blue text on left with two men on right

My Kitchen Rules South Africa


Old but gold – My Kitchen Rules SA

27 September 2022
Old school cooking methods that live on today.
Lady kneading dough

Many of us grew up watching our mothers and grandmothers cook up hearty homemade meals that left their mark on us for years to come. We’re pretty sure your mother has imparted some great recipes or traditional methods of cooking that you still use. 

We’re taking a look at some old-school methods that still work to this day.

Dry your chillis
Grandma used to grab a cloth and tray and leave the chillis in the sun for a few days to create perfectly dried chillis. This was used in cooking to add that extra kick of spice. Usually, it is best stored in a glass or plastic jar in the cupboard.

1663844369 28 my project 1  8

Kneading dough on the floor
Mbali took it old school as she put her muscles to work while making the dough for the bunny chow bread. She got down on her knees and put this method into action. A nostalgic moment, as many of us were taken back to watching our mothers and grandmothers do so back in the day. This method loosens air bubbles and makes the dough softer. It also helps it rise better.

1663844316 28 screenshot 2022 09 22 at 11.41.43

Use a mortar and pestle
Long before food processors, people made use of mortar and pestle. This keeps the aromas and flavours intact and there is nothing quite like homemade ground spices. Of course, many still use mortar and pestle today. You can even use the end of a rolling pin to grind ingredients if you don't own a mortar and pestle.

1663844408 28 my project 1  6

Make fish stock with the head
This might get some heads turning, but remember when your mum said don’t throw away the fish head? The fish head was boiled and the water made a great fish stock for soups and stews.

1663844450 28 my project 1  5

Keeping food warm in tin foil and a dishcloth
We can certainly keep our foods warm with microwaves and warmer bags, but there used to be another quick and easy method: tin foil and a dishcloth. You just wrapped the food in foil, then in a cloth, and it stayed warm for hours. Oh, we’re feeling the nostalgia now and can smell grandma’s Sunday roast as we type this.

1663844598 28 my project 1  7

Old fashioned smoothies
We honestly cannot live without a blender, but for decades many used an old-school mash-up method.  This was done by adding all your fruit to a bowl and using a masher, fork, or whisk. Takes a lot of muscle, but tastes just as good!

1663845443 28 my project 1  9

Soaking rice before cooking
It seems mother does know best! Soaking rice reduces cooking time, removes excess starch, and gives you fluffy rice. The rice water can also be used for hair, as it actually acts as a good hair nutrient. 

1663846466 28 my project 1  10

Green bean cleaning
The stories that were told in the kitchen while green bean cleaning with grandma were priceless. There was a method to it: don’t pull off too much of the stem, just nip it. No use of knives, just fingers. Ah, such simple times.

1663844998 28 my project 1  3

For more old and new school cooking watch My Kitchen Rules SA on Sundays at 18:00 on M-Net 101.

Check out Mark and Mbali's cool baking hack.