One of the things she recommended was always to have a damp cloth available while cooking - because the nearest tap might be in the bathroom on the landing upstairs. She had a very short list of what was essential for equipment in a kitchen that was a corner in the room you did all your living except ablutions.
|1 really sharp knife||1 piece of flat wood||1 decent pan||1 BIG frying pan|
|1 little saucepan||1 bowl (not plastic)||1 fish-slice||1 tin opener|
|1 jug saucepan||1 egg-beater||1 wooden spoon||nothing else|
The rest of the book is (it's still in print) full of sound advice tempered with that sort of humour. Whitehorn is also determined that straitened physical circumstances should never limit your imagination or your diet. The literate Foodie goddess is cited: "No-one who has learned to cook in England since the war can fail to owe and enormous amount to Elizabeth David whose French Country Cooking ...". Both authors are readable and entertaining as well as informative. Whitehorn isn't making an objective case for simplicity but rather sharing, with others who are in a similar situation, her real experience of living out a suitcase or a card-board box. If you have ever been to Aldidl to buy a bag of sugar and some mushrooms and come home with a waffle-iron, an electric chip-pan, or 40 matching tupperware boxes (and no mushrooms) then you may need to reflect on the stuff that's stuffing your kitchen cabinets.
I'm not making a make-do survivalist case in the style of Bear Grylls frying a slice of the liver on the scapula of an elk he's just killed. But I will point out that Dau.II's grandmother grew up in a town on the edge of the Sahel in West Africa. It was quite civilized but she and her sisters used regularly to mince meat using two really sharp knives - it doesn't take very long at all and makes a tough lean cut edible more efficiently than cooking it to buggery for hours. Sounds bit like "in my day we lived in hole in t' middle o' the road" doesn't it? Sorry.