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Old 07-30-2007, 11:37 AM   #41
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Even though I work in the industry, I'm sorry to say I'm only about a 45% or so. I do make my own stocks, chicken, beef, and seafood. I make soups from scratch, but use canned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, paste, etc. I do keep a couple canned veggies in my pantry, hominy and green beans. All other veggies are fresh or frozen. I buy pasta, ramen noodles, and mac-n-cheese (for the kids). Condiments, sour cream, etc., are store-bought. My herbs and spices are purchased, with the exception of the 6 oz or so of dried sage that I grew, harvested, and dried over a year ago. We keep a couple different "instant" rice mixes on hand, although I prefer to make pilaf from scratch. We keep canned tuna in the pantry. PeppA, my other half, also likes potted meat, and I usually stay away from the stuff. I keep some Cream of Mushroom soup, and a few cans of chicken-noodle, for when I'm sick and don't want to really spend a lot of time cooking. I might just make a batch of chicken soup, freeze it, and cook the noodles when I go to thaw/reheat the frozen soup.

I buy chicken leg-and-thigh quarters in a 10 lb bag for $3.90 + tax. 39 cents / lb for chicken is pretty good in my book. Of course, getting PeppA to use it is another thing. She doesn't like to use it, and prefers breasts and chicken tenders, which I complain about each and every time she buys it. Of course, when I cook chicken dark meat, she eats it like there's no tomorrow, go figure.

PeppA buys a lot of packaged products. This is how she was brought up. Her grand-parents have a lot of ties to the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish community, but, her mother just doesn't cook much from scratch. PeppA learned to cook from her mother, so there's all the packaged stuff.

I try to cook the majority of my foods from scratch, but since there's 5 kids here, and money's tight, some corners have to be cut.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:54 AM   #42
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Essiebunny, I do not make all my own pasta. I use dried pasta for most things.

I do it for special occasions, or when I have a lot of time and a lot of eggs to get rid of.

I do make my own noodles for chicken soup--much better than storebought.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:00 PM   #43
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all of them to be honest, I have 500sqr metres of land and grown my own veg and herbs, and often trade these for things I don`t grow or rear, I`ll kill an animal and prepare it for eating without a problem too.
I`ll cook indoors or out, and preserve foods that will be out of season soon.

I`ll also open a can of baked beans and microwave it too if I feel like it or open a pack of instant Mash :)

although I grow and dry my own beans and cook them in my own tomato sauce as well as make my own bread from homegrown Wheat!
I could take you for a walk down most anyone of our local cannal ways and come back with bags full of food that people don`t even know you can eat!

I do what ever I feel like doing at the time really.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:19 PM   #44
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getting to the Amish, and I know a lot of old school house Amish in my area and buy much from them. They do purchase flour sugar tea and coffee, molasses, and many such "pantry staples" from outside their own communities, and often from the "world at large".

There is a difference between making from scratch and growing producing everything yourselves.

Obviously most of us have a few prepared sauces (Ketchup, worcestershire, soy, etc) in our pantries, as does every professional kitchen in the country. Few of us have the capacity to grow and mill our own grains and flours, or produce our own dried staples.

Can I bake my own bread? yes. Do I, no. bUt when I don't, I buy from an artisinal baker. Do I butcher my own cows and hang sides of beef? Nope, but I do buy large cuts from a real butcher and portion them at home myself, unless doing so requires a band saw. (I'm good with a cleaver!)

But unless you are living on a farm with many family members, many of these tasks are not possible.

Your question is great beacuse it certainly gets us to think through the process, and evaluate what our connection to our food is.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:34 PM   #45
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good point Robo!

if we WERE to perform all these tasks, it would be a days work to prepare a single meal, and although I don`t mind doing that on occasion, catch the rabbit, skin the rabbit etc... and then get all the veg, and grind the wheat (I use a coffee grinder naughty me), and bake the bread, I recon you`de not only get Nothing else done that day, but probably have burned off more calories than the meal itself provided :)
it IS fun to do every now and then, and if there`s a Few of you it`s easier and even more fun, but for a family of 3, naah !
not Everday anyway.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:40 PM   #46
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I am very similar to Sparrowgrass.

Also wanted to comment on "Amish". I have been in their shops, frequented their auctions and their restaurants. They are heavy users of white flour, white sugar and fats. IMO, they are not particulary into healthy eating. I just googled recipes for cabbage. Found an Amish cabbage recipe, first two ingredients were; cabbage, and cream of mushroom soup.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:46 PM   #47
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I'd say I'm in the neighborhood of 55% -60%. I butcher my own meat and fish, make my own stocks and sauces from scratch, with the exception of tomato sauces, which I'll usually start from canned crushed tomatos. I normally use dried herbs because it's impractical for me to keep my own herb garden (though I tried very very hard to make it work). The only things I buy pre-fab are pastas (which I'm starting to get away from), cheese, breads, sun-dried tomatos (again, impractical for me to make my own) and I think thats it. I try to go for fresh-baked breads when I can, but g/f likes to have her loaf of pre-sliced around so she can make toast for breakfast. I will use pre-fab items if I've just gotten killed at work one night, but I'd say I cook about 90% of the time. I try to keep dinners simple and flavors clean.
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:16 PM   #48
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I'd guess I am about 60%. I do use canned peas, and crushed tomatoes. Thoies I do grow my own tomatoes and cucumbers, rasbery and curants. And all of the above end up being canned for the winter. I do not fish, but love fresh fish from asian store. I do not make mac and cheese from the box, but do make cheese noodles. On ocasion I make my own pasta. But only for chicken soup. Once in a while I go to meat packing plant and get gresh half a cow. Once a year or so, my friend comes over and kilss few chickens for me. We have been talking about getting a sheep for a slaughter, but haven't gotten to do it yet. I use frozen dough to make my own pizza, but am too lazy to use bread machine. We eat out maybe 4-6 times a year. Rest of the time I cook.

Actually I'm not alltogether sure whch category I really fit. The answers given were kind of hard to fit in.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:07 AM   #49
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My husband and I enjoy cooking "from scratch" when it is an enjoyable experience. When we do it, it is because we have time and are doing it for fun. Now he's diabetic, and some of the stuff we did for fun is no longer practical (i.e., home made bread, pizza, etc .... if he can only have one slice, I only want one or two, then we have lots of stuff to throw away). There are times that the convenience foods are much more practical and affordable. I do grow herbs and veggies, but after a year of arthritis and one of gout (his, all under control now), we have come to know that our next home will be an apartment with maybe a deck, balcony, and window boxes. So we figure we have a few good years of enjoying our garden.

Some of my friends think I do it all from scratch. I tell them no way in aitch ee double hockey sticks.

Certain things I keep on hand to help me out. Wondra flour. I only use it a couple of times a year, but it sure makes gravies and other sauces easier to thicken at the last minute when all else fails.

I keep some kind of beef flavored gravy or sauce or demi-glace on hand. I really dislike canned beef broth, and it is quite expensive to make a good one.

I do make my own chicken/poultry stock most of the time (like others have mentioned, I can buy leg portions VERY inexpensively, plus I bag and freeze the bones after we eat poultry). But I still keep a powder or paste base on hand. When using them, I do not salt, and it comes out quite fine.

Canned tomatoes. If it wasn't for canned tomaotes, we'd all die of scurvey some day. They are wonderful.

People who say you have to eat only fresh, only in season, obviously live on some other planet than the one I live on. You know, the planet where fruit and vegetables do not grow in the snow. I guess we could all live in countries where they are all trying to get to live here. No, there is no way we can all eat from "scratch" and still get all the nutrients we know we need for a healthy life. People forget, or are too young to remember, the diseases that came in the era when we ate from scratch. I started buying Kosher salt, and my husband started worrying about goiter. Now I don't even remember this. BUt Iodized salt almost did away with it within my life time. Scurvey. Living from scratch ... well, needless to say, a lot of people did without the citrus that did away with that.

So we all need to sit down and think, and take the time to figure out what we are doing.

Take the best of all worlds. Take the best of processed foods, take the best of your garden. What is most important is to make sure you have family and friends around your table at least a few times a year, and enjoy them.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:47 AM   #50
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Can I be a 55%?I don't know our butcher's name!!!!!! I would grow a lot if my DH didn't love the grass so much. Half of it would probably be covered in herbs and veggies, but my kids love sports at well so we have to have all sorts of goals, and the herbs and veggies wouldn't survive. We have a veggie patch, but the football, basketball or whatever sports equipments still gets to it. I however peel all my fruits and veggies from the market, and only use Microwave for warming food. I saw the recipes that came with our microwave and I thought, Why oh why would I want to do that. Ok I have never prepared pasta from scratch, or baked bread, but find it hard to buy cooked food in the supermarket and microwave it. I do buy Thai food from a friend though from time to time but having heated the spring rolls in the oven and they turned out wet, I put everything in the oven.
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