Turn Back The Clock – How lessons from the past can help our future

Turn back the clock


It’s time to turn back the clock! We have been wondering about the past at Cookery School, as many of you who follow us on social media, loved this photo from the 1960’s of our founder Rosalind Rathouse, outside of Sainsbury’s with her husband proudly carrying sturdy paper bags. Those were the days when plastic bags and plastic packaging were not an issue.

Kitchen Storage

If we turn back the clock fifty years people managed in kitchens without products like cling film.  It is great to see how products such as beeswax wraps are becoming popular to cover food at home. Unlike foil or cling film that is thrown away after one use, resuable beeswax wraps can simply be washed in cold water with a little bit of soap and they are ready to roll again.  At Cookery School we follow the footsteps of our parents and grandparents and cover bowls in the fridge with plates of varying sizes, which prevents smells leaching out and contaminating of flavours in the fridge.

We also buy glass containers with heavy-duty plastic lids – hopefully these will soon become silicone-based – as these can be used in fridge, freezer and ovens. They last for ages, we had many of them for well over ten years and they are still going strong.  We even have large stainless-steel bowls with fitted plastic lids which allow us to store large quantities of stocks without ever having to even make us think of using plastic film.

War-time tips

There are also lessons we have learnt from war-time rationing that has helped our sustainability goals. Wartime ads by OXO encouraged people to save vegetable water to use in stocks and gravies. At Cookery School we also use vegetable peelings and bones to make the most delicious stock.

Turn back the clock

Kitchen Appliances

Energy efficiency of appliances such as Aga Heat & Storage cookers were promoted as helping to save fuel and labour – as they cooked food, kept it warm and also helped to heat a kitchen.  Even though many average kitchens don’t have space for an Aga, we value energy efficient cookers at Cookery School. We use 100% certified renewable energy in our kitchens and use state of the art energy efficient AEG cookers, hobs, dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines.

Turn back the clock

Make the most of your food

When it comes to cooking, we advocate many of the methods people from fifty years ago saw as commonplace.  Efficient food planning and preparation, batch cooking, good food storage and we are always finding creative ways to use up leftovers and seasonal gluts.

Turn back the clock

We would love to hear what lessons you have learnt from family and friends from a generation or more ago, which help you in the kitchen.  Whether it’s reducing food waste, plastic or saving energy let us know how turning back the clock can help our future! Email us with your “turn back the clock tips”.


Why not join us on one of our food waste classes? As the old adage goes, waste not, want not!

Sustainability We Love