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Old 11-05-2006, 05:00 AM   #21
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I'll start by saying, I love to cook from scratch. That said, I certainly use box mixes when it is appropriate. In fact, many family members really like some of the potato products fromt he box. When I do it I add a touch of parm or something to turn it into "mine". I use both Good Seasons and Ranch dressing mixes, but my husband calls them "Claire's secret sauces" because I use "secret" ingredients to turn the dressings into "mine". They aren't any secrets, it is just that friends and family won't go through the trouble to make them theirs. I guess what I'm getting at is that I use these products to short-cut some of the work, but always put a personal twist on it.
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
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.
Sunday, Monday... you have a thing for days of the week, do you? I don't celebrate Easter. Sunday dinner, Easter, Christmas, yada yada yada. I just celebrated Samhain if that gives you any clue!

I'm not adverse to chopping vegetables. My kitchen is small but I do have a food processor. I also don't bother to pay for Cable TV so I have no idea about Food TV or most celebrity chefs (except I enjoy watching ****'s Kitchen when Gordon Ramsay does that show on network television). I'll confess I've never seen Giada whatshername or Rachel Ray or that instant-food queen, Sandra Lee.

But to answer your question, if I happen to have a nice meaty ham bone I make a pot of my dad's recipe for Navy Bean Soup. Using dried navy beans. It's only about 8 ingredients and is absolutely delicious.

Fraidy
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:28 AM   #23
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re time, I certainly have a lot on my hands right now, but perversley I am cooking LESS. I try and cook as much from "scratch" always. This included when I held a full time job, plkus a parttime job in the mornings, and a night shift, and had lots of horses (hence the need to work so much, lol)....but something does have to give, I cooked from scratch and had no social life!

When I am very busy I tend just to eat in a less complicated way...it takes me as long to slam some chicken in the oven to cook while I shower and make a salad as it does for me to unwrap a box and put it in the same oven.

I don't knock anyone for using convenience, apart from my mother, lol, but its not my personal choice. I make time for it.
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:40 AM   #24
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Funny, a good friend of mine is thinking about getting a couple of horses. She's never had them before and says she "imagines they will be a lot of work".

I've never owned a horse either but I've done more than just go on a trail ride. I've ridden English and I've ridden Western. And yes, horses are a lot of work. I suppose it's good her husband is the cook in the family so she can spend her time watering, feeding, curry combing the horses, picking stones from their hooves, making sure they are properly shod, mucking out the stalls and giving them fresh hay. And apples and carrots as treats Then there's the riding thing... you know, you don't just let them stand around in a stable. This should be interesting. Not a task I'd want to take on.

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Old 11-05-2006, 07:44 AM   #25
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One or two is ok,....I mean the work can fill a whole day or you can apply your self, prioritise jobs and get it all done quickly, ride one, lead one and your done.....till lunch, lol. then supper, then lates.....but I had, um, a few more than that, lol!

Its worth it though.
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:03 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu
When I am very busy I tend just to eat in a less complicated way...it takes me as long to slam some chicken in the oven to cook while I shower and make a salad as it does for me to unwrap a box and put it in the same oven.
I don't knock anyone for using convenience, apart from my mother, lol, but its not my personal choice. I make time for it.
I am planning to throw a cornish game hen in the oven for Thanksgiving. I won't use Stove-top stuffing (how silly when it's so simple to make from scratch!) Last year I bought a boneless chicken stuffed with boudin and it was great. I froze the leftovers.

I'm sorry if I don't care much for the boxed potato mixes or the "blue box" for mac & cheese but that's just the way it is. I don't eat mac & cheese all that often, anyway.

I do make pasta dishes, sometimes just pasta simply tossed with extra virgin olive oil and some oregano and basil, garlic (much garlic!) salt and pepper. Doesn't take much to enhance simple pasta. A slice or two of crusty toasted buttered bread and that's a meal. Sometimes a tomato sauce. No meat required. I'm not a vegatarian but I can easily survive without meat.

Fraidy
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:46 PM   #27
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I don't use the boxed macaroni and cheese or the potato mixes either, but I do use mashed potatoes now and again and I keep some on hand to thicken soups and such without adding cream. I've used Zatarains, but it is usually too salty for me. I've made it and used extra rice to cut down on the salty taste. I like most things from scratch but there are some good products that are healthy also and such time savers, that I use when necessary.
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:11 PM   #28
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My brother is in the process of building a new house. He's supposed to close on 12/18. So I was at his current house a couple of weekends ago and he gave me a packet of "Idahoan" instant mashed potatoes. I didn't have the heart to tell him I don't really care for instant potatoes. So I'll use them to thicken some stew or something like that. Yes, I can certainly see them used that way!

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Old 11-05-2006, 03:51 PM   #29
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I'm a purist....I'll use prepared mixes about twice a year. Other than than, it's from my own hands, all the time...every minute of the prep work, all the ingredients, everything.

I really really like knowing what I'm eating.
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:53 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Baked
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!

Have you ever noticed how 'yellow' those cake mixes are??
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