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Chris Amirault

Stuff That's Just Not Worth Making at Home

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It depends on what's available, and also on any current obsessions.

I almost never make bread anymore, because great bread is available for not that much $$$ all over NYC. But when I got into making it, it was more for fun and because I wanted to learn than for any practical reasons. Same with Pizza ... I was obsessed with it for a couple of years, but a wood oven pizzeria that's a 10 minute walk from me got better and better. Not just better than me but better than any other pizzeria in town that I've tried. So I surrendered.

Ice cream? Not a chance. I haven't bought it in years. Nothing I can buy equals what I can make, and I wouldn't want Breyers if it were free! I've been spoiled.


Notes from the underbelly

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Chocolate ice cream. I tried a couple times to make a batch better than the best commercial stuff out there. It wasn't and I think I spent more money.

The tomato sauce once surprised me. It is easy to make and it just feels good to have it on the stove.

For me, it is pork casings. I mean, working the pig intestine sure is interesting, but getting a good, consistent end product...I'm kidding :)

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It depends on what's available, and also on any current obsessions.

I almost never make bread anymore, because great bread is available for not that much $$$ all over NYC. But when I got into making it, it was more for fun and because I wanted to learn than for any practical reasons. Same with Pizza ... I was obsessed with it for a couple of years, but a wood oven pizzeria that's a 10 minute walk from me got better and better. Not just better than me but better than any other pizzeria in town that I've tried. So I surrendered.

Ice cream? Not a chance. I haven't bought it in years. Nothing I can buy equals what I can make, and I wouldn't want Breyers if it were free! I've been spoiled.

I'm with paulraphael, my own ice cream mentor :wub: , on this one on all counts: on the ice cream part, and the other issues...availability, which I mentioned above and obsession, which I didn't but which is paramount and changes as I learn.

When I quit learning, I shall be no more.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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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?

Hey, fair enough. I'm not a big bread person either - make chapatis mostly, and not every day at that. Just thought you might be craving home-made bread!

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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 ?

There are two adults and two little'uns here but I'm the only pate eater. But I can comfortably make small amounts, and I'm happy to eat a lot :-) I do find it keeps very well under a seal of clarified butter. Much longer than a week.

Perhaps not something for one of those huge multi-meat Jane Grigson recipes though. I make a lot of chicken liver parfait because I love it, and I don't trust the provenance of the chickens who gave up their livers anywhere I can buy the ready made stuff.

Mayo I always make, and usually throw out a lot. But anything I can buy in a jar doesn't really come close in taste.

Thinking about what we buy ready made and I can only think of cheese and butter and a bit of dried pasta for quick meals for the kids. I'd love to make cheese but I don't have a supply of unpasteurised milk. Mrs Sheepish keeps threatening to buy a house cow, or some goats, and I keep reminding her I won't be doing the milking!

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

Exactly my opinion, or make a batch and divide it and freeze some.

I have owned and given away several bread machines. Several to single folks who don't need a large loaf of bread.

I show them how to use the dough cycle, take the dough, at the end of the cycle, divide it in half, freeze one half and bake the other half in a small loaf pan.

There are many different sizes of loaf pans, some "mini" and some that produce a half-length loaf.

I don't want bread with all the mysterious additives and preservatives. I'm picky!

I make my own sour cream, cream cheese and butter - I've been doing it for many years and for me it's easy and I don't have to think about it. And I make mozz - it's so easy using the method widely shown online by Ricki the cheese "queen" and I've never found ricotta to be tough.

Again, I want something that has no additives, no preservatives and to me it tastes much better.

To me, knowing what is in what I'm eating is important. I'm diabetic and I don't want to eat things that have "hidden" sugars and calories that I can't control.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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Perhaps not something for one of those huge multi-meat Jane Grigson recipes though. I make a lot of chicken liver parfait because I love it, and I don't trust the provenance of the chickens who gave up their livers anywhere I can buy the ready made stuff.

Would you care to share the recipe. I have a tub of livers in the freezer that are calling out.


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

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

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Sheepish - ha ! Yes. Some summer holidays in the 70's, us kids did the mile-and-a-half walk to the farm of a morning for the milk straight from the farm. I can't say I liked it on my cornflakes.

To tell you the truth, I've been telling myself I have to learna bout those old glass preserving jars with the rubber seals and caged lids - what I suppose is the 'traditional' route to putting down pate for a period of months. "Is a pressure canner really needed ?" I ask myself in idle moments before heading out to one of the brasseries again. Terms of reference - pig liver is only available to me in packs of ~3lbs and upwards, frozen. For w ehile there was fresh but that seems to have gone again. Along with the reliable supplies of lamb at good prices !

Of course it's a question of compromise - what proportion of your overall consumption of pate de campagne / mayonnaise / choose-your-product do you make from scratch, and what proportion do you buy in ? I eat bread from the breadmaker, bread that I make by hand, and bought-in bread - both artisan and supermarket (and yes, I eat restaurant bread in restaurants). Mayonnaise, I will hand make for a special application, but for everyday lubrication in sandwiches I'm happy with the compromise of commercial.

You read my mind, though - Charcuterie & FPC even has a proper place on the cookbook shelf, now that mother nature cleared it on to the floor and forced a re-organisation.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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I have made Thai Curry paste in a pestle w/ a mortar and I will admit, it is better than the store bought in can or jar. It is way more work than I want.

edit: pestle not pistol


Edited by RobertCollins (log)

Robert

Seattle

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For me, its Mexican food now that I'm back in Cali. Especially corn tortillas. There are a number of Mexican markets that make them fresh( by machine). I just bought 50 of them for .99. When I lived in Ontario, Canada, I made Mexican food all the time because I couldnt find it where I lived. I also made bagels then and I still do now( using high gluten flour). I like mine better than any bagel shop.

I also can't make Chinese food like I can get in Garden Grove, CA so I dont even try anymore.

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I think it's really interesting to see what all people don't do! For example, I find Naan to be really easy, and it's always just the way I like it when I make it at home... although I am usually lazy and buy it.

With bread I find it to be fascinating, and definitely worthy of further study, but it just doesn't interest me right now as something to delve into. Same with ice cream- I love it, and will eat all of it, and my husband doesn't really dig it, so if I was making it all the time I'd either eat it all (not good) or foist it on friends.

As for tomato sauce, my dad's heirlooms usually were sliced and made into 'mater sandwiches as soon as they came in the house, so there wasn't enough time to snag some and make sauce!


I'm here to learn

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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.

And buying them is also less dangerous.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Hot dogs from scratch -- they were good but not worth the effort. And it worked out to around nine dollars per dog.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I think it's really interesting to see what all people don't do! For example, I find Naan to be really easy, and it's always just the way I like it when I make it at home... although I am usually lazy and buy it.

I've made naan, and I don't recall it being particularly difficult, though I have only done it a couple of times. I've not been entirely satisfied with my parathas, even though I think that should be even easier. But I keep trying, because I like making Indian food and it seems like I should be able to make Indian breads to go with.


"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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There's a thread that's emerged here that I can really relate to - for me it's just not worth making, well, almost any Japanese cuisine because it's available everywhere I go (and I barely need go anywhere), done perfectly and often for less or little more than the ingredients will cost me at the market.

For me, naan is in the 'eat out' category, but samosa is at least easy to make at better than restaurant quality, if somewhat time-consuming in the way that small pastrywork is. Hathor, I dunno if this is the topic for it, but I'd like to see some of your naan bread.


Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Bread is the one thing I never buy,,,make 8 loaves, let cool,then in plastic bags and off to the freezer..after thawing, keep in a bag from liquor store,in the drawer, and no mold..(also buy flour 2 50lb bags at a time,makes it really cheap)

Bud...

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Pretty much anything deepfried, because it's such a mess, such a waste of oil, and such a PITA for just one person. So I limit my French fry, onion ring, fish & chips, fried zucchini sticks, fried chicken, hard taco shell/tostada shell/tortilla chip experiences to commercial ventures. Ditto potato chips. Can't even fathom making them at home.

Nachos. Never had them at home that comes close to even a half-@ssed Mexican restaurant.

Probably won't ever try croissants, though. Or puff pastry. Perfectly fine specimens of those out there at a good price point. Same for cheeses, although I did make Indian paneer once, and would try it again.

But everything else is fair game. A lot of it is economics. I *can* (and do) make Indian/Mexican/Chinese/Asian food cheaper than I can buy it. Plus it's fun. And I know what goes in it.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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All these people who are making great naan without a tandoor, how are you doing it? I have never been able to make naan at home that matches up to proper fresh tandoor-cooked naan.

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All these people who are making great naan without a tandoor, how are you doing it? I have never been able to make naan at home that matches up to proper fresh tandoor-cooked naan.

Did I say it was great naan? No, I only said it was naan. However, the only way to get proper fresh naan is at a restaurant, and that's not always an option. I'm not going out every time I want Indian food; I'd go broke if that were the case. There are places where I can get premade naan, but it is not as good as fresh either, and is not even fresh baked. A hot baking stone does an okay job though.


"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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All these people who are making great naan without a tandoor, how are you doing it? I have never been able to make naan at home that matches up to proper fresh tandoor-cooked naan.

I've made mine on the grill and also on a hot cast iron griddle. Tandoor naan is wonderful, for sure, and I love getting it when I get Indian food, but I like experimenting at home too. Plus at home I can add as much garlic in the dough and butter on the top as I want!


I'm here to learn

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Trader Joe's sells frozen naan that's as good as almost any restaurant naan I've had. Definitely better than anything I could make at home...

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Ok, ok guys, I was just asking! I'm probably spoilt as I just came back from Amritsar, where I ate veerrrry good naan! Luckily, I don't mind not being able to make superb naan at home, as I'm more of a paratha girl myself!

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... I was going to say Indian, but actually I'm getting much better at it, and my garlic nan rocks.

My garlic naan rocks have always been fine, too. It's the naan bread that's the challenge...


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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