Needs to be Home Made, Again

We bought a package of croissants Sunday. They were terrible. As DH said, “Never even smelled butter.” Obviously no butter in them, and lousy chemically after-taste. This is the reason we don’t get donuts at the big chain, in every town, donut shop, ick. The refrigerated/partial prefab croissants aren’t too bad, they at least have masked the chemical taste or actually use enough butter that you can pretend it’s not “imitation” food.

I have recipes of course. And I usually have all the ingredients. So it’s just the doing. One more thing to add to the list of things we need to make here.

bakery

You’d think to read this that we’re total food snobs.

In some ways I guess I am? My Dad grew up eating au cuisine food, although to hear him tell it he didn’t realize that until he was an adult. When I grew up we ate really well, if not fancy.

When things got tough (and they did) we ate out less and ate more pot roast which then became other things. But the meat was decent, because he wouldn’t eat anything else. In those days, meat was still the centerpiece of the meal.

Like most people in the US I think, I’d forgotten what beef tasted like, really. We had an occasion to buy some fancy prepackaged ground beef, not the supermarket grind, and it was yummy, like the stuff I’d grown up with, and unlike McD’s where the meat is just a platform to pile other foods, with no taste of its own.

So I decided I should buy only the fancy stuff. That was a few years ago. And slowly, over that time, we keep learning that the stuff at the supermarket is tasteless (or tastes bad). Like the “ministeaks” last month or the corn tortillas last week and the croissants last weekend.

I didn’t set out to be a gourmet cook, a food snob or a DIY cook. I’m getting there because I can’t afford good restaurant or supermarket food, and the cheaper foods mostly taste bad.

It’s like Christmas cookies. We got a batch last year which had obviously been made with cheap margarine, flour, sugar and “stuff” (sprinkles and chocolate chips.) I swear the chips were scented? Anyway, all of it was so bad, we both tried one cookie and the rest wound up in the trash. Another plate was given to a mutual friend who said they arrived burnt. Why would you do that??? For heaven’s sake folks, if you’re going to make something as a gift, make one thing, well, and spend the money or don’t do it at all. Also, don’t give away things you wouldn’t want to eat yourself!

Honestly. I think people in this country’s taste buds are so inured to lousy food they think that anything that slightly resembles traditional foods is okay. I’d rather someone just said “Happy (whatever)” and that’s it. Really! Food doesn’t have to be made of premium ingredients to taste good, but these days apparently, if you make it as cheaply as you can, it’s possible to ruin vanilla wafers, sweet pickles, tortillas, ground beef, croissants, and no doubt a lot of other things.

So, on my list to master this year: pie crust, croissants, tortillas. DH is working on crackers. On my list to make again (or keep making): apricot jam, marmalade, bread & butter pickles, apple butter. I need to learn how to can, so the stuff I make will last longer. Every jar of food I make winds up in the fridge, as it’s put into sterile jars, but not canned.

I’m grateful I work from home so I can do things like start a pot of marmalade simmering.

What do you make rather than buy?

J

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2 responses to “Needs to be Home Made, Again

  1. Spaghetti sauce. I can’t stand the stuff in jars since I started making my own. The recipe came from a Mollie Katzen cook book and I will never use any other recipe.

  2. I make my own marinara, did for years. Can’t eat tomatoes any more in quantity, so I don’t now. But I agree!

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