Monday, July 14, 2014

Could you perpetually cook from scratch?

Last month's issue of Ladies Home Journal featured an article about a woman who decided to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks from scratch for a week as an experiment. For example, she made pasta, bread, and sauce by hand for spaghetti night. There were some days she spent 5-6 hours in the kitchen! By the end of the week, she noted that she had enjoyed the experience for the most part (especially since she shared some great moments with her kids in the kitchen) but it wasn't sustainable forever. 

It got me thinking about how much processed or pre-made food I normally eat. Unless I was forced to, I doubt I could cook homemade 100% of the time. It's not that I seek out Froot Loops and frozen dinners for every meal, but I get busy and have cravings just like everyone else. 

So here's my processed/pre-made food tally for Friday:

Breakfast: milk and cereal
DSC_0446 DSC_0449
Same old, same old. I eat this for breakfast every day. On extra hungry days, I'll add a banana.

Morning snack: KIND bar and strawberries
I love these nut-based bars. Very filling and lots of different flavors!

Lunch: vegetable soup (that I made at home, but I'll count the butter as pre-made)
Making this was my first time ever cooking with radishes. They're good in soup! We usually eat them raw in salads or as an appetizer with other raw veggies so it's nice to have another option. 

Dinner: salad greens with grilling cheese, almonds, and tortilla strips
I had to have two bowls of this. Yum!

Dessert: ice cream!
One of my favorites. Chocolate and peanut butter is a perfect combination in my mind.

Pre-made foods tally: 6 (cereal, KIND bar, butter, cheese, tortilla strips, ice cream)

Seems about right. Apart from a very simple meal like scrambled eggs with fruit, I don't think there are any dishes that I could consider 100% homemade because I rely on someone else to make part of it - the syrup, pasta, ketchup, chocolate chips, etc. And I like a shortcut now and then, so I buy frozen corn to avoid shucking it and jarred tomato sauce to save time. But I'm okay with that. I enjoy cooking, but I think it would quickly become a chore if I had to churn my own butter and make pasta by hand. 

Would you enjoy making all your food from scratch? Do you think it's weird that I've never eaten cooked radishes before? :)

22 comments:

  1. Do you count using rolled oats to make porridge as cooking from scratch? If so, I could do it for a day. Any longer and no, couldn't, because I love bread but not baking it.

    And a big thank you for your postcard. Looked like such an iconic Californian vista!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm impressed you could last a whole day on porridge!

      Oh, I'm so glad you got the postcard! :)

      Delete
    2. Sorry, poor clarity on my part. No, I couldn't live a whole say on porridge. Actually couldn't face it after breakfast. What I mean is I'd have it for breakfast (instead of toast) and I could have leftover dinner or salad for lunch (instead of sandwiches) but after a day, I'd want bread.

      Delete
    3. Ahh, I understand. I love bread too and rarely go a day without it :)

      Delete
  2. I do try and cook from scratch most of the time and only buy a handful of pre-packaged foods like mustard, butter, fish sauce, corn chips etc. However, I don't eat things like bread, pasta and cereal, so don't have to worry about making them from scratch. It does take time, but it makes everything taste so much better. I'll have to see if I can still do it when I get a proper job!

    Also, I only started cooking radishes lately in stir-fries, and they are good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, homemade tastes better (unless it's something I always mess up, like when I attempt to make gnocchi or pie crust). But saving time can be so tempting!

      I'm happy to hear I'm not the only late adopter of cooked radishes :)

      Delete
  3. so not weird that you've never eaten cooked radishes before- I hadn't until this year either- they're very tasted roasted it turns out! I'm a cooking from scratch addict- but of course it's not possible to do it all- some things just are not easily made- (and where do you stop- do you need to grow your own oats, milk your own cow, mill your own wheat for flour?) But we do make all our own tomato sauce for the year- and freeze it- it's better than jarred- and it doesn't take that much time really. My rule is if it's feasible to grow it/make it ourselves we will, as long as we've got time for it- somethings I never, or once a year buy- granola bars and cookies, canned soup, stock, muffins, pizzas, and when you buy them so rarely it's a real surprise at how sugary/salty/gross they are! My kids won't even eat fruit loops because it's taste is too chemical!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for making me feel better about cooked radishes. I'll have to try them roasted!

      You're right, it's tough to know where to draw the line on "homemade." Do you have your tomato sauce making secrets on your blog? Maybe I need to make more stuff in batches when I'm in the mood to cook.

      Yeah, I haven't had Froot Loops in years, but I'm always tempted at breakfast buffets. :)

      Delete
  4. Ha! I've never had cooked radishes before either. I've never been a fan of the raw ones, so I guess it just never occurred to me to buy any.

    Because of my food allergies I have to prepare almost everything I eat from scratch. The only prepared foods I can get away with are pasta, a few breads (though most are off limits for me) and some frozen vegetable mixes (though many of those are off limits as well.) In general, I think I eat a much more healthy diet because of it, but there are days when I really, REALLY wish I didn't have to cook all the time. That's probably why I rely so heavily on batch cooking, because I'd go totally insane if I had to spend all day every day in the kitchen! CatMan and I ordered some Chinese takeout a few days ago, and even with copious instructions, and many assurances from the cook, I still paid for it with a fair amount of itching. Sigh

    Anyhow, I think Angela makes a pretty good point, it's difficult to know where to draw the line in terms of what counts as "from scratch." Do you read Lili's blog over at creativesavv.com? I think she comes about as close as I can imagine to someone doing it all from scratch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a bummer about the Chinese food - I make fried rice and stir fry at home, but it never tastes as good as takeout. I usually cook double what we need so we have leftovers, but now I'm thinking I should make even bigger batches so I can freeze some too. It would probably save me a lot of time.

      I don't read Lili's blog - I'll check it out. :)

      Delete
  5. I think that's a little excessive.. with little kids sometimes getting a healthy homemade meal on the table is an accomplishment.. now if I had to make the pasta, the butter and such too... i don't know.. the kids may enjoy it the first time.. but in the long run that's just more time spent away from your kids and family and more time in the kitchen. though I do like to make my own ice cream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I remember correctly, the woman in the experiment had two kids who were around 8-9ish? You make a great point though - is the extra time spent cooking worth it if you're away from your family to do so? And I don't have kids, but I would be irritated if my husband was just playing video games while I was cooking and cleaning the kitchen alone.

      Delete
  6. Hi Amanda,
    I've had cooked radishes in soup and in an omelet. My FIL turned me on to cooked radishes. (He used to make omelets for my MIL and add all sorts of things.)

    I cook mostly from scratch, but not everything. Some things don't merit the time investment, I don't make my own peanut butter, or tomato paste or pasta, but I do bake all our breads, cook 21 meals per week from scratch, etc. It's a combination of a dietary and financial concern. Just something I gotta do.. You get used to your own cooking, too. So eating convenience food or take-out just doesn't taste as good to me. If I ever became ultra-rich, I wouldn't buy more convenience food, but I'd hire a chef who would cook just as I do now, but do the work for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Radishes in an omelet . . I'll have to try that too. Sounds yummy!

      I understand completely about the time commitment. Some things are just not worth it (that's how I feel about gnocchi). My farmer's market just set up a new stand with a grinder. You load peanuts in the top and fresh peanut butter comes out the other side. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm intrigued. :)

      I love the idea of hiring a personal chef. That would be awesome!

      Delete
  7. I definitely could not do the all-from-scratch thing with two little ones, but the concept intrigues me. I've always wanted to try making butter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your kids might like helping you make butter. I remember doing it as an experiment in 3rd grade - it's just heavy cream in a jar and shake, shake, shake! :)

      Delete
  8. good thing to pay attention to. compared to home grown and processed, if we had to rely on that we'd be cooked!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would love to have the 'know-how' to cook more from scratch...making yoghurt, cheese, bread etc. But at the moment, with both of us in full-time work I don't feel like I have the time. I try to do 'home-cooked' more so that 'cooked from scractch.' This is on my list though for 'one day' when we will hopefully be working less!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finding time is so tough! And making cheese and yogurt at home intimidates me . . especially the types that requires aging at certain temperatures and humidity levels, etc. It seems so complicated.

      Delete
  10. I normally buy bread, bagels, cereal, pasta, crackers, canned tomatoes, salad dressings, peanut butter, and a few more things. I have gone through spells of making yogurt, bread and granola but I am not consistent about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here - I've made bread and granola at home many times, but never consistently!

      Delete

I love comments - please leave one (or twelve)!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...