What do you make from scratch &, if you had the time, what WOULD you make from scratch?
I thought of this when I saw last week's Los Angeles Times Food section article on grinding your own flour. While an avid baker, I first thought "Jeez, who has the time to do THAT?", then I thought about what I would make from scratch...if I did have the time, and what do I do make from scratch, whether I have the time or not. I didn't include in the first list obvious things like "most of our meals" since, as a CH, I obviously make most of our meals).
WHAT i DO MAKE FROM SCRATCH: (THAT MOST PEOPLE JUST BUY OR USE A MIX)
Cookies, cakes, pies, and desserts such as mousse, rice puddings, etc.
(including Tres Leches cake, NY-style cheesecake, and Sans Rival)
Mac and cheese
Salad dressings (homemade blue cheese - you gotta try it!)
Dips (onion, and pimento cheese -ditto!)
WHAT I HAVE MADE FROM SCRATCH (& WOULD CONTINUE TO DO SO, WHEN I HAVE TIME):
WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE:
So what's on your lists?
I'm suddenly reminded of the Carl Sagan quote, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." I make pie crust from scratch all the time, but I don't grind the flour, mine the salt, or render the lard. I guess you can always get more homemade!
I make tortillas from scratch quite often, even though I could easily buy quality tortillas at the store. I would never even think about using a mix for mac and cheese or pancakes, since it's just as easy to make them from scratch (and tastier). I always make soup and sauces; maybe a little more work, but the prepped stuff pales in comparison.
Pita chips and tortilla chips are usually made from scratch in my house, croutons too.
I refuse to buy pre-made salsas, since they never seem to be spicy enough for me. I like to include habaneros in mine, and I don't skimp on the cilantro. And don't even get me started on the pre-made guacamole; I won't even eat that stuff.
I've had a lot of fun making flavored liquors, especially limoncello. I'll be making a lot more of those over summer; I'll be making more jam as well.
My half/half thing is stock: I love making stock (usually do it once a month or so), but I'm okay with using boxed broth in some preparations. I save my really good reduced chicken stocks and demi-galces for sauces.
If I had the time, I'd love to make tamales, and maybe sushi. But the thing I'd most like to make from scratch is wine, which seems like a lot of fun.
Things I do not enjoy making: puff pastry, phyllo dough, and pasta. Give me a box any day!
I scratch bake/cook nearly everything, from seasoned oils and vinegars to seasoning blends to rubs to mustards and ketchups to salsas, sauces, preserves, creme fraiche, tortillas, chips, doughnuts, cheeses, some charcuterie (that is one thing I need to make more of from scratch), breads, perogies, buns, pasta, pestos, dips, stocks, lefse, etc. Don't recall when I last bought any vinaigrettes or dressings (several years). Have even made Worcestershire sauce and sriracha. We used to make our own butter from our fresh cow's milk! Make vanilla extract. Grow lots of herbs and veg, too.
So, I do not make my phyllo any more, and as mentioned I want to do more charcuterie.
Im very impressed by your skills and effort.
Ive made creme fraiche and dounuts and breads of every sort by the hundrends nightly when I worked in a bakery but Ive never made yourgurt or ricotta.
Ive made strudel dough so I wouldn't dream of trying to make phyllo at home because I have warm hands and its not worth the stress.
I've made wine, beer, champagne, soda pop, vinegars and even made moonshine once.
Id love to have the room to try charcuterie at home.
Chinese & Asian food, bbq pork, Kimchee
Bread/rolls/pie crust/biscuits/cookies/ custards/ creme brulee
ice cream -smoothies, coffee drinks like frappes, and hot coffee drinks
Salsas, dipping sauces, bbq sauce
Salad dressing - the best blue cheese dressing, ranch, thousand, green goddess, etc.
all my own soups
This list could grow quite long actually..there's very little that I don't make.
Would love to make dynamite ravioli and dehydrated fruits and veggies. oops and mozzarella
all this year!
What I do make pretty much all the time (ie, I never buy packaged)
Cakes, Cookies, Pie crust and Filling, Bread Pudding, Rice Pudding, Custard...
Salad dressings and Dips (vinaigrette, cream dressings, Hummus, baba ganouj, guacamole, salsa, tatziki)
Soups (vegetable, noodle, cream-of, miso...)
Anything pasta or riced based (ie, Mac and Cheese, Noodles and Sauce, tuna casserole, tomato sauce, cream sauce, pesto sauce)
Yoghurt, Ghee, Paneer, flavoured cream cheese
Things I sometimes make and Sometimes buy, depending on time and inclination
Crackers, bread, pasta, ravioli, perogies
Pickles and Jams
Fish and chips
Things I haven't got around to trying, or would love to make if I had the space/had the time/wouldn't get me arrested/could buy the ingredients
Kimchi and Sauerkraut, lime pickle (haven't got around to)
Beer and wine (not legal)
Real cheese making (live in the wrong climate)
Sausage making & Smoking (no place to put a smoker that wouldn't get me evicted)
From Scratch always:
Soup (but that's pretty normal i guess)
If I've got time / prefer home made but can live with substituting a high end bought product
Flavoured oils and vinegars
Would love to, but never have and seem disinclined to on the basis that I've always bought it and never been particularly curious in where it comes from and some other things that just seem way more trouble than they're worth
Fermented anything (sauerkraut, sourdough starter etc)
Flours (I do actually know a person who does, but they also store their shoes by colour and season so...)
That I make:
Bread (basic sandwich and banana)
Tomatoe sauce and pesto
Hummus and guacamole
Beer (still buy some)
Cookies and cakes
Waffles and pancakes
bbq sauce and marinades
Mac and Cheese
Stock and soups
If I had time/counter space I'd make:
Jams and other preserved foods
canned goods (sauces, jam, pickles, salsa, etc)
cookies, cakes, pies
ricotta and mozzarella
all dressings, dips, etc
creme fraiche (does this really count? I'm not milking the cow!)
Would like to make/make more often:
bread (awesome local bakery ... I should take classes so we don't have to suffer my 50/50 results.)
new recipe for tortillas (last one was a dud, haven't tried again in years)
I'm planning to make sauerkraut for the first time this summer.
Pizza, onion rings, fries, chicken nuggets
Chinese food, including dumplings (also Indian, but that's not really involved)
Pasta and ravioli
Any baked goods including cakes and breads
Pickles and jams, ketchup
Nan, pitas, bagels and other specialty baked goods-- until I got a job that gave me free baked goods I hadn't purchased anything flour-based for home use in 6 months
Spices-- I will dry and grind my own, especially something like chili or peels where I might have some old stuff lying around to be thrown out
Did once or twice but lack the time:
lobster bisque-- shelling the lobsters was killer
Want to try:
What I make by hand:
sourdough bread, naan, pizza dough, etc.
salted (fermented) red chiles
stock (though I will also use boxed stuff)
sauces, dressings, salsa, pesto (I can't sell anything but homemade to my family now)
pancakes, quick breads, cakes
dosa (like a crepe, I guess)
soups (again, can't sell anything from a can to my family now)
spice blends and curry (but I cheat on the Thai type)
pie crust (so worth it)
What I have made, but don't regularly, but would if I had time
sausage (I need to do this more, it is so good)
home ground meat
dumplings (like pot stickers)
sprouts (if I could figure them out better)
ravioli (yum, but is rather tedious)
What I have made but probably won't again:
Surely I'm overlooking some obvious ones, but this gives the idea. Thanks for asking, I've got to make sausage again, soon!