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Old 07-27-2007, 05:28 PM   #21
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I'm 60%. Like others, I use canned tomato products, condiments etc.
I use dry pasta but never anything that 'makes it own sauce'. I grow my own herbs and if I had room I'd do veggies too.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
I make my own coctail sauce,tartar sauce just because it tastes bettter to me.
I LOVE good Tartar Sauce. Puh-lease share your recipe!!
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:31 PM   #23
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I guess according to this scale I'm 60%. I'm not very good at growing things, but we have great local farms that grow everything from fresh herbs to fresh greens, and from fresh tomatoes to fresh sweet corn to fresh mushrooms. Most of these farms also participate in the local famer's markets so it's a good place to get their stuff too. I only cook at home maybe once or twice a week so I only buy enough produce for a couple of days at a time anyway. I'll be the first person to admit that I'm a food (and wine) snob. Much of that comes from working with such great products. When you taste the difference in the finished dish, it's hard to go backwards. But there are some pre-fab stuff that I do use at home regularly:

Tomatoes (for pomodoro) - Canned San Marzanos. To me, nothing makes a better pomodoro sauce than these.

Broths - I buy this brand of pre-made organic broths: Pacific Natural Foods | Broths. It's a nice product.

Any type of noodle - For Asian style noodles, we have a bunch of noodle factories that turn out any type of fresh noodle you like, from ramen to chow mein. For pasta, I prefer the texture of dried pasta anyway. I do make my own gnocci though.

Breads/Desserts - I can't bake. Well I actually can, but I don't like to. I can make a foccacia, flat breads, and a couple of tortes off the top of my head but I'm not really a big dessert or bread person. I'll eat it when it's served at restaurants, but that's about it.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:34 PM   #24
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I always considered myself making most everything from scratch (compared to my friends) but after reading in here I am guess I am also about 60 % Although I seldom bake (not enough freedom IMO) I buy desserts when one is needed.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:52 PM   #25
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Hmmmm. At least 75%. I don't make my own bread cuz I'm not much of a baker. But I buy good bread from the bakery. Canned products = tomatoes, beans (although I do used dried more), and tuna mainly. I use alot of dried herbs in the winter and all fresh herbs in the summer. No convenience food like cream of whatever, rice mixes, etc. Don't even like bags of salad mix. It tastes like preservatives to me.

I'm a self taught cook that began my cooking adventures with Hamburger Helper in one hand, Soup Starter in the other. It wasn't long b4 I yearned to broaden my adventures in the kitchen. That was 25 years ago and my adventure continues today.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:08 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom
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!
I would love to go to someone else's house and cook for them a meal, especially using stuff that they had on hand (there was a show on FN like that...I forget the name of it). As much as I love to learn and broaden my own culinary horizons, I also love to help others do the same. For me, cooking is more than just something I like to do, or something that's fun and enjoyable, it's a passion. And it's not just because I do it professionally. People would be surprised how many professional cooks there are, even those that work at upscale restaurants, who don't have a passion for it. They do it because they can; it's just a job that they are good at and that they know how to do. I know some great line cooks, guys that are better line cooks than myself, who have no creativity whatsoever. On a busy Saturday night, there's no one else that you'd want working their station but they have an extremely hard time putting out new specials because they don't have that passion about food.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:18 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
I would love to go to someone else's house and cook for them a meal, especially using stuff that they had on hand (there was a show on FN like that...I forget the name of it). As much as I love to learn and broaden my own culinary horizons, I also love to help others do the same. For me, cooking is more than just something I like to do, or something that's fun and enjoyable, it's a passion. And it's not just because I do it professionally. People would be surprised how many professional cooks there are, even those that work at upscale restaurants, who don't have a passion for it. They do it because they can; it's just a job that they are good at and that they know how to do. I know some great line cooks, guys that are better line cooks than myself, who have no creativity whatsoever. On a busy Saturday night, there's no one else that you'd want working their station but they have an extremely hard time putting out new specials because they don't have that passion about food.
Oh, Iron Chef, I'm swooning with anticipation!!! Me first, me first! I will begin saving immediately for your first class ticket and cleaning out my pantry! lol Actually, it does show in all of your posts that you are truly passionate about your craft. What a pleasure that must be for you.
Terry
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:24 PM   #28
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I guess that I'm a juk food junkie... that is if I'm cooking for myself. Fortunately, I have a wonderful wife who's thoughtful enough to ALWAYS cook from scratch. She has a valid argument for cooking from scratch - you control what goes in the food and you can choose to cook healthier. The ingredients are fresh and not frozen or filled with chemical presarvatives.

I on the other hand don't know how to cook. Plus I hardly have any free time. If I have to cook for myself I usually microwave something such as frozen Burritos / Tacos or make a warm cup of Campbell's soup.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by keltin
The condiments many people don’t think about, but many people, even the purists, use them. However, it is possible to make your own vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup. But.....it’s easier to buy it!

What about dried herbs (commercially prepared), do you have any of those in the pantry that you use? Sage, thyme, garlic powder, etc? Salt? Pepper?
Excellent point. I don't make any of those things myself, either (although I do grow some herbs in the back yard). I certainly don't mill my own flour, or grind corn and make my own tortillas, just to add a couple of others to the list.
What I DO do is used fresh ingredients whenever I can, prep the ingredients and cook them myself. For some people I guess that = "from scratch" but I can't really lay claim to that.
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Old 07-27-2007, 08:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodstorm
Excellent point. I don't make any of those things myself, either (although I do grow some herbs in the back yard). I certainly don't mill my own flour, or grind corn and make my own tortillas, just to add a couple of others to the list.
What I DO do is used fresh ingredients whenever I can, prep the ingredients and cook them myself. For some people I guess that = "from scratch" but I can't really lay claim to that.
You picked up on my subtle point. Excellent!

That’s why this scale tops 100% “from scratch” with the Amish. So many people can get caught up in the purist frame of mind and don't even realize they too are guilty of using commercially made items. Kraft Mayo, Heinz Ketchup, McCormick spices, China Doll rice, dried beans, flour, corn meal, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, pasta, puff pastry, butter, vegetable oil, salad dressing, beer, wine, etc, etc, etc. Unless you’re Amish, you’re not 100% “from scratch” (and are they truly 100%???)….but you could be! It IS possible!

Why aren’t more people doing it the way the Amish do it? Why don’t people make everything possible from scratch? Because it is far easier and more convenient to use some prefab stuff! Some use more than others, but most of us use prefab stuff on a daily basis.
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