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Chris Amirault

Stuff That's Just Not Worth Making at Home

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Anything I have to put much effort into.

I cook professionally every other day of the week.

My day off, I want someone else to take care of it.

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Saltines. I made them once and they came out almost exactly like the ones from a box, except less precisely docked. Taste-wise there was no real difference in quality. So, I spent over an hour making a quantity equal to a quarter-box of crackers when I could have purchased a whole box for 99 cents at the time. The only upside is that I now have the experience of making saltines and can pretty much top anyone in conversations about odd things anyone has made at home.

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Mole - I'm lucky enough to have two authentic Mexican restaurants in a 15 minute drive from my home. Even though I like to try as many things in the kitchen as I can, the convenience overrides my personal growth. :smile:

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Puff pastry. I can do it... but I don't wanna.

Also pho. Some people are properly set up for that undertaking, but I don't have the time or capacity to do it right. And there are some amazing Vietnamese restaurants that require a ten minute walk. Or a phone call. :biggrin:

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Doesn't a lot of this depend on what you have available in your area? I rarely (if ever) cooked anything Mexican when I lived in a town with lots of good Mexican food. Now that I live in a place with not even one Mexican restaurant (unless you count Taco Bell!), I make all sorts of things I'd never dreamed of making from scratch before - tortillas, tamales, carnitas, if I want Mexican, I make it myself.

Same with Vietnamese, Chinese, and any kind of fish other than Great Lakes fish. I want it, I cook it myself.

Heck, now that I think of it, moving to a restaurant wasteland has done wonders for my cooking skills.

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Doesn't a lot of this depend on what you have available in your area? I rarely (if ever) cooked anything Mexican when I lived in a town with lots of good Mexican food. Now that I live in a place with not even one Mexican restaurant (unless you count Taco Bell!), I make all sorts of things I'd never dreamed of making from scratch before - tortillas, tamales, carnitas, if I want Mexican, I make it myself.

Same with Vietnamese, Chinese, and any kind of fish other than Great Lakes fish. I want it, I cook it myself.

Heck, now that I think of it, moving to a restaurant wasteland has done wonders for my cooking skills.

I've had a similar experience.


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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Doesn't a lot of this depend on what you have available in your area? I rarely (if ever) cooked anything Mexican when I lived in a town with lots of good Mexican food. Now that I live in a place with not even one Mexican restaurant (unless you count Taco Bell!), I make all sorts of things I'd never dreamed of making from scratch before - tortillas, tamales, carnitas, if I want Mexican, I make it myself.

Same with Vietnamese, Chinese, and any kind of fish other than Great Lakes fish. I want it, I cook it myself.

Heck, now that I think of it, moving to a restaurant wasteland has done wonders for my cooking skills.

I've had a similar experience.

Ditto for me. Spring rolls, chiles rellenos, Indian and Chinese food. Ice cream. Not sure what good foods you can get in my area... Blessing in disguise both for my cooking skills and my avoirdupois.


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I second puff pastry. You can buy a good quality 100% butter puff pastry here, so I don't bother making it.

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Doesn't a lot of this depend on what you have available in your area? ...

Yes, and on your typical # of table settings. If you're a couple, do you make a loaf of pate and eat a lot of it for a week ? Or buy the odd quarter-pound ? Will you use up that home-made mayo before hygiene concerns overtake it ?


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Yes, and on your typical # of table settings. If you're a couple, do you make a loaf of pate and eat a lot of it for a week ? Or buy the odd quarter-pound ? Will you use up that home-made mayo before hygiene concerns overtake it ?

Heh, I know I should worry about that, but honestly, I can't remember the last time I said "I'm not making XXX because there's no way me and hubby will eat it all." That's why they make freezers, right?

I've also figured out good ways to cut down sizes. Like your pate example - I have a nice big terrine mold, but we can never eat that much (we are a couple, no kids). So nowadays when I make pate, I put it in mini loaf pans, and freeze a couple of them.

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... That's why they make freezers, right? ...

Ha ha ! OK, and on the size / loading of your freezer (and I find smooth, soft pates lose some of their texture after freezing).


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Ice cream, definitely. I loooooooooove Breyer's vanilla with Hershey's on top, and yeah it's not haute cuisine but I just cannot top that with homemade.

Tomato sauce. I've never made a batch that made me go "oh this is sooo goood", even following highly rated recipes and adjusting for personal tastes.

Pie crusts. My sister is Queen of Pastry and loves making them and hers always turn out so good and flaky, and mine are always tough and I end up making a huge mess!

Bread. I've made no-knead before, and enjoyed the results, but it's just the husband and me and we're really not going to eat an entire loaf of homemade bread before it goes moldy. That's why people have bakeries, right?


I'm here to learn

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Seconding the bread thing. I understand why people like doing it but it's not for me.

Also Blether's comments on the number of settings. I get to cook one meal for one person a day and anything much bigger than a roast chicken is automatically out.


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Ice cream, definitely. I loooooooooove Breyer's vanilla with Hershey's on top, and yeah it's not haute cuisine but I just cannot top that with homemade.

Breyer's isn't bad, and if vanilla is your choice, I guess,that's fine.

But which ice cream maker makes Orange-Szechwan Pepper, or Hot Aztec Chocolate, or Vietnamese Coffee or real raspberry ice cream with real raspberries which taste like nothing you have ever had before? Etc, etc.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Welcome, Dr. Spice!

Tomato sauce. I've never made a batch that made me go "oh this is sooo goood", even following highly rated recipes and adjusting for personal tastes.

That's a good example of something I'd never, ever buy. I make big batches and freeze it.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Tomato sauce. I've never made a batch that made me go "oh this is sooo goood", even following highly rated recipes and adjusting for personal tastes.

Weird. I find tomato sauce to be one of the easiest things to make. I make a big batch and freeze it in plastic bags in smaller servings.

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For the people with bread making woes, why not make a smaller loaf?

That is precisely what I was going to suggest.

And, IF the OP meant bakery bread - as opposed to supermarket/factory (with lots of chemical additives) bread, why would the bakery bread be less likely to get moldy than home-baked bread? :hmmm:

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Potato chips. When I think about the inconvenience, expense and time spent cooking and cleaning, only to end up with a product that is more likely to be soggy and/or oil-laden than the commercial product, I put a second bag in the shopping cart.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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For the people with bread making woes, why not make a smaller loaf?

Can't speak for anyone else, but to me bread just isn't all that. I don't especially like eating it and I don't especially like making it. (Shocking, I know.) I have other things to do in the time I could be making that small loaf, you know?


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Yes, and on your typical # of table settings. If you're a couple, do you make a loaf of pate and eat a lot of it for a week ? Or buy the odd quarter-pound ? Will you use up that home-made mayo before hygiene concerns overtake it ?

Heh, I know I should worry about that, but honestly, I can't remember the last time I said "I'm not making XXX because there's no way me and hubby will eat it all." That's why they make freezers, right?

Also coworkers. Excess product--especially baked goods--can usually be foisted off on people at work. But also the freezer, and canning, etc. And leftovers can be made into lunches to carry to work. Pate is pretty low on my list of things to worry about. In fact, it's not on the list at all.

I make myself a loaf of bread every Sunday--it's enriched wheat bread, and lasts the week no problem. I've been making my own bagels because I live in a neighborhood where there are no decent bagels to be had.

I don't make my own cheese, or not usually (I've made simple soft cheeses). Sometimes I make pasta, sometimes I don't.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Oh, cheese makes the list for me. I've attempted ricotta a couple times--supposedly so easy, right? It turned out tough. Who wants chewy curds? So I'm buying it, and I'm now convinced that fresh mozz would suffer the same fate in my hands.

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