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Old 11-04-2006, 06:11 PM   #11
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I don't use packet foods. I DO use some tinned soups - and sauces like HP, Dijon mustard etc... but that's about the extent of it.
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:47 PM   #12
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It's amazing how time and age can change things. When my children were little, I made everything from scratch, except for a few cakes that started with a mix. I thought I'd NEVER feed my family a canned bisquit.

Now, with my physical limitations, I use quite a few boxed mixes, especially rice. Zatarains is excellent, but I also use Uncle Ben's, Rice-a-roni, and Lipton's as a base for various recipes.
My husband actually likes instant potatoes and the Betty Crocker Au Gratin and Scalloped Potato mixes. I guess his mother must have fed him a lot of them, as did mine. I can tolerate them, but do definately prefer the fresh. On the other hand, if he's doing the cooking, that's OK. And I do use the frozen hash browns for several casserole dishes.
I don't shy away from making my own sauces...white sauce is one of the first things I learned to make. But I also use a lot of canned soups for cooking sauces, for convenience, and some of them are very good. I particularly recommend Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup...wonderful with chicken or pork.
I draw the line when it comes to Hamburger Helper. Enough said.
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:59 PM   #13
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Oops - forgot to mention that we use boxed "mashed potatoes" all the time. When I said I used a potato product years ago & didn't like it, I was talking about the sliced dehydrated potato stuff - not the flaked potato stuff.

To be honest, the flaked potato stuff is GREAT - & I use it all the time!!!
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:18 PM   #14
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I've learned never to say, "never", but I really do not like the taste of chemicals in the the premade mixes or packages of anything. I tried to cheat and make a boxed cake for company but I threw it out since it tasted awful. I really could not serve it.

I use canned beef broth sometimes but I always have homemade chicken broth in the freezer. I love Campbells Chicken Noodle and Tomato soup and I have used Cream of *something* in some casserole on many occasions.

Now, after all that I have to admit that I LOVE Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. To me, Macaroni and Cheese and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese are definately different animals but I enjoy them both so much. The Blue Box is comfort food to me. Gimme that powdered cheese...mmmmm!
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:28 PM   #15
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I sometimes use Zataran's dirty rice mix and doctor it up based on their suggestions and my whims. I also make my own dirty rice based on Paul Prudhomme's recipe. Zataran's may not be as good but it ain't bad.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:34 PM   #16
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I would love to be able to cook everything from scratch. I don't have the time, nor the energy. Besides, my hubby likes the potatoes in a packet or box & the Zatarain's Jambalaya mix - I just add kielbasa. It's a great meal when I need to get something for him to eat quickly. As long as he's happy with what he's eating, that's all that really matters to me. No purist here. I will take shortcuts when I need to. I have plenty of "just add water & butter" items in my cupboards. I don't do boxed mac & cheese, simply because I like my homemade stuff better. Nothing wrong with any of it & no one should feel bad for using it. If you were someone who only fixes prepared foods out of boxes & cans, you probably wouldn't be on this forum.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu
I hate pre-prepared, boxed meals/food, full stop. I notice that I always feel slow and overloaded and yet hungry after eating it. As my mother has got older and cooks less she relies on it and we bicker about that because I think it correlates with her bouts of ill health. I loved "Smashed" potato when I was a kid, but its the real thing or nothing for me nowadays. I consider take outs a huge concesion to my regime, and the occasional pudding,but boxed meals or sides, NO WAY!

edited to add: I do use canned consomme and the occasioanal thing, so I guess I am more mouth than trousers, but I do TRY and stick to cooking from scratch most of the time.
Lulu and I are pretty much on the same page here. Back in "the day" I tried a lot of those convenience boxes, and found them uniformly salty, box-tasting, etc. Most contain chemicals and other preservatives that I don't respond well to, as well. I do like Fantastic Foods Falafel and Near East's couscous combos, tho... and always keep a few on hand.. I also love Konriko's Pecan Rice!
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
My view is pretty close to Lulu's. I'm a little puzzled by the references to red beans and rice. Granted it takes a little time if you start with dried beans but it is really a simple meal made on wash day using Sunday's ham bone.
Yes,the recipe calls for dried red beans. I don't have a problem soaking and cooking beans in a stock pot. It's chopping up all that other stuff that bugs me. Also (without giving an exact recipe here) Paul's recipe calls for smoked ham hocks which I don't happen keep on hand. I've no idea why you'd assume I have a ham bone (or anything else) leftover from Sunday. Sunday is just another day to me. I don't do Monday "wash day" I'm not from Louisiana nor have I ever been there. And of course I'm not making my own Tasso or Andouille. I don't like Tasso and I can buy Andouille at the grocery store. The Jambalaya recipe calls for even more stuff. I'll just buy the Zatarain's

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Old 11-05-2006, 02:50 AM   #19
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I cant say I've ever used potato flakes or even tried Kraft Mac and Cheese even though you can get both of them in Australia. I am assuming these aren't as popular here as they are in America.

My use of convience foods depends on how busy I am. I cant get decent take-out where I live and their are only about 4 places to go out to eat at. I prefer to cook stuff from scratch and freeze it as I am usually only cooking for myself. Mind you I do use liquid stock and I am ashamed to admit I never tried making it in my life
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FraidKnot
Yes,the recipe calls for dried red beans. I don't have a problem soaking and cooking beans in a stock pot. It's chopping up all that other stuff that bugs me. Also (without giving an exact recipe here) Paul's recipe calls for smoked ham hocks which I don't happen keep on hand. I've no idea why you'd assume I have a ham bone (or anything else) leftover from Sunday. Sunday is just another day to me. I don't do Monday "wash day" I'm not from Louisiana nor have I ever been there. And of course I'm not making my own Tasso or Andouille. I don't like Tasso and I can buy Andouille at the grocery store. The Jambalaya recipe calls for even more stuff. I'll just buy the Zatarain's

Fraidy
I meant no offense with the reference to wash day. I could just as easily have said lawn raking or rain-gutter cleaning day. I was just referring to the simple and humble origins of the dish.
About that ham bone. Just out of curiosity, whether it is left over from last Sunday or last Easter, what do you with it?
Here is a link to one recipe for the benefit of anyone curious. That recipe call for four of five different pork products. It seems to me, where things get confused, is in thinking that one must choose between all the ingredients listed in a particular recipe or a box from the grocery store. The problem is aggravated by the army of TV/celebrity chefs, each of whom, has to have his own unique and copyrighted, hence complicated, version of everything. Sadly, most of us don't have access to the recipes that our grandmothers or even great-grandmothers used before the dawn of the instant age.
Fraidy, I'm not trying to talk you out of Zatarains. In fact, if your objection is really to chopping the vegetables, I don't know what to say.
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