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What commercially available foods are so good (though not necessarily better) that it deters you from making the homemade equivalent?

Stressing that I am not saying that the commercially available items are necessarily better than what can be made at home, but just that they are of such high quality that -- in light of everything else including time and effort -- there's almost no point in making the homemade version.

The Costco / Kirkland Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream fits that bill for me.

Honestly, I think that big tub of Kirkland ice cream might be the best commercially available ice cream around -- regardless of price. I put it up against any and all super-premium artisan brand vanilla ice creams out there, e.g. Carmela, Laloo's, Silver Moon, etc.. And, while I might not win every round, I think I'd come out OK in the final score card.

Don't even get me started on brands like Häagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry's, Turkey Hill, Blue Bunny, Edy's etc. Kirkland would lap those vanilla creations.

Now, I might be able to make a better vanilla ice cream at home, but factoring in cost and effort and time, it's almost not worth it.

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  1. usually the things that are time/cost prohibitive...
    like cheese or milk...i dont have room for a herd of cows in my apt
    or ice cream like u said...and i liked wawa's vanilla bean back in the day...
    deli meats..boars head is pretty good stuff...
    bacon...same with pigs...
    bread..
    most of time i can cook or mostly make anything...but time and money do work against u

    and this can also bring society into this discussion..now that we are mostly industrialized i dont need or have time to make everything that i need..thus i trade my skill at fixing cars(which i am really good at)
    for somone elses skill to make other things i need...

    but yes i am pretty sure i can/could make all those better or as good...

    1. My first thought was bread. I have never been able to duplicate a good artisan bread or make a homemade loaf of bread in which the slices are as soft and pliable as store bought, especially whole wheat.

      I have become a fan of precooked bacon. So easy, no greasy mess or burning splatters.

      I just splurged on some greek yogurt rather than drain some regular yogurt.

      Pie crust, puff pastry and pasta although I have never wanted to make puff pastry from scratch.

      3 Replies
      1. re: eatswjoy

        I don't think I've come across a commercially available pie crust that would deter me from making my own pie crust.

        Ditto on the thoughts re: puff pastry. Probably better than anything I would make at home, but then I don't think I've ever really tried making puff pastry seriously at home.

        1. re: eatswjoy

          I don't know why but I don't have the special magic required to make pastry. I don't know what it is, but I have just never been blessed by the pastry gods, no matter how many sacrifices and rituals I undertake. So I am a sad purchaser of pastry, not because I don't want to make it, but because it is sadly better than what I can produce myself.

          I long for the day the pastry gods smile upon me.

          1. re: TheHuntress

            You, too? When I try pastries, I eventually just have to stop and say "Look, self, it's dead. Anything more you do to it is just adding insult to injury."

        2. Potato chips, I love the Kirkland Kettle chips.

          1. Mayonnaise, specifically Duke's. I know homemade mayo is supposed to be, like, a transcendent experience, but Duke's is mighty good and I can't be bothered to dirty a blender, food processor, or bowl and whisk when I can just open a jar.

            I'd love to try that ice cream, ipse. I've found I don't even really eat ice cream that much, even though I like it, because most of what's available in the store is just not that great compared to homemade.

            5 Replies
            1. re: LauraGrace

              Do try the Kirkland Vanilla Super Premium Ice Cream.

              Great, great stuff. And at a price that's almost impossible to beat. It's sort of like selling your ice cream eating soul to the devil.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                You must have recovered from your ice cream OD. It was you, right, who started the thread on overdosing on a food?

                1. re: Isolda

                  Maybe he's trying to keep the thread alive, by introducing the hungry to the devil. ;)

                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    Good point, but I've already met the devil. His name is Clement Faugier and he makes sweet chesnut paste.

                    1. re: Isolda

                      Really (said the weak-willed and hungry girl), sweet chestnut paste?

                      Sometimes I think I'm trying to clog my arteries so that I can get to my next life all the faster, and taste things for the first time all over again.

            2. The raw flour tortillas that you cook in a pan or griddle, best thing to come along in years.

              3 Replies
              1. Cool question... it really made me think

                My ice cream, bread, pizza, and beer are all better (or at least more satisfying) than anything store bought...

                I won't often screw around with:
                Tortilla and potato chips, much better bought; Mayonnaise, far too perishable;
                Although I studied Oenology in post grad, I prefer to buy wine; and don't laugh but I prefer MickeyD's Egg McMuffin

                3 Replies
                1. re: redips

                  I would've included McDonald's Filet-O-Fish but then I realized that I've never actually made, or even tried to make, the Filet-O-Fish at home.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    LOL re: Filet-O-Fish. Hadn't had one in years, made one at home a couple of weeks ago (before Easter). My fish was too crispy, and the roll didn't get that steamy softness. The individual components of my sandwich were better quality and prepared better, but it wasn't a Filet-o-Fish.

                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                      ... but it wasn't a Filet-o-Fish.

                      ____________________________

                      Ain't that the truth. I've tried and tried and tried. But, alas, Mickey D's has me beat by a Ronald McDonald mile.

                2. The Costco company - Kirkland brand - of Mango-Peach Salsa is so good. I use it on most everything and anything - salmon (baked, grilled, or pan fried), chicken (breast, thigh, skinless), salad, cooked vegetables - the list is endless. I never bother to make my own version because the store-bought one is so friggin good.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      For years and years I only bought canned pumpkin filling until a friend gave me a huge pumpkin from her garden. It took me all morning to carve, clean, cook, peel and then puree small amounts in my regular sized Cuisinart, about 20 cups of finished pumpkin puree. I froze 2 cup portions for the future. It was such a job! Then my husband is delighted with the pie...so different than the usual. I guess I'll just have to ask for a smaller pumpkin next time!

                      1. re: eatswjoy

                        Or you could make another kind of pie.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            I saw some creme brulee tartlets in Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts the other day. Now that's a dessert I can give thanks for, come November.

                        1. re: eatswjoy

                          It's much easier than you think! Many squashes make better "pumpkin" pie than modern pumpkins do: I especially like kabocha, buttercup, or good old butternut. And you can bake the squash WHOLE. When it's good and soft, it's beyond easy to separate skin from flesh from seeds and strings and then scoop the flesh into containers for the freezer. I do it all fall/winter long for pies, muffins, dinner puree, stir into risotto...

                          If you want to bake it a little faster, cut the squash in half and lay it cut side down in a roasting pan with a bit of water. Almost as easy.

                          1. re: Amy Mintzer

                            Thank you Amy Mintzer.

                            I would have to agree about other squashes. I just worked with some butternut squash today. We steamed them whole for about 20 minutes, let them cool, then peeled, seeded and roasted the flesh. I can imagine making pies from them as well if we steamed them until they were cooked through.

                            I have been using my giant pumpkin puree portions in my quick breads. It has been nice to have it. :)

                          2. re: eatswjoy

                            Save yourself the trouble and just seed it and microwave next time. Flesh scoops right out so easily.

                          1. re: lilgi

                            I just have to ask.

                            Are your homemade Devil Dogs better than the ones from Drake's?

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I tried a recipe and regretted it. I think Smitten Kitchen improved upon the same one I used, so if I try making them again I may use hers. So far I still prefer Drake's ;)

                          2. Manwich!

                            People will snub their nose, swear allegiance to their mother's version, or chide me for loving a product full of high fructose corn syup, but I will no turn my back on it.

                            I love you, Manwich.

                            1. Phyllo, puff pastry (which I have made by hand, in highschool, over summer break... it took forever)...

                              for a while, I was all about the Trader Joe's frozen pie crust, but then they started folding it! What is up with that? It breaks before you can even thaw it. So we are back to homemade piecrust :)

                              1. Pie crust -- either Pillsbury in the US or any brand here in Europe. I can make good pie crust, but prebought is more than acceptable and it's right. there. I rarely put enough forethought into meals (other than the main dish) to have the time to make pie crust and put it in the fridge, let it come to room temp and futz around rolling it out.

                                Pasta (except for homemade noodles for chicken and noodles -- those I make) --

                                Baguettes -- sorry to flaunt this one, c oliver -- but I have SEVEN bakeries within walking distance, and it's like US$1 to buy a warm crusty baguette (from the guy who just won best boulanger in the region, by the way)....why would I make my own?

                                Pasta sauce -- I only do this one occasionally, but I usually keep a jar of Barilla sauce on hand for those nights when it's late and everybody's starving. (Usually I make my own sauce.)

                                1. I have yet to taste a homememad puff pastry that's better than Pepperidge Farms. And, with the intense labor involved in making your own, I can't believe some people still do it.

                                  Pasta. I haven't ever made my own because I have a feeling thatt once I start, I'll never stop and I try to avoid eating pasta at all.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: SweetPhyl

                                    Really? Isn't PF non-dairy?

                                    As in no layers in butter in a pastry that is all about butter? I think it tastes like puffed cardboard

                                    1. re: JudiAU

                                      First time I've ever heard a negative word about PF puff pastry! I think the stuff is deelish!

                                      http://shopping.yahoo.com/articles/ys...

                                      1. re: FitMom4Life

                                        Once you try Dufour all-butter puff pastry, you will think PF tastes like paper. I can't ever go back, and it kills me because Dufour is expensive!

                                        1. re: Isolda

                                          I bought some of the PF puff pastry cups...they were greasy and awful. And they don't contain butter, just vegetable shortening...WTF?

                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                            Make. the. Canadian. Living. puff. pastry.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              Wow, that's remarkably similar to the quick PP recipe from CI I mentioned below. Only CL actually gives you the recipe online free AND a video if you'd like to see it done. Impressive. http://www.canadianliving.com/food/qu...

                                              1. re: amyzan

                                                Canadian Living is a great resource, especially for baking recipes. Who figured this method out first, I wonder?

                                        2. re: FitMom4Life

                                          Do try Dufour! You'll never eat PF again. Or you could make the quick food processor method puff pastry from CI--the recipe is easy as long as you don't mind a rolling pin.

                                    2. You puff pastry shunners owe it to yourselves to try this one at least once. Easy, fun, and delicious (and you know it's butter, not some analog): http://video.canadianliving.com/62268...

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Thanks for the link! I'll be giving this method a try.

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          Thank you for this.

                                          Now if only there were a quick & easy phyllo - I always forget to start the defrosting process before I actually need it.

                                          The lists people have put in here are interesting to say the least. Other than the obvious (winemaking is very difficult and distilling is dangerous and illegal), there are very few things that I can't make at home. Phyllo is one of them, as mentioned before. The rest sound more like an effort thing for most, which is understandable, but I'm fortunate enough to have a wife who will put up with me making just about anything from scratch.

                                          1. re: pramjockey

                                            My thoughts are along the same lines. Bread and cake? Really???

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              Now I have to be fair - my cake sucks. I've tried. And tried. And tried. I'm a cook. And I make a pretty darn good loaf of bread (not to be immodest). But my cake, except perhaps, maybe, for my angel food cake, has always left something to be desired. Maybe it's my inability to adapt for altitude, or my cook's tendencies to rebel against recipes. But it's just not as good as the really good stuff.

                                              But, it's still better than the Sam's CostTargetMart stuff that people shlep to whatever event. (Why do people do that? Just like those damn godawful muffins? - sorry, that's another topic). Hell, even a box mix is better than that.

                                            2. re: pramjockey

                                              Oh, yes, that pesky phyllo defrosting process. I'm sure you already know that nuking it on the defrost setting doesn't work. Just ask my daughter about the "spanakopita goo rocks" I once made.

                                          2. Spaghetti sauce. If I made sauce from scratch and it came out like Prego, I'd be happy, so - why?

                                            My sister & I are opposites: she makes her own spaghetti sauce and uses store-bought broth. I make my own stocks and eat sauce from a jar.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: WNYamateur

                                              Ha! I'm like your sister. I can't stand jarred pasta sauce -- it's always so sweet! -- but I don't mind store-bought stock or broth (as long as it's a good one, of course).

                                            2. Me too with the pasta, except when I want plump doughy egg noodles. There is so much good dried pasta available now, and for most egg noodle dishes Streit's are about as good as you can get. I think if I wanted some proper maltagliati for pasta e fagioli I'd have to get out the Atlas machine and get to work, but with a really good Italian deli just around the corner I can easily buy anything else.

                                              I buy the Pillsbury piecrusts, too, but I still make all the graham-cracker or cookie-crumb ones from scratch, because they're so easy and I get to tweak them.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                My maternal great-grandmother and my paternal grandmother headed up the church committees that held an enormous chicken-and-noodle dinner (at two different churches in different towns) as a fundraiser at the town fair every year. I learned to make noodles at something like 6 or 7, and made more noodles than I could ever count at their sides.

                                                I am honor-bound by heritage to make egg noodles from scratch (and my dad says mine are just as good as either of theirs!) -- I would NOT want to be haunted by either of those beloved, but respected, ladies if I ever bought a package of egg noodles.

                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                  For chicken and noodles, ONLY handmade egg noodles will do. On that we shall agree. For tuna-noodle casserole, Streit's or Manischewitz will do just fine. Better, in fact.

                                              2. Lasagna
                                                Pizza
                                                Meatloaf
                                                Fettucine Alfredo
                                                Ice Cream
                                                Soda
                                                Bread
                                                Fried Chicken
                                                Beans
                                                Vegatables
                                                Cake
                                                Pie
                                                Crackers
                                                Granola bars
                                                Biscotti
                                                Cheese
                                                Ham
                                                Milk
                                                Beer
                                                Wine
                                                Vodka

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: redfish62

                                                  i don't make my own pasta but I have made my own mayonnaise and I love Hellman's, so that's my go to. I figure if their mayo tastes as good to me as my homemade, there's not much point in sweating over the blender and making it from scratch. I have also made my own sour cherry jam and find the Eastern European and Greek brands just as good or better.

                                                  1. re: redfish62

                                                    Wait, what commercially available lasagna doesn't taste like crap?

                                                    I thought "commercially available" meant "in a grocery store" which leads me to ask what store-made pizza, meatloaf, and fettucine alfredo are you finding in the freezer case that are better than homemade?

                                                    Some of your list doesn't make sense. Vegetables? Inquiring minds want to know! ;)

                                                    1. re: LauraGrace

                                                      The Kirkland lasagna is actually pretty good. Nothing like homemade, but still pretty good.

                                                      1. re: LauraGrace

                                                        Laura Grace: "Wait, what commercially available lasagna doesn't taste like crap?"

                                                        Yeah, really.

                                                        1. re: LauraGrace

                                                          I think our buddy redfish62 was being deliberately provocative, as witness the beverage listings.

                                                          I'm on the fence about mayonnaise, not because I'm conflicted about making it - I *LOVE* to make it, and then to use it - but because I use so much of it on a daily basis in ways that would just be a waste of the hand-wrought stuff. But there is no good substitute, in any jar from any company, for the buttery-rich (and usually garlicky) stuff I make with my little Cuisinart. Yum yum.

                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                            So true, Will. I hardly ever use mayonnaise from a jar. I know I bought a jar early in 2010, but I don't remember what I used it for.

                                                      2. Phyllo dough, as I think it just takes practice to get it thin enough. More practice than I have time for, and probably more counter space, too.

                                                        1. you must loooove custard.
                                                          Give me Turkey Hill any day -- but the price!
                                                          I make Philly style myself at home (and have the Kirkland in the freezer).
                                                          icecreamaholic, ya?

                                                          14 Replies
                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              I'm not sure why I never took to ice cream that much. Don't get me wrong, I like it very much and even better if it's combined in a dessert. But by itself it's never managed to take me to that other place. But you have my full attention now with Kirkland vanilla, I really must try this now because the recommendation is coming from a real ice cream aficionado.

                                                              I really loved Ben and Jerry's rum raisin, extremely sweet and boozy and light on the raisins. I tried Haagen Daaz's version the other day and highly disliked it, doesn't even compare ;(

                                                              1. re: lilgi

                                                                Do indeed give it a try.

                                                                Just don't, um, OD on it ....

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    Is the Kirkland vanilla ice cream made without guar gum, carageenan, or whatever that stuff Breyer's ruins their ice cream with nowadays?

                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                      shh... it's really haagendazs. breyers tosses air in theirs... kirkland doesn't...

                                                                        1. re: pramjockey

                                                                          Actually it is essential to protect ice cream FROM air for prolonged periods. Air has moisture in it, and since the ice cream has to be kept very cold to preserve it, the moisture in the air freezes and turns to ice.

                                                                          This results in the formation of ice crystals in the ice cream (particularly at the surface), resulting in ice cream that is "iced" and of inferior quality because it will no longer have a creamy texture.

                                                                          1. re: redfish62

                                                                            Of course, but I'm talking about during the actual making of the ice cream - without the air being whipped into it, it's inedible. The air breaks up the ice crystals and creates the texture that we enjoy. Taking some sweetened, flavored cream and tossing it in the freezer doesn't work; you have to freeze it while incorporating air.

                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                        Here is the ingredient list: fresh cream, skim milk, sugar, pasteurized eggs yolks, natural vanilla, carob bean gum and guar gum.

                                                                        I don't know of any commercial ice creams made without stabilizers. Not sure that's even possible.

                                                                        If you eat the Kirkland ice cream properly -- i.e. letting it rest at room temp for a minute or two (or more, b/c it is a 1/2 gallon box) -- then it really takes on a thick creamy texture more akin to gelato than anything Breyer's can churn out.

                                                                        Really, now that I think about it, what separates Kirkland ice cream from other brands isn't so much the pure unadulterated vanilla taste (i.e., not too sweet, but nice and floral) but its unique texture, which is like I said more like gelato than traditional ice cream.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                          Haagen-Dazs doesn't have guar gum, carob bean gum, or carageenan. It's basically the same ingredient list you'd use at home. I do eat Breyer's but in a side by side test of plain vanilla, Haagen Dazs was the clear winner in my kitchen.

                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                            Turkey Hill All Natural Philadelphia Style. No gums or Carageenan. Love the Cherry Vanilla, all flavors delish.

                                                                            1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                              I'm going to look for that cherry vanilla. Sounds good.

                                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                            Have you tried their chocolate gelato? We just picked some up and I liked it. The problem is, as with all Costco products, quantity. I love Haagen Daz's single serving cups.

                                                                1. These don't really qualify as commercial, but I've tried making hot and sour soup and miso soup at home, and they just weren't as good as what I can get at local restaurants. So I'll stick to take-out. :)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: pasuga

                                                                    Also, pho. I mean, I CAN make an awesome pho at home, but it's just not worth the time and effort when there are a ton of really good places to get it.

                                                                  2. Rotisserie chickens -- especially when they're $5 every Friday and who feels like cooking a lot on Friday night anyway. Plus we get 2-3 meals out of one.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: DoctorDaveNY

                                                                        Yeah, I like theirs, too. Especially the pine nut hummus. Tribe comes nowhere close. There's a local brand, Asmar's, that's also very good: http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3722947...

                                                                        But I still prefer homemade.

                                                                      2. -Nut-butters.
                                                                        -Any meat that is cured/smoked/preserved, especially pork and fish. I'd hate to see the day when I am without a good supply of lox. I preemptively resent it.
                                                                        -And, until someone virtually delivers rennet to my door, free of charge, making my own ricotta is as far as I'm going to take the cheese-making for the foreseeable future.
                                                                        -Any type of preserve that needs a system of sterilization to make it through the long haul. I can deal with making anything we are likely to eat within a week or two, beyond that? Nope.

                                                                        Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream tastes like my childhood; the era of French vanilla.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                          as to preserving -- try making a batch of jam sometime -- the Blue Book website will walk you through it -- it's dead simple, really doesn't require any special equipment (your stock pot will do fine) -- and the taste of homemade jams from fresh fruit really can't be beat.

                                                                          www.freshpreserving.com

                                                                          I do buy jam once in a while if I just don't have time to can -- as even frozen fruit makes excellent jam.

                                                                        2. Tofu. The stuff I get at the store is delicious, so why bother? It would take hours and tonnes of equipment to make it at home. No thanks.

                                                                          Kimchi. The Korean store sells a vegetarian version (no fish sauce), meaning I don't have to bother with giant vats of cabbage.

                                                                          Pickles. I'm perfectly happy with my store-bought kosher dills.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                            Kimchi is one of those I think my homemade version far out surpasses store-bought or commercially availably varieties. It's definitely worth the time and effort in my opinion.

                                                                            Agree with tofu and pickles. But I have to admit the thought of making tofu has never seriously crossed my mind.

                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                              To be fair, I've never tried to make kimchi, because I never really had a reason to (and it seems pretty daunting).

                                                                              I thought about making tofu a while ago at the height of the DIY craze -- you know, when it seemed everyone was making their own butter. I saw a bunch of tutorials that kept saying how cheap and easy it is and how much tastier fresh tofu is. I don't doubt it tastes better -- I've had fresh tofu in a restaurant -- but I just don't want to mess around with the soaking and straining and pressing and whatnot.

                                                                            2. re: piccola

                                                                              I have a terrible time finding pickles that make me really happy. A lot of this is a regional thing. I adore Gedney's State Fair Baby Baby Dills, but I now have to special order them online if I want any.

                                                                            3. Ketchup.

                                                                              I LAUGH when I see recipes for ketchup saying how once you try this you'll never go back to Heinz. There is no reason to ever leave Heinz in the first place. I will never even try making ketchup. It's ridiculous.

                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Amy Mintzer

                                                                                I dunno, it's on the list of things to make. I've had scratch made ketchup and it's so much better than Heinz...

                                                                                1. re: pramjockey

                                                                                  whose vinegar did you use then, if not heinz?

                                                                                2. re: Amy Mintzer

                                                                                  Ketchup recipes, IMO, are only for when you have that perfect tomato year in your garden and pick a bushel a day for the entire month of August.

                                                                                  1. re: Amy Mintzer

                                                                                    Ketchup takes about five minutes to make from start to finish--tomato paste, sweetener, water, vinegar and spices. Ta-daa!

                                                                                    1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                      Degree of difficulty is not the issue. Arguing with perfection is.

                                                                                      1. re: Amy Mintzer

                                                                                        Amy,

                                                                                        You and will generally get blasted on these boards, but I totally concur on Heinz Ketchup.

                                                                                        Not only is it more convenient, but it is better than homemade (at least *my* homemade).

                                                                                        And given how much ketchup I consume, if I made it myself, I'd spend half my day making ketchup, and the other half eating it.

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                          I'm new to the boards, so I'm not sure who does the blasting or why they do it. To me, it seems that if you like it, more power to ya - it's none of my business whether you like something or not. Granted, this is geared towards people who are passionate about food, so there will be some strong feelings towards the subject but "blasting" someone for one particular like or dislike seems silly.

                                                                                          That said, it does seem that if one comes to such a forum with an unwillingness to learn about or try new things (not saying that's you, but in general), *that* might be worth a raised eybrow or two. In the matter of ketchup, I've been fortunate enough to have freshly-made ketchup that, to my taste buds (the only ones I've got) was far superior to anything I've had from jar or bottle. Was it worth the effort it took to make it? Unfortunately, I don't have the recipe, so I can't say, but I'll be giving some a try in the future to see.

                                                                                          1. re: pramjockey

                                                                                            I fully applaud your attitude! (If you'll read my post above about baking squash for pumpkin pie and other uses, you'll see I'm an enthusiastic advocate for getting people into the kitchen! Not to mention the years and years I've spent as a cookbook editor.) I do love Heinz, but really I was just having fun with the hard-nosed way I wrote it up.

                                                                                  2. Pickles. I made them for the first time last year and while they were pretty good they weren't the salty tangy Claussen's I love. It was also more expensive to make them from scratch. And before I stopped eating stuff like that I fully agree that Kirkland vanilla ice cream is the bomb.

                                                                                    1. V8. I won't argue that it's "high quality," but it tastes exactly like I want it to taste. Trying to recreate it at home would be silly. I bring this up every couple of years on Chowhound, and someone always tries to convince me to make V8 from scratch, which would be more expensive, and more work, and probably not as good.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: small h

                                                                                        Hey, another good one, small h. I did try making a version of V-8 at home, and all I can say is it's not worth the trouble at all.

                                                                                      2. Blue Bunny Ice Cream is a sure sign that the end o' the world is nigh.
                                                                                        I tend to purchase piecrusts rather than make them, because they're good enough.

                                                                                        1. quite a few foods on here that i don't ever eat, like ketchup and kimchee, so i'd never think about making them.

                                                                                          ice cream we get from a local dairy and the b/f won't eat any other kind, ever.

                                                                                          phyllo and puff pastry, which i use often, are just too labor-intensive, so i won't bother when the commercial alternatives are quite good.

                                                                                          very few italians bother making pasta, again because there is excellent product available on store shelves.

                                                                                          i live in an urban condo, so pastured pigs, cows and goats are not at my hand for meats and the curing of, nor for producing milk and its bounties, like butter and cheese. yeah, yeah, i know i can make it, but seriously?

                                                                                          baked goods and sauces are all from scratch for me, otherwise.

                                                                                          1. Bread.
                                                                                            Pizza
                                                                                            I mean I can and do but not as often as I want to eat them.
                                                                                            Sausage. I've just started to make it but until I took the class i never would have considered it. Now I'm doing them with fresh ingredients, a bit less salt and adjusting the spices to taste.