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American cookbooks are crazy! (Warning: rant, contains excessive italics and possibly the phrase... - Page 5

post #81 of 187
I think most of the time americans say they "cooked from scratch", what they really mean is they "assembled at home".

signed, an American who does actually cook from scratch and is extremly frustrated at what passes for a "recipe" these days too.
post #82 of 187
I'm an American who loves Marmite! One of my English friends introduced me to it a few years ago and now I'm hooked. I like Branston Pickle too, but I won't buy it 'cause it's made by Nestle.

Fake food recipies drive me crazy too. I like to cook from scratch and wading through the convenience food recipies can be a real drag. People keep disparaging the Betty Crocker Cookbook, but honestly it's one of my favorites. It really isn't full of convenience food recipies, there are a few, but mostly they are easy, basic, from scratch, recipies. I think its a wonderful cookbook for someone just learning to cook from scratch.

Yum, I love fish and chips, but it doesn't come in newspaper here, and shops are few and far between. Some places serve it in bags printed to look like newsprint, but not actual newspaper. I remember many years back, the English government made the fish and chips shops in London stop using newsprint. There was a huge outcry, not only because of losing a tradition, but also because the ink added a unique flavor to the fish and chips that was going to be lost.

Maybe we'll get some fish and chips tonight. There's a fish and chips place in my neighborhood that I've been wanting to try.
post #83 of 187
I don't eat fish and I don't cook - case in point, I'm off to Google what roux is! - but people seem to rave about this woman's recipes. I think a lot has to do with presentation, she generally takes good pictures which can be hard to do with food: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/
post #84 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkerbell View Post
OP, you made me laugh out loud. That was an excellent rant.

For the record, I'd much rather spend my time doing other things so yeah, I DO use premade mixes to achieve "homemade" things. THings like cake mixes, IMO, are already perfectly blended amounts of the ingredients so it saves me lotsa time!

Go to FoodTV.com. They usually have very bare bones recipes.
I'm with you, I do make some things from scratch but honestly some things like cakes are easier to make from a box.. especially if you don't have all the equipment to really cook from scratch (stand mixer, bread machines, etc). In my case I bake 2-3 cakes a year so a box is fine.

That said so many folks are truly pressed for time that I do get why so many recipes have convenience ingredients.

Shay
post #85 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by boadhagh View Post
nak

not sure what aussiemom does, but i just cut my pumpkins in half, turn them cut side down on a buttered cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for an hour or so. then i scrape out the pumpkin and use it from there. also, you should try to get some small, pie pumpkins -- jack'o'lantern type ones can be really watery and bland in comparison
I may do that, but I already have the jack'o'lantern pumpkins, and I don't like to waste them. I can usually get enough for about 3-4 pies, a couple of batches of muffins, and a few batches of really yummy cookies.
post #86 of 187
OP, you sound like me when I am trying to cook only the rant is more along the lines about how none of my neighbors buy and stock ingredients. I can't remember what I was looking for but one woman stated she didn't even know they still made such things. It was probably real butter or confectioner's sugar or something carzy and bad for me.
post #87 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
I don't eat fish and I don't cook - case in point, I'm off to Google what roux is! - but people seem to rave about this woman's recipes. I think a lot has to do with presentation, she generally takes good pictures which can be hard to do with food: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/

roux is basically flour, fat and liquid. Gravy is a roux, a lot of sauces are roux with cheese or other flavorings, all of the 'cream of.." soups are a roux with the flavoring of chicken, or veggies, or whatever. It is one of the most basic things you can make. You vary the flavor of the roux by how long you cook the flour before you add the liquid, and by what liquid you use (broth, milk, or other liquid).

Pioneer woman is really good. She uses a mixture of conveince and from scratch, leaning a lot more towards the "from scratch" side in most of her recipes.
post #88 of 187
I've seen roux in the store; I'm too cheap to buy it, though. My mom makes big batches, and she freezes it. I tend to make it each time. It does take a long time to get a good chocolate roux, though. I can totally see the appeal of buying it.
post #89 of 187
I've never seen pre-made roux. I don't use boxed cake mixes after I started making wacky cakes. Totally from scratch and my dd loves to help make them.

I live by a big freshwater lake, but we can't eat the fish because of mercury...

I hate recipes that call for a bunch of pre-packaged stuff too. If I wanted pre-packaged, I would follow the box directions and not look up a recipe.
post #90 of 187
You're not alone. You need to get your hands on a pre-1950's cookbook or something. "Vintage" recipes and all. Before cream of mushroom soup. Blech.

(Although I do use bricks of cream cheese... cream cheese frosting for carrot cake [made with real carrots and fresh ground nutmeg!] or cheesecake or something...)

Oh, and those peanut butter chips? Eww. Tried 'em once in a regular cookie recipe. Regular peanut butter's *much* better.

Of course I'm also the freak who when making my first ever batch of homemade chicken noodle soup refused to eat more than a few bites because the store-bought noodles in them made it taste awful. Hubby thought I was insane, but then the next time I had remembered to get the stuff ready for homemade noodles, and he was a convert. It's how my grandma made chicken noodle soup...
post #91 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Because when I do that I end up with vague chocolate flavored milk topping a sludge of bitter chocolate. And that's *after* cooking the cocoa and sugar together with a bit of milk on the stove top until smooth--about 20 minutes of standing at the stove on top of the time to actually add the milk and continue cooking. If I tried adding a spoon of cocoa and sugar into warm milk I wouldn't even get the vaguely chocolate flavored milk on top.

Compare to 1 second to turn on electric kettle, 2 seconds to put cocoa mix into cup, 2 seconds to pour hot water from kettle (I use the minute the kettle takes to work to wipe off a counter or start up some toast).

Let see, why don't I take 20 minutes to make something nasty when I can spend 2-4 dollars less (hello milk prices!) and have a can of stuff that lets me make yummy cocoa in about 5 seconds of work?

And I do have cocoa on hand pretty much constantly and will buy sugar when I need to make brownies. I only have milk in the house when it's gone on sale, so like twice in the last 3 months.

Mind you, I also can't use dried beans as none of the 6 different ways I've read about of cooking them has ever worked for me.
yeah i tried to make hot chocolate like this for the kids once. Uh tasted kind of gross and the kids weren't impressed!
post #92 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
America... doesn't have fish and chips shops? Little takeaway shops where you order a scoop of chips, a piece of gurnard and they throw a potato fritter in for free, and hand it over wrapped in white paper and then in newspaper like a square package?

Well now, that makes me want to cry--and I of all people should not be accused of over-romanticising fish and chip shops, given that I worked at one when I was 14. But heck, I wouldn't have made it through my first trimester without our local fish and chip shop!
God, I would kill for a local chipper, even a street cart. I am craving some curry chips right now! Sadly, here in North Central Florida the closest thing is Miller's (the beer company) Alehouse restaurant. Fish and chips with malt vinegar, though they serve them on a plate.

But you must tell me, what is a gurnard?
post #93 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Z View Post
roux is basically flour, fat and liquid. Gravy is a roux, a lot of sauces are roux with cheese or other flavorings, all of the 'cream of.." soups are a roux with the flavoring of chicken, or veggies, or whatever. It is one of the most basic things you can make. You vary the flavor of the roux by how long you cook the flour before you add the liquid, and by what liquid you use (broth, milk, or other liquid).

Pioneer woman is really good. She uses a mixture of conveince and from scratch, leaning a lot more towards the "from scratch" side in most of her recipes.

just went to her site, she is a hoot! Love it!
post #94 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkHorseMama View Post
1/2 cup Pet milk

That's milk in a can, dagnabit!

Actually, I have canned pumpkin in my pantry, but I don't usually have evaporated milk. I was going to make the pumpkin pie recipe from the can of my pumpkin, but it called for sweetened condensed milk, so I had to make that. I bought a case of organic canned pumpkin from my food co-op once, and it was really handy; it lasted a long time. I tried making it myself from organic sugar pumpkins, but it was more expensive that way. My puree was beautiful and I was excited by it, but then I tasted it and tasted just the same as the Farmer's Market organic canned pumpkin I had. I was able to freeze it, however, so it didn't go to waste. I think I used it a year later, but I bought the case of pumpkin after that because I wanted it available for when I decided to whip up a pumpkin bread or some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or something.
post #95 of 187
omg. the OP's post was the funniest post I've seen in a while.
post #96 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Because when I do that I end up with vague chocolate flavored milk topping a sludge of bitter chocolate. And that's *after* cooking the cocoa and sugar together with a bit of milk on the stove top until smooth--about 20 minutes of standing at the stove on top of the time to actually add the milk and continue cooking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Of course, start with chocolate that's already smooth! If I ever have chocolate and milk and want cocoa I'll try that. Cocoa for me is "chocolate that can survive more than a week in my house", though.
LOL!!

That's the big difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate.

Hot cocoa: Heat up your milk until it's steaming, whisk in your cocoa powder. Never add cocoa to cold liquid.

Hot chocolate: Put cold milk and chocolate into pan, heat gently until melted. Sweeten to taste.

I make my hot chocolate with unsweetened chocolate, that way I don't have to worry about eating it before it makes it into the pan.

And yes, there are a few f&c places like that in the US. I wish I could find one locally to me now, but there was one where I grew up. We did just find an Irish pub last week that was FABULOUS, and I'd be willing to bet their fish and chips are as well (I know their chips were divine).

Now I have to walk down to the grocery store to pick up fish to make fish and chips for dinner. I guess lamb will wait until tomorrow.
post #97 of 187
WHAT is 'pet milk' ?????
post #98 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipworth View Post
WHAT is 'pet milk' ?????
It's a brand!

Pet brand evaporated milk.
post #99 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
two words for from scratch cooking, cook's illustrated. They have a website, their recipes are always amazing, and no weird ingredients.
I just encountered this magazine for the first time this weekend. I have to say that it is 100% totally awesome. I already put in my subscription and ordered last years copies too. It is the kind of cooking I really love - from scratch but not overly fancy (e.g. Gourmet or Bon Appetite) or complicated.

They do have a website but I think you need to subscribe to get most of the content.


I also do not understand "cooking" that involves mainly opening cans and boxes. Like the dishes that you "make" with a can of precooked chicken, a can of soup, and instant rice.
post #100 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Z View Post
roux is basically flour, fat and liquid. Gravy is a roux, a lot of sauces are roux with cheese or other flavorings, all of the 'cream of.." soups are a roux with the flavoring of chicken, or veggies, or whatever. It is one of the most basic things you can make. You vary the flavor of the roux by how long you cook the flour before you add the liquid, and by what liquid you use (broth, milk, or other liquid).
Actually, roux is a base to soups and sauces. A roux, depending on the thickening power, is usually a 1:1 ratio of fat (usually butter for soups and sauces) to flour. There is no liquid in roux. You add liquid to roux to make soups, stews, gravys or sauces.
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