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TDG: What Would Mom Say?


Fat Guy
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Most of the chefs seem pretty quiet on this thread??

We make what we can from scratch, but we do have some fresh/frozen pasta in the freezer as a stand by for picky kids.Have used fron puff pastry in the past.But this is work, it's what we do for a living.At home i have probably more convience food than anyone here :laugh:

I agree about the other chefs being quite..

My aim with the article was to talk about cooking smart and not necessarily slaving over a hot stove all day to make a meal.. of course not sacrificing on taste.. if it does not taste good.. it has no place on my table

What do you do to cook smart?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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My one weakness is canned beans, which I'll often use if I lack time to prepare dried beans. Other than that, I tend to make most things from fresh shopping ( I generally food shop 4-5 times weekly), even pizza.

Do you have kids?

I would love to shop every day, and used to before we had kids. Now I try to keep it to once a week because dragging toddlers to the store every day is torture. Hence the use of more convenience foods than I would care to admit to.

Edit: emphasis mine.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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My one weakness is canned beans, which I'll often use if I lack time to prepare dried beans. Other than that, I tend to make most things from fresh shopping ( I generally food shop 4-5 times weekly), even pizza.

Do you have kids?

I would love to shop every day, and used to before we had kids. Now I try to keep it to once a week because dragging toddlers to the store every day is torture. Hence the use of more convenience foods than I would care to admit to.

Edit: emphasis mine.

I agree with you. With a little one in tow its hard.. mine is almost four. My neighbour has 8.. wonder how she does it.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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My one weakness is canned beans, which I'll often use if I lack time to prepare dried beans. Other than that, I tend to make most things from fresh shopping ( I generally food shop 4-5 times weekly), even pizza.

Do you have kids?

I would love to shop every day, and used to before we had kids. Now I try to keep it to once a week because dragging toddlers to the store every day is torture. Hence the use of more convenience foods than I would care to admit to.

Edit: emphasis mine.

No kids.

But my sister, who has two elementary age kids and works full time outside the home, shops several times weekly and prepares her food mostly from fresh sources. Does that count? :biggrin:

We were raised by parents who required each of us to be responsible for keeping one common room clean (vacuum, clean the glass items, etc) from a very early age, like 5. We also learned to help with cooking very early. It made a big difference in household organization and parental sanity.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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No kids.

But my sister, who has two elementary age kids and works full time outside the home, shops several times weekly and prepares her food mostly from fresh sources.  Does that count? :biggrin:

Can you tell me what vitamins she takes? :wink: But her kids are both in school and she works and so gets out of the house daily. That makes a huge difference. My kids are (almost) 4 and 1...not really of an age to be into shopping all the time. I do take Emma to the farmer's market weekly and have her help me choose our veggies for the week.

Seriously, I try to buy and serve fresh as often as possible. But we use canned tomatoes and beans, frozen peas and corn, and I have been known to serve the occasional fish stick.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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hjshorter could not have said it better. I really strive to serve healthy meals to my family.. just because I take some shortcuts does not imply that I am cheating on taste or nutrition. I try to plan the week the best I can so as to minimize the run to the grocery store!

I did breakdown and try PEAPOD..these guys who deliver grocercies to your home.. it worked fine.. but I missed going to the market and picking produce myself and generally wandering the isles (minus my little ones!)

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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My kids are a bit older (11 & 14) but I still shop generally once a week. I also work full time out of the home with about a 45 minute commute each way. At this stage, it's more about having the extra time with my family. I do try and cook good, simple things for our meals and, yes, even after a full day at the office, I do enjoy preparing dinner for my family. It's often therapeutic after the day at the office. Both kids help around the house with cleaning, laundry, making their lunches for school, etc. They need to do more cooking however. Not so much because I need the help but because I think everyone needs to know how to cook. School ends next week so they won't always be so busy with work when I get home. Cooking may be a good thing for them to do more over the summer.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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Most of the chefs seem pretty quiet on this thread??

We make what we can from scratch, but we do have some fresh/frozen pasta in the freezer as a stand by for picky kids.Have used fron puff pastry in the past.But this is work, it's what we do for a living.At home i have probably more convience food than anyone here :laugh:

I agree about the other chefs being quite..

My aim with the article was to talk about cooking smart and not necessarily slaving over a hot stove all day to make a meal.. of course not sacrificing on taste.. if it does not taste good.. it has no place on my table

What do you do to cook smart?

Well, one of the differences between home cooking and cooking for service is that in one case you come home from your job to cook and in the other you go to your job and cook.

Every compromise made on the job is a slash into your integrity. What would be a reasonable time-saver for a home cook would be worse than a vice for a chef.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Well, one of the differences between home cooking and cooking for service is that in one case you come home from your job to cook and in the other you go to your job and cook.

Every compromise made on the job is a slash into your integrity. What would be a reasonable time-saver for a home cook would be worse than a vice for a chef.

Beautifully said.

This needs some serious pondering.

Bhasin

Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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It's about so much more than food

It IS about more than food, but not by MUCH :biggrin:

Is it really that hard to make your own burger patties. I mean stocks, sauces, and such do take time but making a burger should take no time at all. I see no reason to buy something like that, but again this is just me.

FM

I frequently make my own burgers and often grind my own mixture and even occasionally make my own buns! But when the family is gathered and no meal is planned and it seems a shame to break up early, one of us will pop out to grab a pack of burgers and all the fixings and have an impromptu BBQ. I see nothing wrong with it at all. But that's just me. :smile:

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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My one weakness is canned beans, which I'll often use if I lack time to prepare dried beans. Other than that, I tend to make most things from fresh shopping ( I generally food shop 4-5 times weekly), even pizza.

Do you have kids?

I would love to shop every day, and used to before we had kids. Now I try to keep it to once a week because dragging toddlers to the store every day is torture. Hence the use of more convenience foods than I would care to admit to.

Edit: emphasis mine.

No kids.

But my sister, who has two elementary age kids and works full time outside the home, shops several times weekly and prepares her food mostly from fresh sources. Does that count? :biggrin:

We were raised by parents who required each of us to be responsible for keeping one common room clean (vacuum, clean the glass items, etc) from a very early age, like 5. We also learned to help with cooking very early. It made a big difference in household organization and parental sanity.

Thanks for your comments! Your note brought back some wonderful memories of my childhood.. we too had specific chores we had to do. .. I think the only one I hated was doing the laundry!!

Thanks :wub:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I try to avoid processed and/or foods with chemicals at all costs. I'm surrounded by great stores, so it is easy to shop often and well. My solution is to make simpler meals. If I have soup for dinner, it is made with organic vegetables from my CSA delivery and homemade stock from my freezer. But it is all I'd have for dinner. Three things on a plate and/or multiple courses is weekend cooking for me. My mother would not be pleased.

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I have to confess that not too long ago I would turned my nose up at some of Monica's confessions. I have been a "foodie" now for only 4 years and am still in the purist/extremist phase. I have also been a student/grad student for the past four years and have had the time to indulge those purist tendencies (you can make a great dinner if you start cooking at 3 -- in any case, it sure as heck beats writing papers). But now I am working. When I get home at 5:30 I am hungry and want food fast. So, I have been buying bagged salads, rotisserie chicken, bread (I used to bake my own -- I even made sourdough). 

That said, I don't know if I could bring myself to buy minced garlic. I love the aroma of fresh garlic and enjoy casting garlic skins far and wide and annoying my wife :).

Interestingly, Monica's premise (what would mom think) doesn't really apply to me. She uses garlic from a jar, lemon juice from a bottle etc. Maybe that's why I won't use garlic in a jar. If she found it in my fridge she would know that I had given up my fervour that had led me to chide her before (I am kind of embarressed at some of my early zeal).

There is a part of me that will continue to love striving for perfectly authentic, made-completely-from-scratch dishes but I am learning to relax and take things a little less seriously.

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I think part of my problem is that the first cookbook I ever bought was from Cooks Illustrated. Ingrained anal retentiveness. Once you have read their "taste test" of fresh garlic, minced, dried, powdered, juiced etc. it is hard to shake that nagging guilt ("this is less than the best...").

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Cooking may be a good thing for them to do more over the summer.

Im sure they will be looking forward to that! :cool:

Not wanting to let a good idea fade away, I decided to announce this plan at the dinner table last night. My 14 year old agreed but wasn't thrilled by the idea. I reminded him that part of my job is to ensure that he has some basic survival skills when he leaves. My 11 year old thought it was great and asked if she could make pancakes. Hey, if that's what gets her interested in cooking, we may make pancakes cookies for dinner one night.

Edited by JFLinLA (log)
So long and thanks for all the fish.
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I just finished mincing a whole cup of garlic. I am making a batch of mojo de ajo. (minced garlic slowly simmered in butter or oil or half of each until toasted) What a pain in the ass!!!

I want one of those machines that dices garlic for that stuff in the jar. No... I can't bring myself to cheat and use the stuff in the jar. Am I a masochist, too picky, or just plain dumb?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Am I a masochist, too picky, or just plain dumb?

None of these... you just have good taste!! I am not sure you can use minced garlic for what you are making without killing the taste!

I use minced garlic (from the jar) in some marinades and some of the curries that i make...

There are some recipes where nothing but the fresh one will do!!

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Well, one of the differences between home cooking and cooking for service is that in one case you come home from your job to cook and in the other you go to your job and cook.

Every compromise made on the job is a slash into your integrity. What would be a reasonable time-saver for a home cook would be worse than a vice for a chef.

Well said. Now I can feel less guilty about serving purchased rotisserie chicken to my family. :biggrin:

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Why should choosing between jars and fresh involve guilt? Fresh is what you are able to use given the great luxury of time. Jars get you fed--perhaps not as well, but fed.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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My mojo de ajo came out great. i will use some of the oil to grill some fresh fish tomorrow.

Now... About that machine that dices the garlic for all of those jars. How DO they DO that? I have visions of lasers going zap-zap-zap as the hapless garlic cloves pass through their gauntlet. Really, does anyone know how they do that?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Mechanical feet.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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