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Fat Guy

Better and cheaper if you make it yourself

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enurmi--

Nothing's wrong with it (except for the environmental impact of all those plastic bottles). It is certainly cheaper to get your water from a tap; maybe easier to turn on the faucet than going to the store. But you're right that it might not be better. I happen to have really good well water; I shouldn't generalize about that.

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Spotted another one today at the liquor store: bottled sugar syrup.  Why does this product exist?  What could be simpler than simple syrup?

How many bars have kitchens? How many bars would pass health inspections with something made at home in a mason jar?

Ah- my parochial perspective. It's been a long time since I went to a bar that wasn't attached to a restaurant. (Here in NC, those are "private clubs", and I've never bothered to join one). Still and all, I see bartenders pouring things (bloody mary mix, orange juice, lemonade etc.) out of translucent plastic bottles with spouts on - I would think simple syrup could go in one of those without too much trouble from the health inspectors. And the bottle of syrup I saw was a little 8 oz. thing - I wouldn't have thought it was meant for the commercial market.


"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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i'm brand spankin' new to egullet and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!  i was suffering with major eye strain yesterday after reading zillions of posts.  anyway, a resounding yes to homemade salad dressing, particularly any bleu cheese variety.  also, haven't purchased sore bought ice cream in years.

Hey rooy1960! We're having homemade strawberry ice cream this week, the only problem is that my ice cream maker is too large for just me and hubby, and homemade just doesn't keep that well, so I have to wait until I have a crowd.

Blue cheese is mad good homemade. I mix it up per salad any more.

I did the same thing when I first found eGullet - something new on every thread, and my cooking has certainly improved.

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Gyoza or potsticker, shumai and egg roll sauce, just soy, a bit of rice vinegar, minced or grated ginger, and hot chili oil, what's not to like esp when you can make it as hot as you want

We make chinese style mustard by using Coleman's dry and adding water, sometimes a touch of beer, and letting it bloom, wow it can get HOT

vegetable cream cheese, esp if you use the processor to chop veggies, same with herb cream cheese or goat cheese if you grow herbs and have a bunch to work with

and for the winner, how about ice cubes?? :laugh:

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Spotted another one today at the liquor store: bottled sugar syrup.  Why does this product exist?  What could be simpler than simple syrup?

How many bars have kitchens? How many bars would pass health inspections with something made at home in a mason jar?

Doesn't matter. I can virtually guarantee you that no bar is purchasing bottled pre-made simple syrup. All it takes is to mix equal volumes of granulated sugar and water in a bottle and shake until the sugar is dissolved. There are some disadvantages to using 1:1 simple syrup, primarily not-so-great shelf stability and too much water relative to the sweetening power. But the advantages for a bar tend to make up for these defects: the less concentrated sweetening power means that overpours are not as much of a concern, and (most importantly) it does not require heat to dissolve the sugar. In addition, shelf stability is not a real concern as it is not a big deal to toss out leftovers and make more. Besides, bars that don't use enough simple syrup to use it all up before it would have a chance to turn aren't likely to have it around. Anyway, this is the reason most modern-era professional recipes call for 1:1 simple syrup.


--

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Mayonnaise. There are so many foods that are cheaper to make at home, but I'm a lifelong home cook, and I'm thinking that my personal opinions of what is easy are different than some other people around here. So, I'm sticking with mayonnaise, to start. All you need is a few ingredients that are always on hand anyway, and a blender. Plus, you can tweak it to your favorite flavor profile, for instance, I prefer mine a little on the lemony side. I've eaten mayonnaise from a jar, and it is nowhere near homemade in flavor. You've all got to try making a small batch for yourselves sometime, really!

How long does homemade mayonnaise last in the fridge?

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I couldn't say about the life span, we only make a small amount at a time, there is usually less than a 1/4 cup left. It lasts for a few weeks, if the Kiddle doesn't eat it, or we don't utilize it in a recipe by then.


Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

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Ease...what is "ease"?

I'm challenged by scissors and getting things open.

I abhor the idea that people are spending serious money on ready made polenta.

Just twist off the top of the corn meal container, blend the corn meal into some boiling salted water, add in some pork fat as it plops, drop in the mushrooms, and finish it with some fresh parmesan (that I would've added anyways).

There, I didn't have to wrestle with any plastic seals or anything.

(we won't mention the 3rd degree burn marks I have all over my body from hot polenta)

I am 100% in agreement with Peter. I remember the first time I saw one of the packages of cornmeal mush (prior to the "polenta" phase) in the dairy case next to the bacon and sausage patties. I was looking for very lean bacon to line a terrine and sorting through a bunch of packages, where I ordinarily would just grab and go. I remember standing there, package of bacon in my hand, probably with my jaw hanging open, looking at the "chub" package labeled "instant cornmeal mush" ready to fry, with a picture of 4 slices on a griddle with a plate with eggs in the background next to a bottle of syrup.

Another shopped stopped and I pointed to the stuff and she laughed and agreed with me that it was ridiculous. "Who would buy something like that?" she asked and I had no answer. Obviously they are selling it, probably to people who don't think ahead.

If I forget to prepare the grits and pour them into a loaf pan to chill the evening prior, I cook them in the morning and pour the batch into a sheet pan and use a long frosting spatula to smooth it out to about 1/2 inch thick, and place the pan on my marble pastry slab (heat sink) and turn a fan on so it will cool faster. Usually it is firm enough to cut in thirty to forty minutes.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That does it. I'm in the market for a cheap (USED?) bread machine. Bread is always cheaper to make yourself, and if a doofus like me can make decent loaf, anyone can. But, bagels? Count me IN!

I have "more than one" bread machine - I have one of these that was in my office at work for three years - nothing like the aroma of baking bread on rainy days.

I have also given at least two as gifts and they are tough little machines.

Oster Expressbake

I have had bread machines since the first Zojirushi appeared in a favorite gourmet shop back in the 80s. I still have it, but this one is just about as foolproof as an appliance can be.

I can also tell you about a couple of "trick's you can do with this machine on the "expressbake" setting.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Better and cheaper if I make it myself?

Easy answer is beer... so long as you don't want the mass market Bud Miller Coors Lite beers. Those you can't make at home cheaply or easily.... the economies of scale do win out there.

Just about every other style of beer-- you can make it cheaper and better than you can buy it.

You need some bottles, and a pot big enough to boil it in, but that's about it. Check out the eGCI brewing course.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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It is not easy to answer your question so it will make sense to everyone because some things that are easy for me and take very little time, might be difficult for most people and very time consuming.

Pita bread - extremely easy and better than anything you can buy.

That recipe and the ones mentioned later in this post are in my recipes

My RecipeGullet recipes

I use bread machines for mixing and kneading, then shape and bake the loaves, rolls, yeast and sourdough, in the oven.

One thing that is practically effortless and saves a significant amount of money is dried mushrooms. If you figure out the cost of the dried ones, even in the large "commercial" containers, they are incredibly expensive. They don't look any different, they are just much, much lighter.

When mushrooms are on sale (the fancy ones, wild ones or particularly flavorful ones) I buy them in quantity and dry them.

No special equipment is needed, mushrooms will dry all by themselves at room temp if you just allow air to circulate around them. I use wire colanders - I set them on top of my upright freezer because they aren't taking up counter room but at times they have dried on the dining room table (with newspaper underneath), the sideboard, a wire shelf in the laundry room and once, quite by accident, a wire fruit basket full of portobellos was placed "temporarily" on the bottom shelf of a large kitchen cart. A month later, when I moved a large container of pasta, I found them, nicely dried, however there was a layer of spores on the natural wood shelf, which still has a dark brown patch that was dyed by the spores. (note my mention of newspapers above) If you live in a humid climate, turn a fan on to improve air circulation.

I make my own candied ginger and I think it is as good as any I have tried. It takes time but most of that is cooking and if one uses a slow cooker or crockpot, it doesn't require much attention.

Candied citrus peel - I posted my method of peeling citrus, which makes the process much easier and quicker. It can also be cooked in the microwave.

See post # 163 in this thread.

Same with dried fruits of all kinds as someone else mention, fruit leathers. I have Excalibur dehydrators but other methods can be just as efficient. (I know an 81-year-old lady who has been drying fruit in her attic for 60 years) one of my neighbors makes big batches of jerky in an aluminum shed, purchased just for that purpose (roof painted matte black). In 100 degree desert heat, jerky happens in two days.

Yogurt - there is even a yogurt maker that uses the milk container itself. (Salton)


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I've just posted my Doofus Mayonnaise recipe to the RecipeGullet- have at it, ChefCrash! However, I do want to point out that I am quite verbose and that Megan Blocker has a lemon mayonnaise recipe up that is written in a much more concise way, and, well, mayonnaise is pretty much a simple emulsification of similar ingredients, I think!


More Than Salt

Visit Our Cape Coop Blog

Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

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