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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
Hummus
Salad dressings (homemade blue cheese - you gotta try it!)
Dips (onion, and pimento cheese -ditto!)
Pancakes

WHAT I HAVE MADE FROM SCRATCH (& WOULD CONTINUE TO DO SO, WHEN I HAVE TIME):
Bread
Yogurt
Pasta

WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE:
Doughnuts
Beer
Root beer
Ricotta cheese

So what's on your lists?

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  1. 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!

    1. 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.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefathome

        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.

      2. Pizza
        Chinese & Asian food, bbq pork, Kimchee
        Jams
        Stock
        Bread/rolls/pie crust/biscuits/cookies/ custards/ creme brulee
        ice cream -smoothies, coffee drinks like frappes, and hot coffee drinks
        Cookies
        Salsas, dipping sauces, bbq sauce
        Pestos/hummus/ spreads
        Tamales/chile rellenos
        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!

        1. 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)

          Granola

          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

          Breadcrumbs

          Hot sauce

          Flavoured vodkas

          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)

          1. I have made but it takes hours, Spanakopita and Baklava - that filo is tough to work with but I would do them both again.