What do you find worthwhile to make and what would you rather buy? Let’s compare notes:
- Stock: I like to roast a chicken whole in the slow cooker and then toss a carcass or two back in to cook on low overnight. Easy peasy.
- Fancy bread (mostly ciabatta, 90% of the time): I will occasionally buy stuff, especially at the farmer’s market, but Pip eats almost nothing I make myself except ciabatta, so that’s a pretty strong incentive.
- Iced tea: This is new, but J’s gotten into unsweet tea in a big way, and it’s sooooo much cheaper than buying bottles and then I don’t have to lug the bottles inside with my wimpy pregnant upper body (non)strength.
- Pizza crust: It took awhile for me to find a bread machine recipe for the dough that I loved, but now I’m never going back.
- Cookies, brownies, cake: I am not against a box cake (ok, I love box cake), but I recently suggested we make one and Pip was genuinely perplexed, and I realized maybe I’m doing some small part of this real foods thing right with him, even if he mostly subsists on fruit and Goldfish. He loves to bake, so I bake, and sometimes, he even eats it.
- Cream of chicken soup: Use that stock!
- Biscuits: These are one of the few things I can make now that are honestly my favorite way to eat them. Not that they’re objectively the world’s best biscuits, just that they’re exactly the way I like them. Do you have anything like that for you?
- Granola: I like to mix it into my (storebought! for shame!) Greek yogurt.
- Bagels, sandwich bread: although I just ran across a recipe for bagel dough in the bread machine, and my brother-in-law made some beautiful bagels…
- Pie crust: My mom makes terrific pie crust and I struggle to even work with frozen crust.
- Pumpkin purée: Martha Stewart says this is OK.
- Ice cream (90% of the time): It gets rock salt everywhere to make it!!
- Pasta sauce (90% of the time): The only time I’ve routinely made it is when we’ve had a CSA, and that hasn’t been since Pip was born. Might be worth resurrecting, though, because I love the fresh taste when you puree it a bit and don’t cook it forever.
- Yogurt: Trying to gather the discipline to do this again, because I have a yogurt maker and it saves a ton of money, but it’s so tedious.
- Canned beans (vs cooking from dry): Why can I not make normal beans? This is supposed to be easy!!
I could list thousands of others, especially if I spent a little time looking at DIY tags on Instagram (no, I don’t make my own pickles!). Things are always in flux, of course, based on where we are in the life of our family. Sometimes it’s a struggle to make toast for the kids when I’m really morning sick, and sometimes, when the baby’s pretty old and I’m not pregnant yet and everyone’s napping reliably, I can really branch out and take on new skills and recipes.
What are your make-from-scratch priorities?