Frugal Tip: Time Travel

Indian Pudding

Indian Pudding

This morning, NPR featured Christopher Kimball, host of America’s Test Kitchen and editor of Cook’s Illustrated, talking about a great approach to eating frugally: cook as though you were living in the 1800’s!  Of course, back then, whole, unprocessed foods were the norm.

“At one time, the American kitchen was by definition a frugal kitchen. Because ingredients were so expensive in the 1800s, a whole industry formed around “taking large pieces of food, breaking them down, preserving them and reusing them; and the food was really good,” Chris Kimball, host of America’s Test Kitchen, tells NPR’s Renee Montagne.”

He offers up tips on cooking with steel-cut oats and shared recipes for Indian Pudding and Kentucky Burgoo. Good stuff! Read or listen to the story here.


  1. says

    I loved this clip – especially when he described the processed oatmeal we eat today as “spackle” – I love people who speak their minds!!!

    The principle of using whole foods is not that far in the distant past. I remember walking into my grandma’s kitchen when she was making Sunday dinner and being flooded with the sights and smells of an amazing home-cooked whole-foods frugal meal. A neighbor had given her a whole chicken, and she plucked the chicken and cooked it in a pot slowly all afternoon with some potatoes and carrots. The magical aroma is a favorite childhood memory – it is still with me today!

    One great thing about this way of cooking is that you use local ingredients so they are much fresher and more flavorful.

    . . . Hmmmmmm . . .

    I think I’ll take a stroll out to the garden and munch on some lettuce leaves . . . . and maybe a raspberry or two . . . .

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