How To Cook On a Stove

Friday, May 23, 2014

Most modern housewives are proficient in using a microwave oven.

That's not what this is about.

This is about how a 1940s-1950s homemaker cooked a meal for the family.

First, go into your kitchen. Look around until you see a large white object that is about waist high and has knobs and buttons and a door that opens, down.

That's a stove. The door allows you to have access to an oven where you may bake bread, cookies, cakes, biscuits and meats. There's the electric stove, the natural gas stove, and the propane stove.

My first stove, later called a range, was separate from the broiler. The broiler, a small self contained unit, was located in a space beneath the oven with its own door and pull out drawer. There, I broiled foods, like steaks. The splattered grease from the meats, was contained and did not dirty the oven.

Then one day, someone, a man I'm sure, changed the design. He decided that the oven and the broiler should both be placed in the oven space. The man didn't seem to know that when the woman broiled a steak or other meat, that the entire oven/broiler would become spattered with grease. Women did not like having to clean that big area, therefore, the broiler became extinct.

Well, not entirely. But the cook became hesitant to prepare meats in the broiler because she didn't want to clean the oven.

O.K. We've identified and established the location of the stove. Next, take a medium size pan and fill it, almost, with water from the faucet. Place the pan of water on stove burner. Then turn the burner on by turning a knob or pressing the on button. Soon the water will begin to move and tiny bubbles will form as the water heats. Shortly, the bubbles will get bigger and the water rolls higher.

There now. You've learned to boil water which is something that most men cannot do.

Now we will fry a chicken, with the skin on.

Go into the backyard, get a chicken, and wring its neck.

Oh, you don't have any chickens? Then go to the grocery store and buy a whole Tyson chicken that is already de-feathered and processed, ready for frying, except for cutting it up.

You can either take a sharp knife and cut up the chicken into two legs, two thighs, two wings, two breasts, one neck and one back or you can just buy a package of chicken breasts, like I do.

Then you get a large bowl, half fill it with flour that is seasoned with salt and pepper, and roll the individual chicken parts in the flour. But before you do that, you need to get a large skillet and pour a generous amount of cooking oil or Crisco into the skillet. Let the cooking oil heat before adding the floured chicken parts. You will use the oil for frying the chicken a golden brown, with skin on.

Believe me, it tastes better with the skin on.

Then get a long fork because you will need it for turning the chicken parts as they brown. Cook the chicken parts on medium heat, turning them occasionally so that they do not burn or brown unevenly. After about 30 to 40 minutes the chicken should be done.

Place the cooked crispy chicken on a platter and serve hot.

Now you have mastered fried chicken. You may serve it with green beans and mashed potatoes (without the peel).

A peach cobbler would be good also. I'll tell you how to make granny's famous one pan peach cobbler at another time.

Don't forget to turn off the burners.