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Old 01-24-2006, 07:12 PM   #1
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From scratch or not

I hope I did this right, I never post. Apologies if I screwed it up.

But there are two things I have slaved over and now just buy.

One is red cabbage, now just buy it in the jar, and the other is pumpkin pie mix which I purchase in the can.

I see little difference between the stuff I used to work for hours to make and the products I can buy in the store.

Would like to know if people think the homemade version of either of these is worth the effort.

And are there any other foods that you think are not worth preparing because the store bought version is about as good, equal to, or better than, the product you make at home?

Edited for the question mark.


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Old 01-24-2006, 07:15 PM   #2
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I say go for the canned pumpkin pie mix.

For me I tried making hummus a few times. It came out very good, but no better than most of the store bought kind which I can easily doctor up if needed. It is not worth the effort for me to make it when the store bought is very good to begin with.

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Old 01-24-2006, 07:23 PM   #3
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I think if you can find a brand that is as good or almost and there isn't a problem with preservatives, etc, go for it. Now that my children are gone, I don't like reinventing the wheel each time we have a meal. Some things I make a good bit of and we have leftovers. Some things I start with a good mix, or a frozen version at least in part. We still eat a lot of fresh stuff, but I don't fret if we don't get it every meal. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy what you cook, whether from scratch or with a head start. The things I am taking to the tea tomorrow are a good example of some of the changes I've made. Since I'm going to the gym 3 days a week and Curves 3 days a week, I don't have time to start at the beginning on everything. For the petit fours, I'm using a bought pound cake, apricot preserves and frosting. I bought the mini eclairs, frozen. I did get fresh fruit for the tray. I don't feel bad about it at all. We will have a great time and I didn't have to run myself ragged to do it.
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:28 PM   #4
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recently for me, yogurt. I love plain yogurt without the fruit and extra sugar. I saw an episode of Martha where she made it homemade. It looked so easy so I gave it a shot. Ok, disaster! It never set up. I tried twice. Since what I really prefer is Greek style yogurt, I just buy the organic stuff from a whole foods market. Now, if anyone can tell me how to pull off this homemade yogurt business without having to buy another machine, I am ALL EARS!!! Until then....just easier to buy it made!
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:29 PM   #5
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I am forever grateful to Pillsbury for their refrigerated pie crusts!!!
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:31 PM   #6
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:54 PM   #7
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I couldn't live without "Aunt Nellie's Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage"! Sear 4 or 5 country style pork ribs (or pork chops), toss in a jar of red cabbage and a little water or apple juice, lower the heat, slap on a lid, let braise for about 30-mins. Also works with jarred (never canned) sauerkraut - something else I'm not going to waste the time making from scratch.

I have always used canned pumpkin pie filling - although I'm more likely to make a sweet potato pie. But this year my DIL make a pumpkin pie from scratch from pumpkins they had grown. It had a slightly different texture, was more yellow than orange, and had more of a winter squash flavor than just cinnamon and nutmeg. Humm ... the canned stuff comes "pre-seasoned" so from scratch might be worth the effort here if I can get my DIL's recipe.

Spinach - unless I'm using it for a salad, I buy it frozen. Does that count?

I would NEVER try to make phyllo dough! Same for "puff pastry" dough 99% of the time.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:50 PM   #8
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I always buy the One Pie brand of canned pumpkin. I figure you can't go wrong when the only ingredient listed is pumpkin.

I also don't make my own sauerkraut. I use bottled salad dressings some of the time.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:58 PM   #9
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There is a Pennsylvania Dutch Pumpkin Pie recipe that really needs fresh pumpkin...flavored with butter, lemon, and the natural pumpkin. So you don't want a canned item there, but other spicey pies I see no reason not to go with the canned.

Frozen SPinach is another for so many recipes.

I do like to gently saute fresh cabbage, but if were cooking it with chops or sausage in the oven and highly flavoring it with meat, I see no reson not to go with the jar.

THe pilsbury ready crust is a great time saver etc, but it doesn't taste like home made crust. But in a pinch, better than nothing , and certainly edible. So is frozen puff pastry!
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Old 01-24-2006, 11:28 PM   #10
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I notice a few posters to this thread mention pie crusts...

Pastry dough is easily made in quantity and can be frozen for future use. If you settle on a good, all-purpose recipe, the pastry dough can be used for sweet or savory pies. (Examples of savory pies could be a quiche or a chicken pot pie).

Frankly, doughs for many purposes freeze well. In addition to pastry dough, I would include in this list yeast-rising bread dough and pasta dough.

I routinely make and freeze pastry, bread and pasta dough in quantity and freeze them for future use.

It seems a shame that the practice and art of making dough is fast becoming a vanishing skill.

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