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Old 02-11-2005, 12:12 PM   #1
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Help, I need Cooking tips for a missionary living overseas

Hi,
I live in an eastern european country. Needless to say, we don't have many modern convience foods here, so cooking becomes quite a chore.

For instance, we don't have canned soups that are helpful in making so many meals (and no canned broth), no peanut butter, no frozen meals....and not much variety with food either (how many differnt things can one person make out of chicken, potatos, onions, carrots, and cabbage?)

I was wondering if anyone knew of a website that helps people who live in sort of an old fashioned, gas stove world.

Or if anyone has tips on how to substitue for the lack of canned soups and things like that....

We want to keep eating American style in a former communist nation, it helps us keep our sanity, so any help would be wonderful!

Thanks so much!

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Old 02-11-2005, 12:18 PM   #2
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pinkstarfish, I think if I were you I would take a few days and make a whole bunch of stock. Chicken stock, beef, you name it. I would also take the time to make some good creamy soup. Freeze it in usable bunches and you will be able to make stuff that you are more used to.

I personally do most of my cooking without the canned stuff. (Although when I am working I use the cheats a LOT) Once you get used to it, it really isn't that tough.

Since you have access to the internet, can you order a few things to be sent to where you live? Stuff like powdered beef broth? That will make life easier for you too.

Am I anywhere close to being helpful? LOL. I have lots of recipes for stuff that is totally from scratch so let me know if that is more what you were looking for than my lengthy advice.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:19 PM   #3
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Well our view of "american style" is influenced by the 50's boom of instant and canned foods but in all honesty I am much happier without it. Compare the boxed stuff to fresh mashed potatoes, fresh mac and cheese, real pasta sauce... its an entirely different thing. I kinda have the benefit of growing up in another country so I was never acustomed to instant meals.

As for specific "old fationed websites" I'll see what I can track down and post them later but this site has a LOT of poeple who like doing stuff the old fationed way so you are in luck.

For now I recomend you do what any one here would do when they land into a new loccation: look around and see what you have. Figure out where the markets are. Find some one who will help you shop the first times you go out... really there's nothing better than grabbing some one from your church and saying "Take me with you next time you go shopping". That way you will find some good meat's and veggies and all that.
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:48 PM   #4
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Here are some things that might be helpful

Basic Cream Soup Recipe to replace any canned "cream of" whatever

I'll keep looking. Are those absolutely the only ingredients to be had? It would be helpful to know they had access to - any cheese? Any fruits? Milk, cream? Flour? Cornmeal? Any other veggies such as broccoli, turnips, celery, artichokes?
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:05 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard pinkstarfish.

Have to agree with kitchenelf (she's one of the administrators. If you hang about a while you'll see a lot of her. She tries to keep us in line, a thankless task I might add.)

It would be helpful to know if you have other ingredients available.

Given the chicken, I don't know if you have tried dishes such as chicken parm, kiev, or chicken piccata. All of those require not many ingredients.

I think you will find everyone here friendly and helpful.

Hope we see a lot more of you.
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:16 PM   #6
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auntdot - good idea - which brings us to condiments - i.e., capers, relish, mustard, spices/herbs, soy sauce, wasabi, fish/seafood/shellfish, etc.

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If you hang about a while you'll see a lot of her. She tries to keep us in line, a thankless task I might add
lol - and most tiimes I just try to stay out of the line of fire
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:44 PM   #7
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Could your home church in the states be able to send care packges of non-perishable foods & chicken bouillon cubes to help you get started? Also, peanut butter is so easy to make - you may even start a trend there!
Where is your family located currently?
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:18 PM   #8
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Re: Help, I need Cooking tips for a missionary living overse

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkstarfish
Hi,
I live in an eastern european country. Needless to say, we don't have many modern convience foods here, so cooking becomes quite a chore.

For instance, we don't have canned soups that are helpful in making so many meals (and no canned broth), no peanut butter, no frozen meals....and not much variety with food either (how many differnt things can one person make out of chicken, potatos, onions, carrots, and cabbage?)

I was wondering if anyone knew of a website that helps people who live in sort of an old fashioned, gas stove world.

Or if anyone has tips on how to substitue for the lack of canned soups and things like that....

We want to keep eating American style in a former communist nation, it helps us keep our sanity, so any help would be wonderful!

Thanks so much!
Sounds like your sick of chicken, potatoes, carrotts, and cabbage, and so am I :D maybe if you could tell us what types of food you have access to, then we could help you better, we could help plan meals for you.

What sort of missionary work are you doing?
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:26 PM   #9
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Alix, have you ever seen a European fridge? I mean even in the most developed countries, the most middle or even upper-middle class kitchens? You don't make and freeze lots of anything. If you want chicken stock tomorrow, you make it today and have it tomorrow. Otherwise, forget it!!!!!

First of all, have your friends and family send you sensible 'Care Packages'. Tell them to forget about what they traditionally thought of as a 'present' and send you what you your favorite nonperishable goods you cannot get there. If you crave peanut butter, then tell them you want peanut butter. Tell them you want soup.

Most of all, you have to learn to shop daily and eat as the locals do. You simply are NOT going to be able to eat American style in a foreign country (any foreign country), period. The above will help your sanity on bad days (OK, so now a luxury dinner is all that packaged stuff your friends an family sent you that would be considered your worst meal 'at home'). I hate to say it, but even as Military people, with Military commisaries, etc, we simply did not 'eat as Americans do' all the time. But then, we didn't want to. We'd never left 'home' if we didn't want to live somewhere else.

I don't know which country you live in (I've only visited Slovenia, and it was a decade or so ago), but you simply have no choice but to live like the locals. You shop every single day, so that when something besides a chicken or cabbage is available, you scarf it up. We've gotten terribly used to having what we feel like when we want it, and that simply is not an option.

What country are you living in?
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:48 PM   #10
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PinkStar....... can you order food over the internet?
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