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Old 01-03-2005, 12:25 AM   #21
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In defense for the "non from scratch" products... they have certain properties and attributes that have great importance. For example pilsbury pie crusts arent the same as a freshly made pie crust, but in some examples (such as meat pies) the buttery, flaky browning that you archive thanks to the thousands of dollars pilsbury has pumped into research payes off, especially if you slightly salt the crust to give it that perfect flavor.

Likewise some products such as ketchup show up in high class or ethnic cuisine because of the precise balance of gels, sugar, vinegar and so on... for example you would be surprised how much it is used in chinese cuisine.

Many pantry staples are used in high end restaurants and like I said, it's not to save time, it's because these products do things that you cant from scratch. These products are the result of hours of work in test kitchens and if you can find the EXACT use of it, it becomes indespensible.

Really it is the food network that helped me get over my bias regarding canned and packaged goods... there's nothing like watching a "behind the scenes" in a restaurant and hear people talk about how they cant live without X product or Y gadget. Also watching people pull out stuff like heinz tomato paste or french's mustard on iron chef really humbles me. I mean take french's mustard... it's a "genre" of mustard in its own and really hard to reproduce through "fancier" means. For some sauces, you cant help using it.
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Old 01-03-2005, 02:42 AM   #22
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We have found that some things aren't as good from scratch. My mom tried making this Lemon Jello Cake that we both made (I still do) from scratch, and it ended up with a big oily spot in the middle. That particular cake turns out better with a mix. We always preferred most cakes from scratch, as we always liked the heavier texture (more body) to the fluffy box cakes, but not that one.

:) Barbara
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Old 01-03-2005, 02:51 AM   #23
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bummer... :?
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:31 AM   #24
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Interesting question. Last week I made soup that called for 8 fresh tomatoes. considering what tomatoes are like here at this time of the year I substituted canned. I think it turned out nicer than it would have if I'd used the cardboard fresh ones.

I also regularly use dried pasta and canned stock.

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Old 01-03-2005, 09:26 AM   #25
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I like the term "half scratch" as I cooked that way quite a bit. I do bake from scratch, but much of my cooking is "half scratch."
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Old 01-03-2005, 09:40 AM   #26
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From scratch is a very interesting topic and as we all see can be interpreted many ways.
I think w/baking its a bit more clear cut as if you dont use a cake mix or premade puddings, frostings, or crusts..its made from scratch or maybe an even better term "Homemade".

With cooking it may be a bit more tricky because common sence would tell you to use canned tomatoes not fresh if they are out of season..I am hooked on San Marzano. To me the sauce is still from scratch as I didn't serve a premade sauce!
But when fresh ingredients can be used..then they should be.... if you want to call your dish from scratch.....all cooks both home and professional use shortcuts..but I think there is a difference in the quality of the shortcuts that you choose to use. .
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Old 01-03-2005, 09:45 AM   #27
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I like the term 'half scratch' but my friends and co-workers call everything I do 'half a**' so I guess I could interchange those terms as needed!
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:13 AM   #28
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Cooking from Scratch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara L
I agree with Alix's definition also. 8) I also sometimes cook from what I call "half scratch." Let me explain. If I were to dump a jar of spaghetti sauce over cooked spaghetti noodles, that would definitely not be from scratch. But if I make it with ground beef, onions, mushrooms, canned tomatoes, and a package of spaghetti mix (like Schillings), I call that half scratch. Silly, I know!

:) Barbara
I do what I call, "shortcut cooking", this is where I take a "scratch" concept and help it along. I do the same thing with the spaghetti sauce also, but start with tomato sauce and add my own meat, spices, chopped onions and soup broth and make it into a meaty spaghetti sauce. Usually we will have the fresh pasta as opposed to dry.
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:29 AM   #29
 
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Ok......

Is it scratch if you use your own canned vegetables, or frozen vegetables?

Is it scratch if you use pre mixed commercial baking powder, rather than making your own from cream of tartar and baking soda? You didn't make the cream of tartar or the baking soda!

I think sometimes we get a little carried away with determining what is scratch and what is not. JMHO
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara L
We have found that some things aren't as good from scratch. My mom tried making this Lemon Jello Cake that we both made (I still do) from scratch, and it ended up with a big oily spot in the middle. That particular cake turns out better with a mix. We always preferred most cakes from scratch, as we always liked the heavier texture (more body) to the fluffy box cakes, but not that one.

:) Barbara

Reminded me of my ex when he came home one day found cake mix box in the trash and told me I must have had an easy day. I won't forget that one. Never wanted anything without starting from the beginning. Would have wanted me to start with planting seeds and trees if we had the room in the yard for it. Like buying me the sewing machine, I knew where that was going. One of a kind and I had him. I often wonder if he still eats from scratch? Lot of memories that I can't forget.
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:41 PM   #31
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Barbara, did you post the Lemon Cake Recipe on here someplace? Sounds good. I can fix it now. No one checks the trash unless too full.
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:02 PM   #32
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All I can say is that I totally understand why he is your ex-husband!
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:06 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by In the Kitchen
Barbara, did you post the Lemon Cake Recipe on here someplace? Sounds good. I can fix it now. No one checks the trash unless too full.
That's a great outlook, ITK! Make that cake and ENJOY it! As Irish said, you're better off now!
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Old 01-03-2005, 02:34 PM   #34
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Using fresh ingredients and spices with no previously prepared mixes or foods to make a recipe.
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:30 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In the Kitchen
Barbara, did you post the Lemon Cake Recipe on here someplace? Sounds good. I can fix it now. No one checks the trash unless too full.
That's a great outlook, ITK! Make that cake and ENJOY it! As Irish said, you're better off now!
This is truly a blessing to have someone see things my way. For so long I felt I just had to accept his thinking. That is what I was taught to obey first my father than my exhusband. I was controlled my whole life and finally the doctor said it just took hold of me. I just never thought it was really bothering me physically but mentally it was building up. The truth hurts to even tell anyone some of the things he did. I often thought I deserved the abuse he did. Strange how they say small children feel divorce is their fault. I felt the same way. Hard to change when you have had this all your life. He didn't do any things physically until later in the marriage. I am so very thankful that through prayer and friends support I had to give up. Even my sister, who doesn't speak to me, thinks he was okay. She was the one who introduced me to him. Said she never saw anything wrong with him. Sounds strange doesn't it?
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:53 PM   #36
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You had a tough time. Are things much better now?
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:01 PM   #37
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irishtravel1, thank you for concern. I wake up now knowing that I won't be getting yelled at for something. Always a fear about him getting upset about one thing or another. No one seems to worry about me making a cake from a box anymore. I don't get feeling that I can't do anything right. Hope you have better life. No one deserves to be afraid to live. All my friends tell me I have to try to learn to think for myself. Not always be afraid someone is going to criticize me for what I think. When they have someone on tv who has been abused and the act it brings them to to end it is something I can relate to. I wind up crying that the person had to kill someone in order to find peace. We all deserve some kind of understanding, even if we don't see life the same way. Thanks for asking.
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:03 PM   #38
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In the Kitchen...I applaud your strength..its amazing how being brought up a certain way can set an unhealthy route for our futures..you were oviously in a tuff situation and it took a lot of your own inner strength to get out. Remember to give yourself a lot of credit for doing so.

As far as cooking from scratch goes..Chocolate Chef said it well...we can get a bit carried away...do we make our own baking powder, flour...and the list goes on..by the way to those who said half scratched..thats clever!
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:22 PM   #39
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I must be blue or something today for revealing so much of my personal life here. I apologize but the beginning of the year always brings memories of times gone by. I thank you for sharing your shoulder with me. I feel better just having someone comment and let me know that they understand. They say having good relationship always takes two so why couldn't it have been like that? He always said I was the one unhappy he was okay. May your new year bring you only happiness and good health May the dark clouds be few. Have to remember to be positive. One thing I know no one can control your thoughts. If you feel you are right and not offending anyone you will be able to rise above the circumstance. We have to keep on keepin' on. Thank you for your support. Means so much.
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:25 PM   #40
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To In the Kitchen...hang in there friend. Hopefully as time goes by, you will gain the confidence to realize that you are a special person who has a great deal to offer. Also as time goes by and you realize that you make good decisions on your own, you will not feel like someone is waiting to criticize you.
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