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KnitClickChick
09-17-2008, 03:06 PM
I've made my own spaghetti sauce for years, and recently, to try and avoid as much bad stuff as possible (like high fructose corn syrup and those nasty preservatives) I have been making my own butter, mayo, and whipped cream. I also had some herbs growing this summer which I want to dry for the winter. Next on my list to make is yogurt. Does anyone else make their own food? What do you make?

Crycket
09-17-2008, 03:15 PM
When ever DF and I make a chicken (a whole one) we make a chicken soup out of it. It is probably the best chicken soup I have ever had, and I am happy to know exactly what is in it. It is a bit of work, but DF doesn't mind extra work if he knows the outcome is good!

Abbily
09-17-2008, 03:19 PM
I've never made my own butter/mayo/yogurt, though I am interested in trying someday. I don't regularly make my own bread, either. But I make as much as possible from scratch. I don't use jar spaghetti sauce, canned cream soups, canned veggies, boxed foods...

Crycket
09-17-2008, 03:29 PM
I like to make my own bread, but with the bread maker we have, it sometimes takes like 3 times to get a good loaf. Most of the time it is either too heavy or not cooked enough. Which bugs me cause I always compensate for exactly that...a little extra yeast and a lot less flour...*shrugs* I will stick to my banana bread!

I do like making Jam. It is something I don't have the supplies for, but I have done it once or twice, and homemade jam is so much better then the store bought stuff!

dmknits
09-17-2008, 04:18 PM
This is my second year of making marinara sauce from my garden tomatoes. Last year I thought I had a nice freezer full of it to last all year, but I didn't. I'm trying to make more this year. I'm getting a bit tired of making it, but it is sooo good.

I make my own hot cocoa mix in big batches. Just ran into a super great deal yesterday on nonfat dry milk, so I bought a lot of it. The cashier and bagger asked me what I do with it, so I told them about the hot cocoa mix. Add a cup of hot water to a half cup of cocoa mix and add a dash of salt and vanilla to taste. Yum.

I like to make as much as possible from scratch, like pancake batter, zucchini bread, soups, cakes, brownies, cookies, or whatever. Whenever possible I like to modify the recipes so they have less fat and more whole grains.

I can't say I never buy packaged stuff though. Sometimes I just want convenience. Oh, I tried making whole wheat bread once, and it was a total failure. One of these days I'll give it another shot.

JustAFloridaGirl
09-17-2008, 04:40 PM
I learned to cook from my mother who, having grown up on a farm, pretty much only knows how to cook stuff from scratch. I think it tastes better and you have so much more control over what goes into your meal. Especially since pre-made items have so much sodium.

I remember the first time I had cornbread with a meal at my in-laws...it was from a boxed mix. Silly naive me, I said "I didn't even know you could buy cornbread in a box!" MIL gave me a funny look and said "How do you make your cornbread?"

tarrentella
09-17-2008, 05:36 PM
I have to admit to being vaguely surprised that people dont make their own pancake batter or soup or sauces.
I can understand maybe not making things like butter all the time from scratch (although i would like to) but things like sauces are just cooking. their just recipes. but then i suppose so is making butter!
and packet white sauce ... i just don't get it.

I always make my own stock. Vegetable, chicken and beef are all realy easy but i have to admit i have never made fish stock. I just dont eat enough fish dishes to justify it.

They then become the basis for my own soups, stews, sauces etc etc. Nice and yummy.

Funny you should mention the drinking chocolate, i never thought to make it using milk powder. I always make it the old fashioned way with hot milk, plain coco powder (the dark bitter stuff used for baking) and brown sugar to taste. it was how my great nan tought me to make it, but then i do like very dark chocolate so i like being able to control the sweetness that way.

I had to add; I don't mind store bought stuff (although I like to check the ingredients), tinned tomatoes are an essential item in my cupbourd since growing them can be difficult in this climate and I just adore tinned baked beans and custard (not together) even though I know how to make my own. It just doesn't occur to me that many things are available ready made or pre-packaged and when I see them in shops I get a little confused.

My housmate came home once with tinned apple pie filling and a bag full of eating apples. I just didn't understand.

cdjack
09-17-2008, 06:18 PM
I make my own mayo and my own hummus. Unless I don't feel well or I'm really short on time, I make soup and sauces from scratch as well. I try not to buy any processed foods or foods full of artificial flavors and preservatives. Sure, it costs more sometimes, but I feel it's money well spent. I save money in other areas like utilities usage, clothes, gas usage, etc.

I really want to have a go at making my own bread.

Mike
09-17-2008, 07:39 PM
I make my own meat (OK, I hunt it and do the butchering).

I grow most of my own herbs. I've figured out that I'd rather have dry garlic and while it tastes good drying homegrown garlic is a pain.

I can my own tomato sauce and apple sauce. Other than pizza sauce and tomato paste (for the pizza sauce) if I don't have what I canned I don't use it cook that item.

I do my own horseradish sauce but still use some of the store bought creamy kind.

I don't eat corn normally unless it's from my garden.

Cherry pies are always made with my own cherries. The only thing I use canned for is topping cheesecake.

Other than boxed cakes all my baking is from scratch. Bread, cookies, pizza dough, pies.

I didn't realize scratch pancakes were just as easy as using a box of mix.

I also didn't realize "instant pudding" had changed so much when I made some from scratch and thought it was no different than when I last made "instant" in the 70's. My sister told me instant really is instant now.

I used to make my own hotsauce but my stomach can't handle that any more. My brother is trying the fermented Tabasco type, if that works I may start making it again.

Pretty much any vegetable I eat is grown by me although I do need to fill in with store bought onions and potatoes some times.

Puddinpop
09-17-2008, 10:16 PM
That sounds wonderful, but where do you find the time?

Puddinpop
09-17-2008, 10:19 PM
I like making my own cakes and banana bread. I make homemade soup from a beef shank, but I use frozen vegetables, except for the fresh that I have on hand. I use canned tomato sauce and petite diced tomatoes. It's half homemade. I always make cornbread in an iron skillet with just hot rise corn meal and buttermilk. We use to make homemade pudding and I always make homemade popcorn, but I don't grow my own pop corn.

auburnchick
09-17-2008, 10:49 PM
Well, I'm one of those people who doesn't make their own stuff. I think that when the Lord was passing out cooking talent, He didn't see me standing in line. :rofl:

As far as ingredients, home-made cannot be beat -- I know this. I am very aware of what's in stuff; however, I truly do lack the time and ability to make from scratch. Many nights, I barely manage to get something on the table...with dh having more strict dietary needs it's very difficult to please everyone.

I have, in a pinch, made pancake batter from stuff in the pantry.

My poor family...

Plantgoddess+
09-17-2008, 11:06 PM
Being a country gal for the last 30 years and being poor a lot of that time, I used to make most everything from scratch. I had a milk cow so made butter, cheese, ice cream. We raised a few hogs for sale so rendered my own lard. Butchered my own chickens and bottle raised a few extra calves to butcher. I still garden and put up some veggies. Hubby travels a lot now so it's not worth doing a lot of cooking for just myself when I'm happy with salads and fruits.

Mike
09-18-2008, 12:37 AM
That sounds wonderful, but where do you find the time?
I work at home.
I have wholesale trained to give me work once a week so I can get it all done in one or two days.
Retail doesn't take that long when it comes up.

You'd think I'd have a clean house but that's not going to happen.

Jan in CA
09-18-2008, 01:14 AM
I think that when the Lord was passing out cooking talent, He didn't see me standing in line. :rofl:



You and me both. :doh:DH cooks and since I have hypertension we try to be careful. Mostly we eat fresh fruits and vegetables. We don't buy jarred or canned spaghetti sauce, but we do use low sodium puree and crushed tomatoes to make our own. I can bake, but have always used box mixes for those. Not sure why. :??

nicolejc83
09-18-2008, 01:42 AM
I can't believe so many people don't make their own bread. I buy my sandwich bread a lot but I never buy dinner rolls or french bread. Its five ingredients mix water flour yeast sugar and butter together, kneed for ten minutes let rise one hour divide into rolls and let rise for 45 minutes, bake at 375 until golden brown. ummmm now im hungry.

auburnchick
09-18-2008, 08:53 AM
I can't believe so many people don't make their own bread. I buy my sandwich bread a lot but I never buy dinner rolls or french bread. Its five ingredients mix water flour yeast sugar and butter together, kneed for ten minutes let rise one hour divide into rolls and let rise for 45 minutes, bake at 375 until golden brown. ummmm now im hungry.

My sister does. She even grinds her own grain for it. She lives in a city where she can buy bags of it and do that. My family probably wouldn't touch it. Apparently I've done a poor job rearing my family.

I am so impressed and awed by all of you. Kudos to you! :thumbsup:

Mike
09-18-2008, 09:14 AM
I can't believe so many people don't make their own bread. I buy my sandwich bread a lot but I never buy dinner rolls or french bread. Its five ingredients mix water flour yeast sugar and butter together, kneed for ten minutes let rise one hour divide into rolls and let rise for 45 minutes, bake at 375 until golden brown. ummmm now im hungry.

Kneading kills my wrists. Before I got a powerful handmixer with dough hooks bread and pizza were an all day affair and rare.
Now I'll make them on a whim.

stitchwitch
09-18-2008, 09:32 AM
Bread in less than five minutes a day with no kneading. Just make the dough, let rise two hours, hack some dough off of the glob and gently ease into a ball then bake. The rest of the dough can sit in the fridge for up to two weeks. There's a few youtube videos on it and there's a book called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day".
Easiest bread recipe EVER! It comes out as a nice, crusty, french like bread. Here's the recipe. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/dining/211brex.html?ref=dining

Puddinpop
09-18-2008, 10:10 AM
Nicolejc83, that's almost 2 hours. I still would like the recipe. Plantgoddess+, you go girl!:woohoo:

tarrentella
09-18-2008, 12:27 PM
but the nice thing is that while it is rising and baking you can get on and do other jobs like laundry or whatever and know that at the end of it not only will jobs be done but there will be a lovely tasty loaf of bread :)

Plantgoddess+
09-18-2008, 03:20 PM
I have found that when baking sandwich bread that by adding 1 Tbsp of gluten flour per cup of flour you increase the amount of time the bread stays fresh without molding by 3-4 days. It also makes the bread slice better without crumbling. My husband is rather picky about his sandwiches and prefers a texture similar to storebought. Also by adding the gluten you can increase the amount of whole wheat and cracked grains in the dough and still have it rise and stay tender.

vaknitter
09-18-2008, 11:26 PM
The hubby and I always joke that the reason he proposed to me and spent a year driving 2.5hrs to see me was that I offered him waffles for breakfast one morning and made them from scratch and topped them with hot real maple syrup. He likes to tell everyone - not only were they not Ego, they weren't even Bisquick. HEHE
Anyway, I love to cook and detest boxed meals. I am slowly winning the hubby over too. As a bachelor he was a HUGE fan of Bagel Bites, Hamburger Helper, and Kraft Mac & Cheese. While I have gotten him away from Bagel Bites and Hamburger Helper he still needs a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese in the cupboard. I do make the real stuff but they are such different flavors.
If I roast a chicken I make and freeze stock for winter soups. The only canned soup we eat is Tomato - just haven't been able to replicate that taste. I do make veggie, split pea.... While the hubby loves it when I make bread, he prefers storebought for sandwiches so I make sure I get something stone ground.
I make my own pie crusts, fillings, pudding, muffins etc. Can't remember the last time I ate a storebought cookie ! I tried making butter, but it went bad soooo fast. I gave up on whipped cream b/c of the fat content so I buy the packets of Dream Whip to mix into skim milk.

Mike
09-18-2008, 11:40 PM
A box of Mac and Cheese isn't a bad thing to have.

Use the "cheese" packet for popcorn and then make the macaroni with something that at least resembles cheese.

MoniDew
09-19-2008, 10:54 AM
I too am a member of the made-from-scratch club. I don't make everything from scratch every day, but I have done my best to learn the skill required to make as many things from scratch as I can.
I do ALWAYS make soup/stock from scratch. I used to start the stock early, so that it would make the kitchen warm and steamy so the bread would rise! Lots of nights with soup and bread! And often this included home churned butter. My kids were raised on it!
I have grown my own veggies, too.
I have made homemade breads, cookies, cakes, pies, waffles & pancakes, etc. I still suck at piecrust, but will determinedly keep trying until I get it.
I do use canned tomato products, but not canned beans (usually).
Homemade yogurt (learned a great, easy way!) Homemade mayo. Want to learn how to make my own cheese.
Anybody make their own soap?
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Debkcs
09-19-2008, 02:24 PM
DH and I put up 20 qts. of marinara sauce yesterday. We have 40 qts of blueberries in our freezer, and soon our son will fill our freezers with elk, or some other game.

As far as baking bread, knowing what goes into our food is really important, so we search out the freshest ingredients possible. At times, we've bought Great Harvest breads, but their quality seems to have gone down lately. If you've never had 'homemade' bagels, you've really missed out.

auburnchick
09-19-2008, 08:58 PM
I had to share...

Last night, I was making spaghetti for dinner and was in a huge hurry. I had already sauteed my onion, green pepper, and sausage and turned to the pantry for my jar of Ragu.

No Ragu.

Eh?

I looked EVERYWHERE. Nothing.

The problem is that we usually have too many jars of the stuff. Thinking I had some already, I didn't buy any when I went by the store earlier in the afternoon.

I thought about this thread.

I pulled out a cookbook and looked for any spaghetti sauce recipe. Seeing what was in it, I looked in the pantry.

I wound up using a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of whole, peeled tomatoes, and two smaller cans of tomato sauce. I had to add basil and parsley (don't know if you're supposed to use parsley in this sauce). The flavor still wasn't quite right. So I added some Tarragon Vinegar. :teehee: Whoa! That was different. So I added a bunch of pepper and some sea salt. Something was missing. I didn't realize, until today, that I should have added Oregano. :roflhard:

Anyhow, I kept my mouth shut and watched my family eat their little hearts out. No complaining.

After they were done, I told them it was from scratch.

Their reaction?

:passedout:

Thanks y'all for your encouragement, even if you didn't directly encourage me. I think I was starting to feel more ashamed than anything else.

:teehee:

vaknitter
09-19-2008, 10:29 PM
I was making my grocery list for tomorrow and realized I didn't mention that we make our own pizza and calzones. I was raised on scratch cooking and every Sunday night was make your own pizza night. I brought this tradition back to life with the hubby. Every now and again we have friends over and it is a hit with them too. I make the crust in the morning and let it rise during the day. Then grate some cheese, dice some onions, peppers, olives, spinach, tomatoes, brocolli and whatever else you want and put it on the counter. Roll the dough out to whatever size/shape you want and let everyone top their own pizza and throw it in a 425deg oven. There's usually leftovers for lunch the next day. If you want deep dish just pull out the cast iron skillet.

Mariblue
09-19-2008, 10:34 PM
I always cook from scratch. I have too. My kids have terrible food allergies to gluten, among other things. I generally cooked from scratch before the whole food allergy thing, but it's more important now.
I make my own soups/stocks/pudding/bread/baked goods/desserts/almost everything.
I even grind my own rice to make rice flour-much cheaper that way for the gluten free baking.
I remember I had my sister-n-law and her husband over for dinner, and I made home made broccoli cheese soup with corn bread-and she wanted to know what brand the soup was. I said it was home-made, and she was floored-she was hoping she could buy more from the store!
I wish I could grow my own veggies and fruit, but I am a plant killer. I have yet to grow anything that has lived to survive, although I try every year. :)

ctmax
09-20-2008, 10:57 AM
MoniDew I would love to know how you make your yogurt. I also would like to learn to make my own cheese.

KnitClickChick
09-20-2008, 11:31 AM
we had chickens a few years ago. those were the best eggs, i swear. i like to make my own juices too. grapefruit and strawberry is my favorite. i like knowing exactly what is in my food. it seems like everyday they announce there is some ingredient/preservative that is bad for you. one of my favorite things to make is an herb loaf. just roll the bread dough into little balls and layer butter and herbs (or sometimes i just use poppy seeds) with the balls. that smells soo good while baking! you can pull the balls off one at a time and pop them in your mouth. yummy!

Mike
09-20-2008, 12:23 PM
I wound up using a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of whole, peeled tomatoes, and two smaller cans of tomato sauce. I had to add basil and parsley (don't know if you're supposed to use parsley in this sauce). The flavor still wasn't quite right. So I added some Tarragon Vinegar. :teehee: Whoa! That was different. So I added a bunch of pepper and some sea salt. Something was missing. I didn't realize, until today, that I should have added Oregano. :roflhard:

No garlic either.

I find that even if you don't like a herb/spice you should still use some to get the right flavor, just adjust it lower to suit your taste.
I don't like rosemary so anything that calls for it gets adjusted to a pinch.

JustAFloridaGirl
09-20-2008, 05:49 PM
I wound up using a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of whole, peeled tomatoes, and two smaller cans of tomato sauce. I had to add basil and parsley (don't know if you're supposed to use parsley in this sauce). The flavor still wasn't quite right. So I added some Tarragon Vinegar. :teehee: Whoa! That was different. So I added a bunch of pepper and some sea salt. Something was missing. I didn't realize, until today, that I should have added Oregano. :roflhard:

A good recipe for spaghetti sauce is to use 2 cans tomato sauce and 1 can tomato paste. You can also throw in 1 can of crushed tomatoes, but I'm not a fan of adding that in. Anyways, you then add roughly 3T of Oregano (Basil would work too but I've never personally used it) 3T Italian Seasoning, 3T Parsley and then 1tsp of sugar (or Splenda). The sugar helps cut the bitterness that tomatoes can sometimes have (most good brands of canned tomato products don't crush the seeds in with it, but some do...it's the seeds that cause the bitterness.) Add in your cooked meat (which you can cook with minced garlic. If you don't cook the meat with garlic, you can add some garlic salt or garlic powder to the sauce as well.) Simmer for a while and then voila! Spaghetti sauce! Works well for pizza sauce, too. :) If there's any left over you can freeze it and use it for your next spaghetti night.

Anyways, congratulations on experimenting! That's one of the parts I love about cooking from scratch, you have room to experiment and tailor recipes to your own tastes.

Plantgoddess+
09-20-2008, 07:00 PM
The bad thing about being able to cook well from scratch is that I don't get to eat out very often. Hubby likes homemade pizza better than any of the pizza parlors and I even messed up and learned how to cook a number of chinese dishes.
He's also Italian and so I've learned not to mess with seasoning of my sauce.

Puddinpop
09-20-2008, 07:16 PM
I bet he likes homemade better. Yum!

Debkcs
09-20-2008, 07:41 PM
Leah, I loved making our grape juice. It's really simple, even if you don't have an extractor, and the kids loved it. My DH was reminescing (sp?) about it a few days ago, so I'm going to go buy grapes Monday. We used to have our own, but moved from that location when it got to be too much driving to and from work.

Pie crust, bread, rolls, pancakes, pizza, etc., are all easy to make. Another bonus is that my breads are much healthier than store bought (or boughten, as my former Amish neighbors used to say) because we choose our own healthy ingredients.

Taste of Home has an excellent baking book (sold at Costco) if you need a good basic reference.

MoniDew
09-20-2008, 07:54 PM
MoniDew I would love to know how you make your yogurt. I also would like to learn to make my own cheese.
My way involves no fancy equipment of any kind. It's just improvised with common things most people have in their kitchen. (Kinda goes along with Auburn's spaghetti sauce recipe, above! :teehee: ) Anyway, I assume you have a few 1-quart, wide mouth canning jars lying around - being you cook from scratch and all. And a large stock pot - like you would use for canning. The only other piece of equipment required is a kitchen thermometer. I had a dedicated one just for this purpose. I didn't poke it into meat or anything else, to avoid contamination.

INSTRUCTIONS: Take a gallon of fresh milk - whole, 2%, skim - whatever, (raw milk from the dairy works wonderfully, either goat's milk or cow's is fine, but you can use grocery store milk, too. Either way.) Warm the milk gently in a saucepan, up to 105o on a kitchen thermometer. You certainly do not have to heat it excessively and then let it cool as many recipes suggest. (unless you want to...) Just get the milk warm enough to activate the growth of the friendly flora. Once the milk is warm, GENTLY stir in 2 Tbs of Dannon plain yogurt. Just 2 Tbs is enough to activate 1 whole gallon of milk! Since 2 Tbs is a small amount, the purchase of one 8oz container will start many batches of yogurt.

Now that you have your yogurt innoculated, the next thing to do is ladle them into the wide mouth canning jars. Fill the jars just to the shoulders with warm, innoculated milk, leaving a little head room in each. One gallon fills 5 quart jars. Don't ask me why - the math certainly doesn't work on that one - it must grow, somehow. Put the lids on the jars and set them into the large stock pot.

Fill the stock pot with 105o warm water up to the shoulders of the jars (on the outside. You are matching the level of the milk on the inside). From the tap is fine, because it's not getting into the jars. Then put the lid on your stock pot to create an incubator.

Now, place the entire assembly into the oven, close the oven door and turn on the light. Mine is gas, so I have a pilot below and the light bulb above creating a nice warm environment for incubating the yogurt. And then just go to bed!

Then next morning, remove the assembly from the oven, take off the lid and check your water temperature. Should be hovering near 100o still, even overnight, because of the double incubator (the warm water in the pot with a lid, and the warm oven with the pilot/light with the door closed.)

Gently remove jars from their bath and place in refrigerator to cool down. BIG TIP HERE: Don't jostle the jars around while they are cooling down. The yogurt won't get thick until the milk is cold! But it won't get thick at all if the jars get bumped around while it is cooling. So let them alone and let them cool, and you'll have great, yummy, nice, thick yogie (grandson word.)

Homemade yogurt never gets quite as thick as store-bought because you are not adding any thickeners the way commercial yogurt is processed. If you want it thicker, you can strain the finished, cooled yogurt through a cheesecloth lined collander placed over a large bowl. (Greek-style yogurt is made this way.) Takes up the whole shelf in the fridge but the results are worth it!

You can use homemade yogurt as a starter for another batch if you wish, but batch 2 is never quite as thick as batch 1, and batch 3 is even less so. By batch 4, you're going to want to use a commercial plain yogurt as a starter again, because it'll be watery if you don't. Since I like mine really thick, I used commercial yogie every time. (I don't begrudge the 2 Tbs.) It's up to you.

Flavor your yogie any way you like: Fresh fruit, jam, honey or maple syrup, etc. and ENJOY!!!!!!

Pass this along to others, so that they may enjoy homemade, yummy yogie, too!

PS: I know that in order to make cheese, you have to start with yogurt - so we are both off to a great start with learning how to make the yog. :woot:

:heart: Thanks for asking!
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cam90066
09-20-2008, 09:11 PM
Interesting thread.

Save for the occasional pasta sauce (Classico) or canned tomatoes, I make everything from scratch. I live in a small apt in LA so no gardening. (I'd almost kill for a sunny spot for some rhubarb...which is a rarity here and VERY expensive when you can find it. Irksome when I hear of family in MN throwing out their rhubarb!)

I make a mean batch of granola and LOVE my homemade yog (my process is very simple using a yog maker). (ETA: BTW, my homemade yog does get very firm, like some store-bought. I make mine with reconstituted powdered milk. I vary my starters...sometimes using frozen cubes of store-bought or dry starter from the HF store.) I tend to eat simple, avoid quite a few carbs (my granola is my weakness) but do healthy ones like beans, lentils, etc...and try to make large batches of chili or similar that can be frozen into single servings. I'll roast up a whole chicken, or bone-in breasts, and use the meat for a variety of dishes.

I have ready access to ethnic mkts so enjoy fruits, veggies (I make my own dressings for salads). I tend to make my own food based both out of financial necessity and because I like knowing what's in my food.

cam

MoniDew
09-20-2008, 11:26 PM
PLEASE SHARE the granola recipe!!
And please give details on making the thicker yogurt!
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MoniDew
09-21-2008, 01:57 PM
we had chickens a few years ago. those were the best eggs, i swear.
I'll BET those eggs were awesome! I love fresh eggs, too. The yolks are ORANGE, they're so fresh! YUM YUM!
i like knowing exactly what is in my food. it seems like everyday they announce there is some ingredient/preservative that is bad for you.
Seems like every day they announce that someone has contaminated the food supply deliberately, too. Have you been watching the news about contaminated milk in China? All those poor, sick babies? Holy cow!? Who would intentionally hurt babies just for attention?! Makes me furious.
Keep the food supply safe - by keeping control in our own hands - does the world a service. You never know what the future holds. There may come a day when this world all goes to *%&# and those who have maintained these skills will be able to care for and feed many who did not. Be grateful for your knowledge and skills!
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miccisue
09-21-2008, 02:34 PM
I am so disgusted!!!!!!!!! I've been to 4 stores today trying to find canning jars, only to be told they are out and since they are "out of season" they won't be getting any back in!!!!!!!!!
I realize that for some veggies, the canning season is early, but I have 6 gallon bags of grapes and 6 gallon bags of crabapples frozen to make jelly with. I'm also just waiting for my pumpkin harvest so I can make pumpkin butter, which also requires canning jars.
I've got some unused jars from last year that I can use, but not nearly enough. Who the heck decides what "canning season" is, anyway???? Don't they have a clue that there is lots of stuff that is canned into the fall, or can be frozen and canned any time of the year???????
ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:gah:

Plantgoddess+
09-21-2008, 05:39 PM
Depending on the type of cheese you want to make you may need rennet in order to thicken the milk. My husband made me a cheese press as well in order to make firmer cheese like mozzerella and a type of farmers cheese.

Debkcs
09-21-2008, 06:25 PM
Hit Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. They all have canning jars in my area. So do Safeway and Wal-mart. Seems they are never out of season here.

Mike
09-21-2008, 07:21 PM
I am so disgusted!!!!!!!!! I've been to 4 stores today trying to find canning jars, only to be told they are out and since they are "out of season" they won't be getting any back in!!!!!!!!!
I realize that for some veggies, the canning season is early, but I have 6 gallon bags of grapes and 6 gallon bags of crabapples frozen to make jelly with. I'm also just waiting for my pumpkin harvest so I can make pumpkin butter, which also requires canning jars.
I've got some unused jars from last year that I can use, but not nearly enough. Who the heck decides what "canning season" is, anyway???? Don't they have a clue that there is lots of stuff that is canned into the fall, or can be frozen and canned any time of the year???????
ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:gah:
I thought Walmart always had canning jars. Same with grocery stores, although they're high priced.
What stores are saying they're out of season? Other than Dollar General I didn't know anyone else who keeps them seasonally.

I usually don't start counting my jars until October and I've never had a problem. I buy the lids year round. You're in IL too aren't you?

Which reminds me, I need to go buy some quarts for applesauce.

miccisue
09-21-2008, 07:36 PM
I thought Walmart always had canning jars. Same with grocery stores, although they're high priced.
What stores are saying they're out of season? Other than Dollar General I didn't know anyone else who keeps them seasonally.

I usually don't start counting my jars until October and I've never had a problem. I buy the lids year round. You're in IL too aren't you?

Which reminds me, I need to go buy some quarts for applesauce.
WalMart and KMart are two of the stores who said they were out and weren't getting any more. The others were local retailers. I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and pay the higher price at either the local farm store or the grocery store.
I make homemade scented candles, too, and use pint jars for those....so I have a lot of jars to buy.
Back to WalMart....I thought they had them year-round, too. The kid I asked in Customer Service today is the one that said they wouldn't be getting anymore in. I'll probably call tomorrow and see if the Department Manager knows any different. You'd think somebody would know something even on the weekends, wouldn't you? LOL!!!!!!!!!! I do know that the shelves have been empty for the last two weeks....I'd think they'd have had a shipment in that time, but maybe not.

Mike
09-21-2008, 08:13 PM
I'm sure I've bought them at Walmart in the offseason (and especially at this time of year).
Now you got me curious, I'm going to have to run up there. Besides the quarts I need some lids anyway.

If you have Menards they've been advertising them the last few weeks (which shows they're not out of season, they're just coming into season).

If you have Dollar General their prices are pretty good and this should be the time they have them.

I hope it's just the different areas. In a few years I'm going to be picking loads of apples in July, August, September and a really big load in October. I could need jars all through the summer.

I had the manager of Walmart CS try to refund the $10 I paid for a digital converter while they got to pocket the one time use $40 coupon-card. She just couldn't understand how their books were going to come out $40 ahead on the deal and how they were ripping me off for $40.
Some of them aren't very bight.

Mike
09-21-2008, 10:03 PM
I couldn't even find the lids in our Walmart. I guess I haven't bought any of that stuff since we got a super store. If they were near the food section they were well hidden.

It wouldn't surprise me them claiming the season is over (and making them seasonal). I've been on them for years to leave arrows and targets out for archery because it's a year round sport. They put them out barely before bowhunting season starts and pull them about 2 months before it ends.

Menards had a few jars left so I got a dozen just in case I can't find any later. They were widemouth which I don't like but I can juggle around some dried storage stuff.

miccisue
09-22-2008, 07:56 AM
I couldn't even find the lids in our Walmart. I guess I haven't bought any of that stuff since we got a super store. If they were near the food section they were well hidden.

It wouldn't surprise me them claiming the season is over (and making them seasonal). I've been on them for years to leave arrows and targets out for archery because it's a year round sport. They put them out barely before bowhunting season starts and pull them about 2 months before it ends.

Menards had a few jars left so I got a dozen just in case I can't find any later. They were widemouth which I don't like but I can juggle around some dried storage stuff.
Our "SuperCenter" didn't have them in the grocery store part, but in an aisle in Housewares where they had basically canning stuff (might have been ice cream makers and stuff there on the ends, can't remember). They had very little Sure Jell left, some lids, 2 boxes of 8 oz jars that were a real "squatty" style (think regular style top on a glass container that's almost like a smooshed square) that looks like it would be hard to get jelly and stuff out of the square bottom. They had some plastic freezer containers, which I should pick up to keep my pumpkin puree in until I'm ready to cook it into pumpkin butter, but other than that, no canning jars at all.
If you have a HyVee grocery store near you, they did have some regular pint jars (not wide mouth, although they did have wide mouths, too....I like those for my candles), and if you have a Farm and Fleet or Farm King, you might be able to pick up narrow topped jars - my local farm store had a few of them, but I'm trying to go a bit cheaper (which the grocery store was, believe it or not!!!).
Good luck!!!!!!! If you can't find lids, let me know and I'll see if I can't grab some for you. My local HyVee had plenty of lids, both regular and wide mouth.

Duessa
09-22-2008, 10:45 AM
Here in Indiana we also have Rural King. They sell stuff like that year round. check into local "farm supply stores" and see what they have. I know we shop there for jerky seasoning year round and bulk seasonings that don't really matter too much.

Mike
09-22-2008, 10:53 AM
Krogers had lids.
I'm well stocked on pints. It's the addition of applesauce that has me low on quarts. I got some old ones from a friend but they take a lot of clean up and checking over and some are too old to risk breaking.

I was thinking about getting more plastic quarts for freezing but decided I'm going to have too much apple pie filling and those aren't good for freezer burn so I started vacuum packing it.
My niece gave me about a bushel of very sour apples that make great pie.

I didn't think about the TSC or Farm and Fleet, they should be smart enough to know the season isn't over until after it frosts.

Tropicflower24
09-22-2008, 11:04 AM
My family makes quite a bit of our own food. Most of it, we raise or grow in the garden or barnyard, and cook it up with out it ever leaving our farm. (And we did this in the city as well!!! A postage stamp garden can provide QUITE a bit of produce. :) And we even had chickens in town. :teehee: LOL

Of course, now that our family no longer consists of the normal 4 persons, (we at 9 right now :) ) we have to grow a fairly large garden, but it's not really hard.

But when the extra work becomes a way of life (and it does. Just as hauling water when you dont have plumbing or walking down a 400' drive way everyday to get the mail does. When you want chicken, you know you need to get one out of the freezer and thaw it the night before. You know you need to go to the garden and gather produce. You know you need to wash it, chop it and steam it. You know that if you want chicken tommorow for lunch and you haven't processed your chickens yet, you'd better spending the next 30 minutes cleaning one. :teehee: I know this all sounds odd, but it's actaully so renewing be part of it. Like, to know that I am feeding my family, when I go outside to weed the garden. That when I feed the animals, that I am taking care of my family. It's definitilly a wake up call for those who have lived their life with america's "convieince" lifestyle. :)

knitasha
09-22-2008, 11:55 AM
City girl here. I'm not obsessive about cooking from scratch: it's a matter of weighing flavor and nutrition against time and convenience. Sometimes time and convenience win.

Can't garden in my current situation, and my kitchen isn't really my own, but I'd still rather make soups, pasta sauces, chilis, etc., from scratch. The only thing that takes any time or effort is chopping things up. After that, the food simmers while you do other things. And everything tastes so much better. Veg soup whomped up in the blender with a little potato becomes a better and healthier cream soup than anything in a can. I'm sole caregiver for my dearly beloved, who doesn't eat much but needs nutritional support. He loves smoothies made in the blender with bananas, strawberries, orange juice and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Or chocolate milk with frozen yogurt and the protein powder.

Had a bread machine but gave it away: it took up the whole counter and the bread really wasn't that good. Living in a major city with specialty stores all around, many varieties of excellent bread -- from fresh baguettes to real Jewish rye to Portugese rolls --are available daily. The convience factor wins.

We also have delis on every corner, and I'll buy fresh turkey breast because I'm not about to roast a bird every time we want a sandwich. But store-bought tuna or egg salad seems ridiculous to me. Takes five minutes to whip it up the way we like it, with little mayo, lots of chopped vegetables and plenty of seasoning.

There's a Starbucks on the next block but I haven't been there in ages. I make a better latte at home using Italian espresso coffee and skim milk. If you want what Star$$$ calls an Americano, make the coffee regular strength, not espresso strength and you've got a drink with lots of flavor and kick, but low acidity.

The marketing people are trying to convince us that we are too stupid to make the simplest dishes. I mean, pre-cooked bacon? Where's the convenience? You still have to microwave it to make it hot and crisp. Frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Can we really not pull a knife from the drawer and open two jars? Frozen bagel sticks stuffed with cream cheese? Those "school lunch" packets with crackers and processed meat? Bad food, high price. Excuse me while I go get myself a pre-fried egg and pre-toasted bread for breakfast.

Jaxhil
09-22-2008, 04:13 PM
I make homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, pizza dough, brownies, cakes, muffins, biscuits, cornbread, pancakes, cookies, hamburger buns, chicken stock, soups/stews, and sometimes even tortillas..but I must admit I am not always consistent! Sometimes if I am feeling lazy or I'm short on time I will buy them (I mean chicken stock, bread/hamburger buns). I never buy pancake/biscuit mix, cake mixes, frostings, and very rarely packaged cookies.

I do buy canned goods, but only basic items like black/refried/pinto/navy beans, tomatoes, and pineapples. I buy canned spaghetti sauce ( i know, its bad!) for pizza-making.

I have a bread machine that I do use regularly-though only for mixing/kneading the dough-I always bake it in my oven. I've got some favorite basic recipes that are really even better than store-bought. It's not as if that's very difficult around here though-we don't have any lovely bakeries, just your run-of-the-mill supermarket varieties (yeck! lol).

I used to want to make everything from scratch, even my mayo, salad dressings, yogurt ( I still do occasionally), but like knitasha I have tried to pick and choose what 's worth taking the time to do and what I'll just go ahead and buy. I would like to do more, but I do more than I used to, so there is progress in that, I suppose :cool:

We always make homemade popcorn too~YUM! I can't stand the microwave stuff, lol. Just had some last night :mrgreen:

I love hearing what everyone else is doing! I would love to make my own butter, from FRESH milk!! Ok, at least ONCE, anyway! :teehee:

Jaxhil
09-22-2008, 04:15 PM
great post, Tropicflower24!

Puddinpop
09-22-2008, 08:09 PM
I would have a hard time feeding an animal and then eating it. When I eat meat, I don't want to visualize it as a cow, or whatever. It's just kinda sad, even though I know that's why God put them on the earth.

Mike
09-23-2008, 12:59 AM
You get over it. Same with butchering.
I used to not eat much the week I butchered deer. Now it makes me hungry.

jess_hawk
09-23-2008, 01:18 AM
I make my own stuff when I have the time/energy. Sometimes, I come home from class/work/whatever, and I'm tired and hungry and just want to stick the ramen noodles in the microwave and deal with the insane amount of sodium in those suckers (I only use half the spice packet so I can stand to eat it). But I know how to make spaghetti sauce, noodles, bread, pie, soups, cakes, cookies, and so on from scratch. I want to learn to make my own cheese... but dorm living isn't really conducive to cheesemaking.

In my family everyone knows how to cook (not to say we don't cheat sometimes and use boxes... I like Jiffy mix for cornbread!) and therefore our Thanksgiving is 100% homemade (I guess we buy the icecream for the oreo dessert, and the whipped topping for pies...). Several years ago, my cousin's then-fiance finally was able to come for the first time. He was well aware of the pot-luck style we do for Thanksgiving, so he brought a dish to share: A can of cranberry sauce. The family found this hilarious: First off, a CAN of cranberry sauce!? Secondly... One can to be shared between the 50-60 of us? Needless to say he still catches crap for this incident.

MoniDew
09-23-2008, 06:23 AM
The marketing people are trying to convince us that we are too stupid to make the simplest dishes. I mean, pre-cooked bacon? Where's the convenience? You still have to microwave it to make it hot and crisp. Frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Can we really not pull a knife from the drawer and open two jars? Frozen bagel sticks stuffed with cream cheese? Those "school lunch" packets with crackers and processed meat? Bad food, high price. Excuse me while I go get myself a pre-fried egg and pre-toasted bread for breakfast.

TOTALLY agree! I think it's just greed. They'll sell any convenience food, no matter how stupid and unnecessary, just to make a buck.

I'm so jealous of all your wonderful ethnic markets! I love ethnic food from every culture on the planet. My food curiosity leads me to try new things all the time and try to learn how to make my new-found favorites at home. It must be wonderful to live in such a metropolitan city.
________
Ford Crown Victoria Skyliner Specifications (http://www.ford-wiki.com/wiki/Ford_Crown_Victoria_Skyliner)

Tropicflower24
09-23-2008, 10:16 AM
I would have a hard time feeding an animal and then eating it. When I eat meat, I don't want to visualize it as a cow, or whatever. It's just kinda sad, even though I know that's why God put them on the earth.

Yeah, I do too at times. :D And I've been doing it with some sort of animal or another my whole life. We've never done rabbits till recently. I can*not* eat rabbit. I could, if my younger siblings didn't think it was the funniest the to gross me out (I've had pet rabbits before) and then came the remark (highlight if you want to see but be prewarned it's TMI lol "It's Thumper on noodles!" Oh I got so sick, I pushed my bowl away and I haven't eaten it since. LOL

The marketing people are trying to convince us that we are too stupid to make the simplest dishes. I mean, pre-cooked bacon? Where's the convenience? You still have to microwave it to make it hot and crisp. Frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Can we really not pull a knife from the drawer and open two jars? Frozen bagel sticks stuffed with cream cheese? Those "school lunch" packets with crackers and processed meat? Bad food, high price. Excuse me while I go get myself a pre-fried egg and pre-toasted bread for breakfast.

Yeah. That is pretty ridculous!!! My mom and I were slightly in awe over how they can even make precooked mashed potatoes sound good. "All that's left is steam and mash!" (Hey, that's almost as much work as peeling and chopping. Can't we get it completely cooked???!?!?!??? :teehee:
___________________________________
Thanks Jaxhill!

I love hearing what everyone else is doing! I would love to make my own butter, from FRESH milk!! Ok, at least ONCE, anyway! It's the easiest thing to do. Take 30 minutes, some fresh cream, and cheat and use a food processor or a blender (the later is harder to clean! BTDT). If you are interested in raw whole milk, check out www.realmilk.com . If you want instructions on how to make butter, let me know. At our old house the lady we bought from, the milk her cows gave was soooo creamy, we had fresh butter everyday!!!


We are buying whole gallons of raw, whole milk, and honestly we all haven't gotten as sick as with store bought (my youngest brother and possibly myself, have/had milk allegies. G was completely lactose intolerant. - He still drank milk. ;/ LOL - And I would cough and choke, get headaches, sore throat, dizzy...... anytime I would eat dairy products. So even tho it was obviously not good for me, I loved milk so I kept drinking it. When my mom started buying raw milk, it all stopped. Nothing happened when G and I drank it. That was enough for me!!!

What is store bought milk running these days? I think the last time we got any was when we moved and only a half gallon for cooking. We buy about 5 gallons of milk once a week. I think we pay $2.50 per gallon. :D

Puddinpop
09-23-2008, 10:20 AM
I've had single guys tell me that younger women don't know how to do anything. They'll say that they can't cook or do much of anything. I know by watching my mother and grandmother, aunts and great grandmother. They had to do all of this stuff. My mother always made homemade pie crust, because it wasn't offered at the store. She got to where she would buy it in the stores, but it wasn't as tasty. We would do all homemade on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a lot of work for a lot of women, a few men. Nothing tasted better, though.

Mike
09-23-2008, 03:13 PM
I've had single guys tell me that younger women don't know how to do anything. They'll say that they can't cook or do much of anything. I know by watching my mother and grandmother, aunts and great grandmother. They had to do all of this stuff. My mother always made homemade pie crust, because it wasn't offered at the store. She got to where she would buy it in the stores, but it wasn't as tasty. We would do all homemade on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a lot of work for a lot of women, a few men. Nothing tasted better, though.

It's scary how little people know how to do any more.
Even my SIL who is slightly older than me can't cook anything that doesn't come out of a box.
And none of my nephews can build or repair anything, they run to their fathers.

My married in niece who went to college to be a nutritionist would come up with some totally off the wall ideas and wonder why my nephew wouldn't eat it.
When I heard what she wanted to do to cookies I realized the hockey puck cookie joke was no joke.
I learned those things in the screw around Home Ec classes I took and she didn't learn them in college courses that would have to have something to do with cooking since she's writing the hospital menus and deciding on the ingredients.

I think if they can require "General Business" to teach people how to write checks and balance a checkbook they should require a basic Home Ec class to teach people how to cook the basics and have a little food safety.

But I've also heard that Home Ec isn't what it used to be either (the real Home Ec, not the Elementary Baking and Independent Living classes I took).

Plantgoddess+
09-23-2008, 06:22 PM
You could make your own butter very easily. Use whipping cream at room temp. I used to use a blender because butter churns were too expensive. Pour the cream in and pulse til it thickens like whipped cream. Pay close attention then because it's not far from the fat molecules clumping together to form butter. Continue to pulse at low speed until the cream looks watery again and your butter should be starting to cling to the blades. I used to then pour out through a fine strainer and dump the butter pieces onto a clean smooth surface. If you have a marble surface that's great. Use a spatula to press the butter pieces together and knead with spatula to force as much of the buttermilk out as possible. I wasn't too fussy and would just pick it up in my hands and squeeze together until it no longer sweats liquid. It helps to keep dipping your hands in ice water, the cooler you can keep the butter the better for working. If you want salt add after pressing liquid out, shape and refrigerate.

Puddinpop
09-23-2008, 08:34 PM
No wonder I got hooked on making whipped cream for my strawberries out of cream and sugar whipped together. I was eating butter and sugar. LOL

Puddinpop
09-23-2008, 08:36 PM
Mike, that's another thing. I guess cause there are so many dead beat dads, but guys don't know how to fix things around the house or on a car anymore. My dad all the repairs in our house and most of the repairs and up keep of the cars. My husband does alot, but not as much as my dad or my brothers. Guys just don't know how to do anything anymore.

stitchwitch
09-24-2008, 10:17 AM
Mike, that's another thing. I guess cause there are so many dead beat dads, but guys don't know how to fix things around the house or on a car anymore. My dad all the repairs in our house and most of the repairs and up keep of the cars. My husband does alot, but not as much as my dad or my brothers. Guys just don't know how to do anything anymore.
It's not always a dead beat dad thing. My brother (same dad as me and who grew up in the same house with the same "can do" dad) has this attitude that he's too good for manual labor. :roll: Me, on the other hand will do anything not to have to pay someone to do it. You name it, I've probably done it myself. My husband is the same way.
My mom was telling me the other day that DB said he "didn't have time for manual labor" when he was telling them he needed a new door sweep on his screen door. Ohhh, like 5 minutes would kill him. I think it's part of the new entitlement mentality that everyone seems to feel is so great. "I'm too rich, too good, too important to do something that I can hire some minion to do. People will think I don't have money if I'm seen doing something for myself." Believe me, most that think that way aren't any of the above things, they're people living behind a facade.
Sorry for the rant. :teehee:

Mike
09-24-2008, 11:08 AM
It's not always a dead beat dad thing. My brother (same dad as me and who grew up in the same house with the same "can do" dad) has this attitude that he's too good for manual labor. :roll: Me, on the other hand will do anything not to have to pay someone to do it. You name it, I've probably done it myself. My husband is the same way.
My mom was telling me the other day that DB said he "didn't have time for manual labor" when he was telling them he needed a new door sweep on his screen door. Ohhh, like 5 minutes would kill him. I think it's part of the new entitlement mentality that everyone seems to feel is so great. "I'm too rich, too good, too important to do something that I can hire some minion to do. People will think I don't have money if I'm seen doing something for myself." Believe me, most that think that way aren't any of the above things, they're people living behind a facade.
Sorry for the rant. :teehee:
I totally agree.
Entitlement, too good and laziness.
After living a life that way they also get a "can't do" attitude.

My nephew (12hrs away) wants a deck. He calls my brother.
Then instead of learning and finishing it on his own the unfinished deck sits for a year until my brother can go back.

When my brother was building his house the older generation was all pitching in. The kid's generation was nowhere to be found, not even the one with absolutely no skills who's stuck in minimum wage jobs.

Judging by my brother and sister a lot of it's the parent's fault. They wanted the old "better life" for their kids. That meant no junk cars they had to figure out how to fix and anything above chores were done for them.

Puddinpop
09-24-2008, 04:13 PM
I don't have money to throw around, that's for sure. Like, if I want my car cleaned, I do it. Just can't see throwing away money for that. Other things, maybe, but that is just too easy.