Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's Peanut-Butter Bragging Time! Or, 13 Things You Can Make From Scratch if you Have Time and Inclination

Nothing for 42 days then 2 after 2 days, eh? Bet you weren't expecting that, eh? I guess my old friend Calliope (or would it be Thalia? Oddly enough the Greeks didn't have a specific Muse for food blogs) has come to visit again.

Today is going to be a short one, because, ironically, I actually have some cooking to do instead of just blogging about it. For today's list I present to you, "Things You Can, Actually Cook at Home and Don't Have to Buy in the Supermarket With Lots of Preservatives Like E-212 and E-221 Which are Probably Going to Kill You and Murder Your Loved Ones in their Sleep."

Or, in a less stylized, more click-baiting way of putting it, "10 Things that You Should be Making From Scratch!" Ack. Ugh. Gross click-baiting.

The thing about 'should be making yourself from scratch'ing - and this is a huuuuuuge caveat - it costs you time. I'm not going to lie to you - it does. Any of those dumb websites who are all like, 'Oh, You Can Make Your Own Pizza in Five Minutes or Less, Click Here on our Ads to Find Out How and Also to Lose Tummy Fat' are full of bullshit. Seriously. There's this weird triangle that not enough food blogs pay attention to, and it goes something like this:
You'd think with a degree in graphic design it would have taken less than 1/2 an hour to create this stupid triangle...
This is one of those triangles where you get to choose 2 out of 3 of the prongs, yet not all three. So, for example, I tend to make healthy food that is inexpensive, at the cost of my time. So my chart looks like this:

Get it? Others get healthy food that doesn't take them long to make, but costs a lot. Or (probably not the readers of this blog) buy cheap food that is quick, and crappy for you. I think you all get my point.

Now that we've established that, yes, making cheese and jam and stuff from scratch isn't going to happen in 5 seconds a day, and that if you have 11 kids and a full-time job, you probably have other things to do with you time, let's get to the bragging part of the blog.

Things I always make from scratch because it's worth the time
  • Tomato sauce - so easy. Just chuck tomatoes and an onion in a pot and let them cook to death.
  • Bread - cheaper to make than to buy. Plus I have a recipe that requires no kneading. 
  • Soup broth - really what's the point of buying. Just chuck bits and bobs of veggies into a pot and boil while you are cooking soup. No big whoop. 
  • Pizza - see "tomato sauce" and "bread."
  • Granola - take rolled oats. Mix with nuts and sweet stuff. Bake. Congrats, you've made granola. Why would you spend 20-30 nis on that?
  • Hummus and Tehinni - buy raw ingredients. Stick in food processor. Done.
  • Orange Marmalade and candied orange peels.

Things that can be made from scratch, but aren't always worth the time:
  • Mayonnaise - very cheap and good to make, but when you only want a tsp every week, the homemade stuff goes bad.
  • Pickles - easy to make, but sometimes I don't think about wanting a pickle 3 days in advance.
  • Jam - yes, I make homemade jam, yes, it's easy, and yes, I do it often. But sometimes, just sometimes, you just want blueberry jam.
  • Cheese - when I remember, I make ricotta and labneh from scratch. Otherwise, expensive cheese-shop it is.
  • Yogurt - ack! I admit it! Sometimes I buy it. I am so ashamed. 
  • Croissants - Sometimes I can't wait three days for buttery goodness. (Goes well with homemade orange marmalade.) 

Things I recently learned you can make from scratch: 
  • Apple cider vinegar - is basically fermented apple cores. How cool is that?
  • Ketchup - Turns out it's easy to make! And no icky E-102 etc. (see, Murdering Your Family in Their Sleep, above.)

Things I would love to make from scratch one day, but haven't yet dared: 
  • Tofu
  • Pickled lemons
  • Olives 
  • Hard cheeses (shout-out to Annanas)
Others? Questions, comments, complaints? Ideas for things I should be making and aren't? Complimentary cheese plate? You know how to find me.

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