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Wardee @ Traditional Cooking School

On September 6, 2016 by Emma Carsey

Meet OAMM Blog Partner Wardee of Traditional Cooking School!

Today we’re interviewing OAMM blog partner Wardee at Traditional Cooking School. Traditional Cooking School is an online cooking school she created to honor her grandmother’s cooking traditions and preserve them so that future generations can enjoy the health benefits, flavors, and fun of traditionally prepared foods.

We all dream of eating more healthy. Maybe that dream includes making sauces, broth, and mixes from scratch. Maybe that dream includes eating organically and seasonally. Whatever that looks like for you, it likely includes more money, fancy tools and equipment, or time you just don’t have. Wardee and her team at the Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS want to help you achieve that dream!

It’s our pleasure to share with you more from Wardee from Traditional Cooking School and how to incorporate more healthy, traditional food into your diet.

What does it mean to you to eat “traditionally”?

Traditional cooking is the way our great-great-grandmas used to cook. Before the food industry brought us convenience foods and processed foods. She had a bowl of bubbling sourdough starter and used it for all her baking. She saved the cream off the whole milk to make the family’s butter. She had big ole’ crocks that she packed with cabbage or cucumbers and salt so the family had sauerkraut and pickles to eat all winter long.

Today, traditional cooking and traditional eating may not look exactly the same… yet it’s the same heritage of really good, simple, whole foods that nourished the family body and soul.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya Traditional Cooking School GNOWFGLINS

On your blog, you share about why you were originally against pressure cooking – what made you change your tune?

We had tough grass-fed beef that year. Nothing I tried helped those roasts turn out tender. Until I tried pressure cooking. Also, I learned that pressure cooking was healthy (for foods that you’d cook anyway)… and I loved that it was fast. Not to mention — the best roasts we’ve ever eaten!

What do you love most about pressure cooking?

Everything! Seriously! I pressure cook nearly everything now — main dishes, side dishes, breakfasts, even desserts (like smooth, luscious cheesecakes) and bread (like this sourdough cornbread). What I love the most is that it’s really simple and easy. And if you use an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, it’s virtually hands-free.

I even use my Instant Pot to reheat leftovers. We don’t have a microwave and usually we reheated things on the stove or in the oven. The Instant Pot has made it so that we have a “microwave” again — except I’m confident that our foods are still healthy when they come out of it warmed up! (I use the Steam function for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the food.)

Some of my favorite pressure cooking recipes are shared right here at Traditional Cooking School or in my Pressure Cooking eBook & Video Package.

Have you ever freezer cooked? Describe your process of stocking the freezer.

The freezer cooking I do is batch cooking or pre-cooking meal components (like beans). I often double, triple, or quadruple whatever I’m making so I can put the extras in the freezer. I love how much time that saves me. It’s like I make my own convenience foods!

How do you eat traditionally from the freezer?

Our freezer contains our bulk meat purchases, as well as other whole food ingredients we stock up on (berries, cheese, butter, etc.).

Our freezer also contains extras of foods I make up in big batches. Open my freezer, and you’ll find more of sourdough English muffins, cheesecakes or cakes, jam, soups, stews, hummus, cooked beans, and pre-cooked meats.

It seems like as often as I pull something out of the freezer, I’m also putting something in. It’s a cycle that really helps me be efficient.

Using up what I’ve made before. Making extra of whatever I’m prepping so that I can make use of it later.

And I still don’t have to do a lot of extra work. While it takes double the time to make something twice, it only takes a little more time to make more of what you’re already making. I live by this principle and it saves me (and my kiddos that help with cooking) a lot of time.

Favorite quick prep dinner?

Currently, it involves my Instant Pot — an easy meatball and potatoes main dish.

Cut up potatoes and put them in the insert pot. Mix ground beef with seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, parsley) and create meatballs. Put those on top of the potatoes. Add broth to cover the potatoes. Cover and pressure cook on high for 12 to 15 minutes. Quick release. Serve, or if I want gravy, I pull out the meatballs and potatoes and mix in some arrowroot powder to the broth. (The arrowroot powder should be whisked into some cold water first.) It usually thickens right up because the broth is really hot. While the potatoes/meatballs are cooking initially, make a salad. Dinner’s on the table in 30 minutes!

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from necessity! When we have a need, I go looking for answers. Like that year the grass-fed beef was tough — I tried pressure cooking. My (kitchen) life has never been the same since.

What items are ALWAYS on your grocery list? What items will you NEVER put on your grocery list?

Always — raw milk (for drinking, making homemade yogurt butter), fruits and veggies, brown rice noodles, organic eggs and chicken. This is in addition to the dry pantry staples we purchase in large quantities and don’t have to shop for very often (einkorn — an ancient grain, brown rice, beans, nuts, seeds, salt, etc.).

Never — box/processed foods, conventional dairy, conventional meat, white sugar, wheat, GMO corn anything, anything soy.

2 Whole Chickens in the Crockpot Traditional Cooking School GNOWFGLINS

How long have you been blogging about food? How did you get started blogging about food?

I started blogging about food in 2009 when our family was learning about traditional cooking and getting such wonderful health results from the changes we were making. I can’t believe it’s been so long! It’s a blessing and has been quite wonderful.

For more from Wardee view her recipes on her OAMM Traditional Cooking School Mini Menu and follow her on social media!

Thank you kindly, Wardee, for sharing with us!

Join Once a Month Meals and Traditional Cooking School for a Virtual Cooking Weekend Sept. 16-18! Stock your freezer with easy, healthy meals, AND be entered into a giveaway for:

Here are a few ways you can be entered into the giveaway:

  • RSVP “Going” to the Facebook Event
  • Post a question, comment, cooking update, or pictures of your cooking day on the event page
  • Watch Wardee’s Facebook LIVE on Saturday Sept. 18 (This will be happening on the Once a Month Meals main Facebook page, so be sure to follow us. We will also post a link on the event page so you won’t miss it!)

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