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Old 12-09-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
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"Cooking from Scratch" - What's it mean to you?

All the banter recently about "cooking from scratch" leads me to question just how people define the term.

Some may think it means not using any pre made shortcuts at all.

Some may think it means following a recipe or making up your own.

Others may think it's cooking without anything being prepared by someone else, like cake mixes, canned goods etc.

Still others, may call it turning on the stove.

I was thinking about a response I gave to PPO last year about his wonderful Shortcut Chicken Tortilla soup. I said:
"Nothing at all wrong with shortcuts imo. If I had to cook the chicken, make the tortillas, cook the dried beans, shuck the corn and make the salsa it would loose it's appeal for me."

What say you?
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:53 PM   #2
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I have always been a big fan of cooking from scratch.

Now that I'm older and live alone I'm finding that scratch cooking is more expensive, in some cases, than using a few prepared items. I enjoy watching Jacques Pepin on PBS because he skillfully combines scratch cooking with prepared foods in an artful and effortless way that appeals to me.

I guess I'm an old dog that is learning a few new tricks!
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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For me it means not using shortcuts like mixes and such. If I make soup with boxed broth, I'd call it homemade, if I made my own stock and soup, it would be from scratch.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:45 PM   #4
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bakechef, I was just going to use the same analogy as you did, regarding soup. So I'll use a different one.

To me 'from scratch' means using no prepared ingredients at all. I would say 'homemade', though. If I were to make a lasagna, for example, and made the sauce with fresh tomatoes and canned tomato sauce, added the seasonings, browned the beef, shredded the cheese, layered everything together with store bought lasagna noodles, I would call it homemade.

If I were to call it 'from scratch', to me it would mean making my own fresh lasagna noodles, putting together a sauce from home grown tomatoes, etc....

When I make blueberry muffins or banana bread, I don't use a mix, but I don't mill my own flour or churn my own butter either so I don't feel like I could call them made from scratch.

Good topic, Kay....it's likely to get a good conversation going!
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakechef View Post
For me it means not using shortcuts like mixes and such. If I make soup with boxed broth, I'd call it homemade, if I made my own stock and soup, it would be from scratch.

Despite what my signature says, bakechef's statement is a good way to describe my feelings.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:43 PM   #6
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Just sayin' Andy. Your signature is my favorite of all time... That is truly "food for thought".
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:44 PM   #7
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Cooking from scratch...means I make the stock, tomato paste, pesto, using the ingredients required but not using any pre-packaged mixes. Because we have a HUGE garden, both work from home, have a full pantry, etc., it is easier to make everything here. And, because I have so many sensitivities to chemicals and other additives, it just makes more sense. It does take more time, but that's the way we rock and roll. And, it lets us use more expensive ingredients than if we bought pre-packaged or prepared foods or if we went out to eat or got take out.
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:52 AM   #8
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I think its stupid to lump everything into one pot. No pun intended.
I take what help the store provides within reason.
Who in the world (see above) makes their own tomato paste? I would never attempt it as the can tomato's are excellent and very easy to work with.

I use common sense and do what i can with what I have on hand. A well stocked pantry and some ingenuity can turn out some excellent table fare.
I will make what i can from scratch, but when its already prepared for you and its quality, appearance and taste are as good or better than can be achieved in the home kitchen, I can see no logical reason to not use the products.

I just had some chicken tenders for lunch. To me it would be silly to make from scratch chicken tenders, when the ones I just had are as good as the restaurant.
They only took 3 minutes in the deep fryer.
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
I think its stupid to lump everything into one pot. No pun intended.
I take what help the store provides within reason.
Who in the world (see above) makes their own tomato paste? I would never attempt it as the can tomato's are excellent and very easy to work with.

I use common sense and do what i can with what I have on hand. A well stocked pantry and some ingenuity can turn out some excellent table fare.
I will make what i can from scratch, but when its already prepared for you and its quality, appearance and taste are as good or better than can be achieved in the home kitchen, I can see no logical reason to not use the products.

I just had some chicken tenders for lunch. To me it would be silly to make from scratch chicken tenders, when the ones I just had are as good as the restaurant.
They only took 3 minutes in the deep fryer.
When you have over 300 tomato plants in the garden, you make tomato paste, and sundried tomatoes, and ... Some people prefer to use what they can grow in a garden and go from there. The logical reason not to use prepared products depends on a person's sensitivities to preservatives and chemicals or a person's financial situation. Not everyone can afford the luxury of buying prepared products. I can't tolerate a lot of prepared products because of the additives. Hence, I find a way to re-create the same at home from ingredients I trust with no additives.
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
When you have over 300 tomato plants in the garden, you make tomato paste, and sundried tomatoes, and ... Some people prefer to use what they can grow in a garden and go from there. The logical reason not to use prepared products depends on a person's sensitivities to preservatives and chemicals or a person's financial situation. Not everyone can afford the luxury of buying prepared products. I can't tolerate a lot of prepared products because of the additives. Hence, I find a way to re-create the same at home from ingredients I trust with no additives.
Lucky for you that you can have and tend a garden big enough to cultivate over 300 tomato plants among other things. For the rest of us, that's not a possibility. It's not a luxury to buy prepared products. It's a necessity.
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