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Resturant vs Homecooked

Growing up, anyone enjoy a dish that you've had out but not so much your Mom's home-cooked version? Generally my Mom wasn't much for recreating dishes that we would have out at a restaurant but when she did decide she liked something, heaven help us all when she would give it a go. My mom would improvise more out of wanting to save time not because finances dictated and as a result taste was the first sacrificed. There were several dishes she butchered but my most vivid memory was her attempts with cooking Jambalaya. Not wishing to shop for the sausage needed or the shrimp, my mom was ok with subbing hotdogs and fish sticks. Needless to say my sister and I stopped making too many happy noises when we'd try something out least my mother try to recreate her "version". I'm interested in your experiences....

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  1. <my mom was ok with subbing hotdogs and fish sticks>

    Ha ha ha.

    Well, in general, home cooked dishes are "less salty, less fat, and less sugar" than restaurant dishes. Whenever I recreate restaurant dishes, I find out how much salt, sugar or fat, they add to the dishes.

    Back to childhood, my mom didn't usually recreate dishes, though my dad did. My mom was the usual home cook, but my dad cooked once a long while. He actually was able to recreate many restaurant dishes to decent effects. He just take very long time to do so. He would start in the late morning or early noon to create the dinner.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      your lucky to have both parents interested in cooking. My mom didn't care for cooking and has been less so as she's gotten older. My dad was never interested in cooking and only did so out of necessity and my mom being out of commission a couple times for medical issues. His idea of cooking was anything mixed in a bowl and microwaved on high for 3 minutes. I can't tell you how many of my Mom's nice teflon pans he ruined using a metal spatula. I was glad my Dad never wanted to cook, cause we kids literally teared-up at the thought of his meals.

      1. re: Munkipawse

        My mom was the regular cooks, and she certainly was not always into cooking gourmet. Her dinners were usually good, but her lunches were often quick meals. One of her creative favor fried rice recipes uses "hot dog". She sometime fed us (the kids) with instant noodle with vegetables. We also had many hot pockets and EggO waffles. That being said, more often than not it was us (the kids) who asked to eat instant noodle, hot pockets and eggo....etc I don't know why, but when I was a kid, I loved these processed foods more than home cook meals. This slowly switch during my college years.

        Anyway, I may have gone off-topic. When my mom wanted to recreate a dish, I say she was probably 33% successful, 33% passable, and 33% failure. My dad had a much higher success rate, but he rarely cooked -- probably like once a month on average.

    2. The reason we went out to dinner was to enjoy meals that we would ordinarily not get at home. Plus Mom got a reprieve. Which explains why we never had frozen fried shrimp at home. For many years, that was the only thing my sister would have when we ate out.

      1. Home cooks don't have access to the BTUs of a professional kitchen and are also less likely to be set up for really good deep frying, so some dishes will suffer at home.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve

          Yes, but home cook dishes get the detail attention which restaurant dishes do not.

        2. That sounds like something Pizza Hut or Dominoes would do in Sri Lanka. No, seriously. If you order a pizza that says it has sausages, it doesn't. It has wieners. Including in the "sausage-stuffed" crust.

          1. Both my parents were/are excellent cooks, so what we got at home was often better than a comparable restaurant meal, and they covered a wide range of cuisines, too. We also lived in a town of about 40,000, so access to high end dining or good multi-cultural cuisine was limited. I generally don't order normal home cooked food in restaurants to this day, because I'll be disappointed.

            I do think there are some things that you go out for. Deep frying, for example, can be difficult to do at home (pan size, temperature, etc) and very messy. Pizza cooked at home doesn't match a good restaurant with a wood fired pizza oven.