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Buttercup
2012-Sep-27, 04:58 PM
Homemade marshmallows.

Homemade graham crackers.

I've been surprised to see those two items featured on the Food Network.

Can't understand why anyone would want to bother with either, when so easy/inexpensive to purchase.

What food items would you refuse to make at home?

potoole
2012-Sep-27, 05:43 PM
Making baked beans from scratch. (Using dried, hardened beans as a starter) Especially when canned baked beans are pretty darn good.

I still prefer to make my own mashed potatoes, rather than that boxed powdered stuff. Yes, I peel, quarter and boil real actual potatoes, then gleefully mush them up by hand (using a potato masher, of course). I so enjoy the flavor of those 'real' potatoes.

PO'T

PetersCreek
2012-Sep-27, 05:50 PM
I haven't made them myself but my understanding is that store-bought marshmallows pale in comparison to the homemade version...so much so that there really is no comparison. They're often available in specialty shops so there still might be no need to make them at home but as I'm fond of telling my wife, it's not always about "need".

I do some things at home because it's less expensive or just plain better. For instance, I make my own (American-style) Canadian bacon. The process takes a little over 3 weeks and all factors considered, it may or may not be less expensive to make it myself...but it's superior to pretty much any brand commonly found on a supermarket shelf.

I also do some things just because I can or want to give it a try, as was the case with making my own fresh mozzarella.

Swift
2012-Sep-27, 06:20 PM
I've had homemade marshmallows and they are much better than store bought. My wife has talked about making some for years.

I'm with potoole and instant mashed potatoes are nasty. Its pretty easy to make them from scratch and they are so much better.

Off the top of my head I can't think of anything (among the things I'd like to eat) that I would never make from scratch. For me the discussion is more the other way, what are the food things that are store bought (at least very good quality store bought) that are OK enough to eat, instead of making myself (usually because store bought is easier).

For example, whipping my own whipped cream or using Ready-whip, which is not as good, but at least is really made of cream (I usually whip my own). Kool-whip is not allowed in the house, it is nasty.

OK, I thought of one thing... my wife and I like Miso soup. We've looked at recipes and it seems really hard to make and really complicated.

redshifter
2012-Sep-27, 06:23 PM
What food items would you refuse to make at home?

Anything vegetarian. Definitely anything vegan.

Buttercup
2012-Sep-27, 06:29 PM
I've had homemade marshmallows and they are much better than store bought. My wife has talked about making some for years.

(And PetersCreek) I'd love to try homemade marshmallows, and I'm sure there's no comparison. But I've seen (twice) all the effort it takes making them. :( Seems even more complicated than Divinity.


OK, I thought of one thing... my wife and I like Miso soup. We've looked at recipes and it seems really hard to make and really complicated.

Well...I've made Miso Ball Soup. Sort of. Not a traditional Jewish recipe. I made the balls from a quality box mix, which I placed into a homemade vegetable broth with sliced carrots, onions, celery.

Chicken cacciatore is exacting/difficult. I made it around age 14 (traditional Italian recipe), and it turned out delicious. Beginner's luck. But I've not been keen to try again (with range-free chicken; too expensive as well). :lol:

Swift
2012-Sep-27, 06:40 PM
Well...I've made Miso Ball Soup. Sort of. Not a traditional Jewish recipe. I made the balls from a quality box mix, which I placed into a homemade vegetable broth with sliced carrots, onions, celery.
No, I think you are thinking of Matzo ball soup, and yes I've made it many times. It is hard to make really good Matzo balls and even a lot of restaurants make them too heavy. I don't find restaurant or store bough any better. They aren't hard to make, just hard to make really well.

Miso soup is Japanese (the other type of "Jap", not the Jewish American Princess :D ).

Actually, that reminds me of other other thing I wouldn't make. Gefilte fish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gefilte_fish) - I love gefilte fish. When I was a kid I made it once with my mom and it is a huge messy amount of work; it literally took all day long, and the finished fish isn't really any better than the store bought.

I've had really good luck with chicken cacciatore, made it several times and had good luck. There is a Giada recipe we have that is really good.

Buttercup
2012-Sep-27, 06:50 PM
No, I think you are thinking of Matzo ball soup, and yes I've made it many times. It is hard to make really good Matzo balls and even a lot of restaurants make them too heavy. I don't find restaurant or store bough any better. They aren't hard to make, just hard to make really well.

Miso soup is Japanese (the other type of "Jap", not the Jewish American Princess :D ).

Oh good grief! :lol: :wall: What was I thinking? These doctors are driving me crazy (my excuse).

Gillianren
2012-Sep-27, 06:51 PM
I think the fact that I am the sort of person who took a pasta machine as barter for sewing a costume for a friend indicates that I have very few foods I would never make. (Actually, I'm planning to make graham crackers at some point, though I just don't like marshmallows.) There are some that I've made once and said, "Well, that was too much work for not enough benefit." However, I have a lot of free time.

Noclevername
2012-Sep-27, 08:22 PM
I always make my own tomato sauce, once in a while someone will taste it and ask what brand it was, and I'll answer in a mock-horrified voice, "Brand? You mean from a jar?"

Trebuchet
2012-Sep-28, 01:14 AM
Actually, I'm planning to make graham crackers at some point...

I initially read that as "I'm planning to make Graham crackers..." :)

Solfe
2012-Sep-28, 01:44 AM
I have a friend who makes home made dog food and biscuits. For awhile she was able to operate as a business and she has a second kitchen to do it. It is very time consuming so she gave it up.

swampyankee
2012-Sep-28, 02:18 AM
I've never made homemade cheese or yoghurt, cured meat, pickles, tofu, mincemeat, marshmallows, fruit preserves, beer (what it's not food?) or wine (you mean that isn't, either?). Nor black pudding, paté, or haggis.

Gillianren
2012-Sep-28, 02:40 AM
I initially read that as "I'm planning to make Graham crackers..." :)

Too late . . . .

Ara Pacis
2012-Sep-28, 09:21 AM
Too late . . . .

Cannibal.

I didn't know one could make marshmallows at home, I thought the marsh mallow plant only grew in Europe.

swampyankee
2012-Sep-28, 09:40 AM
I always make my own tomato sauce, once in a while someone will taste it and ask what brand it was, and I'll answer in a mock-horrified voice, "Brand? You mean from a jar?"

Sauce from a jar is never as good as the real thing. It's also not that hard to make, especially if you can find a good brand of canned, peeled (not crushed or diced) tomatoes.

The Backroad Astronomer
2012-Sep-28, 12:04 PM
Making baked beans from scratch. (Using dried, hardened beans as a starter) Especially when canned baked beans are pretty darn good.

I still prefer to make my own mashed potatoes, rather than that boxed powdered stuff. Yes, I peel, quarter and boil real actual potatoes, then gleefully mush them up by hand (using a potato masher, of course). I so enjoy the flavor of those 'real' potatoes.

PO'T

I actually grow my own potatoes every summer and I keep trying to grow enough soldier beans to get a couples batches for the winter and actually had enough for one batch last year. And no homemade baled beans are lot better than the canned ones.

Gillianren
2012-Sep-28, 05:16 PM
Cannibal.

It gets worse--his last name is Berry.


I didn't know one could make marshmallows at home, I thought the marsh mallow plant only grew in Europe.

Leaving aside whether or not you can cultivate it in the US, very few recipes even in Europe actually call for marsh mallow these days.

starcanuck64
2012-Sep-28, 07:41 PM
I actually grow my own potatoes every summer and I keep trying to grow enough soldier beans to get a couples batches for the winter and actually had enough for one batch last year. And no homemade baled beans are lot better than the canned ones.

I find I get really bad indigestion from homemade beans where I don't with canned.

Grey
2012-Sep-28, 08:18 PM
I've made both marshmallows and graham crackers from scratch, and they turned out pretty well, though I'll agree it was more work than I'd want to do every time.

On a related note, I recently heard a review for the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter (http://www.amazon.com/Make-Bread-Buy-Butter-ebook/dp/B004T4KXMS).


When Jennifer Reese lost her job, she was overcome by an impulse common among the recently unemployed: to economize by doing for herself what she had previously paid for. She had never before considered making her own peanut butter and pita bread, let alone curing her own prosciutto or raising turkeys. And though it sounded logical that “doing it yourself” would cost less, she had her doubts. So Reese began a series of kitchen-related experiments, taking into account the competing demands of everyday contemporary American family life as she answers some timely questions: When is homemade better? Cheaper? Are backyard eggs a more ethical choice than store-bought? Will grinding and stuffing your own sausage ruin your week? Is it possible to make an edible maraschino cherry? Some of Reese’s discoveries will surprise you: Although you should make your hot dog buns, guacamole, and yogurt, you should probably buy your hamburger buns, potato chips, and rice pudding. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

With its fresh voice and delightful humor, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter gives 120 recipes with eminently practical yet deliciously fun “Make or buy” recommendations. Reese is relentlessly entertaining as she relates her food and animal husbandry adventures, which amuse and perplex as well as nourish and sustain her family. Her tales include living with a backyard full of cheerful chickens, muttering ducks, and adorable baby goats; countertops laden with lacto-fermenting pickles; and closets full of mellowing cheeses. Here’s the full picture of what is involved in a truly homemade life—with the good news that you shouldn’t try to make everything yourself—and how to get the most out of your time in the kitchen.

Gillianren
2012-Sep-28, 08:19 PM
Huh. I'll have to check that out.

JohnD
2012-Sep-29, 10:07 PM
I roasted some monkey puzzle tree nuts yesterday.
(Araucaria araucarna)
Nice! Taste a bit like roasted sweet chestnuts.

I have a tree in my garden, a hundred years old and about eighty feet high, and in the UK it's been a bumper year- it is every two or three.
I've picked up over three hundred nuts, given handfulls to friends and neighbours, so either I have to eat them, or I give them back to the birds and beasts!
JOhn

Trebuchet
2012-Sep-30, 12:00 AM
I find I get really bad indigestion from homemade beans where I don't with canned.

You may not be soaking the beans long enough. You need to soak them around 12 hours, I think, with several changes of water or they'll do that to you.

Gillianren
2012-Sep-30, 06:44 AM
Made pasta tonight. I'm getting better at the rolling part, but I still need to work on making ravioli. Once again, at least one came open in the pot.

swampyankee
2012-Oct-01, 12:28 AM
Made pasta tonight. I'm getting better at the rolling part, but I still need to work on making ravioli. Once again, at least one came open in the pot.

My mother used to make fresh pasta (she did it about twice), but there are some very good brands of dried pasta, and it's more work than needed.

starcanuck64
2012-Oct-01, 12:32 AM
You may not be soaking the beans long enough. You need to soak them around 12 hours, I think, with several changes of water or they'll do that to you.

I think I was soaking them overnight but I don't remember if I changed the water or not. I think some recipes call for using the water for cooking too. I find that adding honey or maple syrup helps to make them more digestable.

schlaugh
2012-Oct-01, 01:08 AM
Eggs. Definitely don't plan to make my own eggs.

Gillianren
2012-Oct-01, 02:01 AM
My mother used to make fresh pasta (she did it about twice), but there are some very good brands of dried pasta, and it's more work than needed.

All I've made so far is stuffed pasta, which I really like. However, I'm a fussy enough eater that making my own is the only way to be sure that I'll like what's gone into the filling.


Eggs. Definitely don't plan to make my own eggs.

There is no response I can make to this which isn't obscene or unsettling.

Buttercup
2012-Oct-01, 02:16 AM
On a related note, I recently heard a review for the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter (http://www.amazon.com/Make-Bread-Buy-Butter-ebook/dp/B004T4KXMS).

That sounds interesting. :) But making homemade butter isn't too difficult (can make a big lump of it in a Mason jar, though it's lots of shaking and rolling).

Chocolate-covered cherries. A gal back home made them one Christmas when we were teenagers. I wondered why, considering the work involved (and the boxed ones tasted better than hers). Making fondant from scratch, wrapping it around a cherry? :hand:

Grey
2012-Oct-01, 02:59 AM
That sounds interesting. :) But making homemade butter isn't too difficult (can make a big lump of it in a Mason jar, though it's lots of shaking and rolling).I haven't read the book, just heard an interview with the author, but the point was not just which things were easier and harder, but which were actually worth the extra effort. So, while making butter is not particularly difficult (though it is fairly time consuming), buying butter from the store is just about as good, and comparable in price, so there's no real reason to make it from scratch. One of the other examples she gave was Worcestershire sauce, which was apparently a big hassle. But she said that making it from scratch produced a much better result, and since you use so little of it at a time, it was worth all the effort. So it's not just a matter of which things are easier or harder, but which ones produce results that merit the work involved. She gives all the recipes she used, and tells you the stories of her experiences. If you decide that you're not sure she was right about something, you can try it out yourself and make your own call. It sounded like a very cool book.

Ara Pacis
2012-Oct-01, 08:25 AM
How can you not use a lot of Worcestershire sauce? I go through that stuff like it was soy sauce.

Swift
2012-Oct-01, 02:36 PM
Eggs. Definitely don't plan to make my own eggs.
Are you talking about cooking them or laying them? ;)

schlaugh
2012-Oct-01, 03:14 PM
Oh the cooking is fine. But zoning laws prohibit me from raising chickens.

Trebuchet
2012-Oct-01, 06:39 PM
That sounds interesting. :) But making homemade butter isn't too difficult (can make a big lump of it in a Mason jar, though it's lots of shaking and rolling).

Or find one of these (http://dairyantiques.com/Dazey_Butter_Churns.html) in an antique store. (Scroll down) I've got one downstairs on the "museum" shelf that came from my late Mother-In-Law's house. Unfortunately it's got a newer jar with the older mechanism. I keep hoping to find one mismatched the other way around.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Oct-04, 04:58 PM
I find I get really bad indigestion from homemade beans where I don't with canned.
You may not be boiling them long enough to destroy the phytohaemagglutinin.
Don't try eating them without 10 minutes of boiling (actual boiling, the 100C type, 10 minutes of 80C will actually increase the amount of bioavailable phytohaemagglutinin up to five-fold). FDA Ref. (http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/foodborneillness/foodborneillnessfoodbornepathogensnaturaltoxins/badbugbook/ucm071092.htm)

Trebuchet
2012-Oct-04, 05:15 PM
That's good to know; I had somehow associated the problem with the soaking, not with the boiling. Cook those beans well!