Edith Schaeffer on the Hidden Art of Food

“Cooking as an art – ‘Hidden Art’, if you want to call it so – should be recognized and then developed in everyone who has to cook, wants to cook, or could cook! Cooking should not be thought of as a drudgery, but as an art.”

making fresh salad dressing

“It is not necessary to have an extravagant food budget in order to serve things with variety and tastefully cooked. Food should be served with real care as to the color and texture on the plates, as well as with imaginative taste. This is where artistic talent and aesthetic expression and fulfillment come in.”

testing the noodles for done-ness

“There is no occasion when meals should become totally unimportant. Meals can be very small indeed, very inexpensive, short times taken in the midst of a big push of work, but they should be always more than just food. Relaxation, communication and a measure of beauty and pleasure should be part of even the shortest of meal breaks.”

serving the salad

“Of course you celebrate special occasions with special attention to meal preparations and serving. But we should be just as careful to make the meal interesting and appealing when the day is gray and the news disappointing. Children feel the difference in the home that takes this attitude. Father comes home tired and discouraged after some sort of failure or disappointment to find, not the food he dislikes, nor burned soup and sloppy serving, but a beautifully set table, with his favorite food served artistically, and a hot drink and some tiny cookies or nuts served afterwards with the air of a special occasion.”

the Boy, anxious for his dinner


“Food cannot take care of spiritual, psychological and emotional problems, but the feeling of being loved and cared for, the actual comfort to the beauty and flavor of food, the increase of blood sugar and physical well-being, help one to go on during the next hours better equipped to meet the problems.”

enjoying my noodle substitute – shaved zucchini

“If the one who cooks is the wife in a family, her attitude toward the marriage as a whole should be to think of it as a career. Being challenged by what a differences her cooking and her way of serving is going to make in the family life gives a woman an opportunity to approach this with the feeling of painting a picture or writing a symphony…The cook in the home has opportunity to be doing something very real in the area of making good human relationships.

perfect ending to the day – fresh baked cookies

I hope my dear readers do not find this post boringly long winded – I just felt that so much of the latest chapter I read in “Hidden Art” by Edith Schaeffer was too good not to share! Thanks to Jeremy for the fun photos with which to illustrate this post.

11 responses to “Edith Schaeffer on the Hidden Art of Food”

  1. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Thanks for posting this. Very inspiring. Cooking is such an essential part of homemaking. I love to cook (totally from scratch), but most of the time my meals are served on the couch in front of the TV and computer. (My husband and I both work long days and when we get home usually all we want to do is plop on on the couch!)You’ve inspired me to get out the nice china and set the table, at least on days that I have off! Kateri

  2. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    All of my children have heard me speak of mLocey Home Ec. teacher (God rest her soul) whenever I have have put forth a meal that is especially lacking in color and interest…mono-chronomatic, to use her exact words–(ie. potatoes, meat and applesauce–ugh). I am thrilled that you are #1 reading Hidden Art, #2 applying it to your present circumstances, and #3 finding, as I did, the personal fulfillment in taking a little time to make cooking and the presentation of food, an “art”. Love, mom

  3. Natalie_S Avatar

    Great post. I loved all the pictures. I’ll have to remember to put a little more effort into meal times at my place.

  4. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    This was great, Trina! I really loved the part about thinking of cooking (and homemaking) as a career…because that’s what it is! (Well, and so much more…) I adore cooking and serving healthy, attractive meals. It really makes me feel like a good wife. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, doing it on a REALLY strict budget is a little more challenging, but Wes hasn’t complained yet! ๐Ÿ™‚~Rachel H.

  5. Serena Avatar

    I love The Hidden Art of Homemaking. My mother-in-law gave it to me the Christmas before I was married, and I’ve read it a few times since. I think it’s wonderful all you’ve been sharing from it!

  6. rahraht Avatar
    rahraht

    What a yummy noodle substitute!! Now If I could just find an equally yummy tomato substitute ๐Ÿ™ Unfortunately ” ‘aint nothing like the real thing…” when it comes to tomatos. Cooking is so practical, we can easily overlook it as an opoortunity to serve our neighbor.

  7. Amy Avatar

    Oh, Trina, you’re making my mouth water! I love making “artistic” meals!

  8. Natalie Roth Avatar

    We just got this book in the mail yesterday, I’m really looking forward to reading it (when I have time to read!)

  9. Rebecca Avatar

    I just read this too…it is really fantastic.

  10. Rachel Avatar

    I loved it!!! It makes me enjoy cooking all that much more – as if that’s possible sometimes…I love being in the kitchen and serving up food that is delicious….

  11. Olivia Joy Avatar

    How could you do this to me!!! Posting pictures of food on the blog!!! Arg!!!

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