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Old 07-27-2007, 02:50 PM   #11
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I'm somewhere about 65%. I don't grow all my own produce and I don't get the opportunity to fish.......

But I don't like to use anything that is from a box. I'm not opposed to canned beans and tomato products. When it comes to tomatoes, unless I pick them myself, canned is much better than the supermarket carries.

I also shop for only what I can cook that week. Nothing goes in the freezer except vodka and ice.

All baking is done from scratch, with the exception of bread . And even that I prefer to do, as long as it's not summer. Soups and sauces 99% of the time from scratch.

How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:05 PM   #12
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So far, this is how it looks:

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Old 07-27-2007, 03:14 PM   #13
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Concilating Culinist (didn't know there was such a thing) / credible creator - a combination sounds like me. I'm not above using a mix in a pinch, but especially my meals are made without mixes. The mixes I use are mainly cake mixes to make other than layer cakes. I use those as a base for whatever dessert I'm making. No mac n cheese, no hamburger helper for me. I can make a better version in as little time as they take - with lots less sodium and preservatives. My veggies are either fresh or frozen. I do use prepared dressings, both to dress a salad sometimes, or as a marinade for meats.
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:16 PM   #14
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You have waayyy too much time on your hands.

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Old 07-27-2007, 03:40 PM   #15
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I would say that I occasionally dabble in "from scratch". I do use packaged item regularly - Near East Rice Pilaf, Mac & Cheese, canned soups and vegetables, frozen foods, etc. My teens seem to love having foods like that they can prepare themselves at weird hours. But I do appreciate the difference between convenience and "from scratch" foods and am trying to learn more. I do use my microwave a lot because I'm still having trouble timing all the elements of a meal to get done at the same time. I make bread sticks 4 or 5 times a week using breadmakers to mix the dough but I bake them in my range. I don't use packaged mixes for that anymore but then again, I only make the breadsticks. Loaves of bread seem to be beyond my capabilities - not sure why.

I'm glad you brought up the issue of canned soups, hamburger helper and the like. Speaking strictly as a complete novice in the kitchen, I have relied heavily on such items. I often opted for them over "from scratch" foods because I could count on them to be edible (if just barely) and my attempts at really cooking seemed to be a crap-shoot at best. If my attempt turned out to be dreadful, I would end up having to throw together something else anyway. This isn't an excuse, and it's the reason I have joined this forum. I want to be able to feed myself and my family yummy food that's good for us and I've come here to learn.

've noticed that a number of people new to DC have posted recipes that listed sort of "low end" ingredients and it seemed to provoke a big response from many of the excellent cooks here. I'm not in any way criticizing anyone, I just thought perhaps ya'll don't know there are lots of people like me who really don't know any better (but want to improve).

I have learned soooo much this last month from so many of you who have been kind enough to walk me through the simplest of things. And you've been really kind and tactful about it. I especially appreciate that because I am already embarassed about my poor cooking. I've been the recipient of lots of "gentle guidence" which has opened up a whole new world for me. So when someone posts something that includes a whole jar of mayonaise, remember that even though it sounds disgusting and outrageous to a really good cook, it may be the tastiest thing that has come out of their kitchen so far!

Of course, on the other hand, I adore the posts by some of you (like Iron Chef) who absolutely know your stuff and see perfection as not only attainable, but the standard by which you cook. You're fantastic and have me running to the dictionary regularly. I love that and I love having access to someone who knows all this stuff! But I'd be terrified for you to look in my pantry or, heaven forbid, come to dinner at my house!

All that said, please forgive me if I've offended anyone and please keep helping me. My painfully thin son has already put on 5 pounds and he looks wonderful and I have all of you to thank for it!

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Old 07-27-2007, 03:41 PM   #16
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Ahh, if this was an ideal, problem free world, life would be so much easier. I love being in the kitchen or working in my garden and would spen every moment I could doing it. But, I raised 4 kids and now am after retiring and caring for my mother in law and then both my parents, and now 3 of my grand kids I don't have time to do all I'd like.I do bake bread, but will also visit nearby wonderful bakery for artisnial breads, I grow many things veggies, fruits,my oldest son has angus, grass fed beef which he butchers and kindly offers, I pass, I just cannot eat old jake or ben, so beef comes from the butcher Much I buy is from the grocery store, lots from nearby fruit and veggie stand..Right now I'm off to get corn as I didn't plant any this year.I seldom if ever use boxed anything and I have a hard time with breads in the grocery as the smell of the preservatives makes me gag..Not being snooty here I'm a person who gags easy
I'm not a food snob and feel that how you cook and why is your business not mine..I do not like it when people look down their noses at you for using canned or boxed anything..They need to have some compassion for physical disabilities that limit what we do in the kitchen as well as the children you are raising and need to watch, if you work outside the home..Lately I've had a problem with my hands and it now takes me longer to do those little taskes that require that you take for granted, say peeling fruit, lots of slicing of meat,but I get it done..I just wish others would realize that their actions and words sometimes hurt and a lot.
The fact that you cook and clean and do it everyday tells me you love and care, so do it the way that is best for you. Then sit and have a meal with those you love.
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jeekinz

You have waayyy too much time on your hands.

LOL! Yep, and I’m a geek at heart!
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:59 PM   #18
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Wow, very well said Fisher’s Mom and Kadesma. You guys are awesome!

I may be just a Daring Dabbler now......but I got my sights set on that 40% bracket!

To be honest, I like the convenience of canned and boxed stuff, but of late, I’ve been getting bored with it and want to explore the new things such as growing my own herbs, veggies, and spices.

I can make (and have made) most things from scratch, even things like Pasta Alfredo and Beef Stroganoff......just got to stay focused and motivated to do it more often! Heck, I’d probably get more from scratch cooking done if I didn’t use my grills so much!
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:14 PM   #19
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During my many years of being a parent, I've raised 8 children and have always prepared just about everything from scratch. I used to take a Saturday afternoon and make 40 or 50 waffles or pancakes to put in the freezer, so the children could have a good breakfast during the week. We used to buy eggs in 15 dozen lots for the same reason.

I've never been one to use boxed or prepared foods, but that's mainly because they weren't around when I was growing up and, as a result, never got in the habit of having them in my pantry. I stay away from them now because they are sodium-filled, which is not a plus health-wise.

I make all the bread products we eat even though it can get dicey temperature-wise during the summer months. Our house isn't air-conditioned, so heating the oven to 400 degrees to bake bread is a real treat.

I love making pasta and am planning to retrofit my manual pasta machine with a motor to make the job easier on my hands. Love homemade spinach pasta.

I, too, buy meat and poultry in large/whole pieces and cut to my preference. I also can and freeze fruits and veggies when they are in season.

Now that it's only the two of us, I can really excel in "scratching" my cooking itch. (Sorry, had to say that. Well, the original question was about "scratch.") Buck is a willing guinea pig and we regularly probably have some of the most unusual and best food on our table of anyone in our little county.

I love to cook and only wish there was enough money and time for me to do it more than I do.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:24 PM   #20
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Wow!What a hard question.I do alot from scratch but I also keep stuff handy like mac&cheese,canned soups,beans,pickles,instant potatoes,canned tomatoes all the herbs but I do grow basil,thyme,rosemary,chives,parsley and I grow alot of tomatoes.What I dont do is the whole meal in a box thing.I cook beans but canned can be handy for certain things.I can make bread but Im not that ambitious.But I know how to do it all.After all thats what I have been doing for a living for years.I make my own coctail sauce,tartar sauce just because it tastes bettter to me.
I guess I could say is I keep all the basics on hand but sometimes you get a mac&cheese attack so its out of the box unless it a special occasion.

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