Before Julia Child, Food Network, and Top Chef there was Marguerite Patten: now 97, Patten has been a pro at teaching people to cook well even in the worst of times. Before World War II, Marguerite landed a job for Frigidaire as a cookery demonstrator. During the war, England’s Ministry of Food hired her to host a radio program called “Kitchen Front.” The program focused on teaching listeners how to ration and still have a meal taste good…not wasting even a shred of food during a time where it was very difficult to get many ingredients at all. Post-war, she authored 170 cookbooks…yep…triple digits people, and even at 97 years old, modern foodies are still going to her for advice.
So what does she say about cooking in the modern, not-so-hot economy? Cook in a pressure cooker to save energy, and when you go to a grocery store? Patten describes them as “Aladdin’s cave(s).Don’t go in without making a good old-fashioned shopping list and then stick to it.” But my all-time favorite quote is her opinion about modern convenience foods like pre-made, microwave, save-me-a-minute food: “Basically I don’t like any of them. Though I would far rather people bought them than had a nervous breakdown. But please augment them with fresh vegetables.” Her interview with the UK’s The Telegraph is hilarious. Even though she now suffers from arthritis because she says she was “the idiot who fell between the train and the platform,” she still hates it when people try and make her live in the past in her career-peak years during the war: “what a load of nonsense. Who wants to go back to six months without a fresh tomato? Not me.”
If Marguerite Patten pinned, I think her boards wouldn’t show a shred of regret for the past because it seems she never really looks back except perhaps to illustrate how best to move forward.
Happy Friday everyone! Next week marks VMMV’s first birthday, eek! I can’t believe it’s been a year. I’ve got a special post to share with everyone about what I’ve learned since posting that first painful post. Argh, every blogger says it but its true, with every new month/year of blogging, the early times become a little, uh, embarrassing? If you’ve been with me since then, I love you guys for stickin’ around even though I’m sure sometimes you may have grimaced and groaned. Also, something else I should share, as of last month, I’m a sponsor of Erin James’ sweet blog so check it out this weekend when you’re hopefully in your pajamas too long doing nothing but anything you want :)
bio and quotes via
– <3 A.