veg). It is hard work to shop when you're tired. Quite a number of supermarkets are prepared to deliver these days and I'd be inclined to do that if I was rushed off my feet. Even with a surcharge, it's cheaper than eating out!

Beryl said...

I love the idea of having food delivered, but really like picking out my own produce. Probably stems from when I lived in Seattle and tried to shop at the famous Pike's Place Market, where what you saw was almost never what you got. Eddie Izzard has the best routine about buying fruit from the stalls. Actually all Eddie Izzard's routines are great.

Shelley said...

Beryl - I barely know who Eddie Izzard is - and only then because of his running several marathons in as many days (a crazy thing to do). I, too, prefer choosing my own food. One of the green markets I use hands it over the counter, but I'm quite comfortable with handing it back!