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Cooking from scratch tribe, the original thread, come chat, save and/or learn!

post #1 of 384
Thread Starter 
There has been so many threads about saving money by cooking from scratch or not. I want to start a tribe so we can share ideas, how to stock your pantry or fridge etc for scratch cooking and what to invest in.

Keep in mind a few of us are true scratch cookers and there are others that are getting there. We are not here to flame or judge or say thats not true scratch cooking and point fingers. Example- some of us grow our own tomatoes and can them at the harvest for sauce later on. Others buy canned tomatoes to make sauce either on sale at Aldi or buy the organic at whole foods for $3. So there is a huge variety of people to share ideas about scratch cooking.

Whether you do this because you love to cook (me), save money (me), are trying to decrease your footprint, (me), or you just want to learn, come join us!
post #2 of 384
I would love to join! At this point I'm the "buy the canned tomatoes at Save A Lot and make my own sauce" gal. My goal is to grow a garden next year and can extra produce, bake our own bread and lunch snacks (cookies, muffins, granola bars, etc), stock a basic pantry and fix simple and healthy meals for my family.

A couple of my favorite cookbooks that fall into this category:

Make A Mix
More with Less
Just Beans
post #3 of 384
well i try. We do shop at whole foods haha

I have 1 tomato plant, thats what I can fit right now and it has maybe 4 green tomatoes I am planning on ,aking my own pasta sauce this week. Havent done it before but I was going to buy organic canned tomatoes. Ic ant have any sodium, so they are expensive no salt added blah I wish i had my own tomatoes or enough space for a few plants. Right now we have blueberries, carrots, peppers, lemons and all kinds of herbs .

Because I cant have sodium and DD is one haha I am low on ideas for family meals right now I bake 3 loaves of bread, once a week for sandwiches and "pizza"

Make pasta usually buy the sauce but next week we make it (decided on this before this threat I swear)

Then I make a HUGE pot of lentil/rice soup with potatoes, onions, carrots herbs from the garden and whatever other vegies i got at the farmer's market. DD and DH love this soup and cant get enough. Its waht we eat for dinner all week sad hahaha but its great and healthy

O i also make cookies once a week usually, sugar, oatmeal, pb not healthy but with no sleep going on over a year now (including pregnancy) i need the sugar!

I make dd's food each meal, vegies, fruit, mixed with whipping cream or yogurt (bought) I buy frozen fruits and vegies mixed with fresh for her also hummus, tortillas, she eats the bread we bake and soup as well, pasta.... but i have to supplement of course. She is thin o and also exclusively bfed all day long and night.

So i would love to hear recipes and whatever other make from scratch. You dont do dinner every night from scratch right???????
post #4 of 384
I'm so in, love this idea!! I do pretty much everything from scratch, except crackers (still haven't found a recipe my boys like!) We've expanded our garden this year so I'm planning to can a lot, and will be supplementing our garden with farmer's market stuff to freeze for winter.

tonight's dinner is cheese quesadillas with homemade corn tortillas, store-bought cheese and sour cream, and fresh pico de gallo with garden tomatoes, onions and cilantro. I think I might do refried black beans too, soaked 'em last night but now I'm feeling lazy, LOL! They're so easy to do though, I really should just make em!

refried beans recipe (vegetarian, low fat)
2 T oil (I use olive)
1 pound black beans, soaked and cooked or 2 cans drained and rinsed
1 oinion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1T cumin
1/2 T chili
2T fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

sautee garlic and onions in oil over medium heat till onions are translucent
add beans and seasoning, use potato masher to mash beans
turn heat to med low, and let cook for 15-25 minutes
take off ehat, mix cilantro in and serve!
(soooooo good on tortillas with some sour cream!)
post #5 of 384
I am getting better and better with my 'from scratch' cooking. I spent the last few months getting beans just right. Now I can make refried beans from dried ones and they actually taste good.

This month I am going to commit myself to homemade tortillas. We eat so many wrap-type meals that I spend $10-15 a month on tortillas alone. I can do better that that!

When it cools off in the Fall, I plan on working on bread. But for now, I am sucking it up and paying $2.50 for a loaf of bread. It is just too hot to turn on the oven.
post #6 of 384
I'm in too! I was actually looking around for some scratch cookin recipes and found this! I have this book The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt and it's awesome!!!!!!! My mama gave it to me and it's the 1972? edition. The pages are so brittle but the ideas in here are fabulous. Was looking for another newer similar book, since this one is out of print.

My latest scratch cooking adventures is homemade bread baking. I have been so intimidated by baking that I hadn't tried until now. I've been making a great Honey Wheat bread that is so yummy. It's pretty simple too, heres the link http://www.tammysrecipes.com/homemade_wheat_bread , I add honey to it to make honey wheat (about 4 tablespoons) and it turns out great, in fact baked 2 this mornin. I didn't make this one up but my name is Tammy, lol.

Anyways, can't wait to see what other ideas come from this tribe!!!
post #7 of 384
How about making yogurt? Can someone clue me in on how to do it?!
post #8 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
How about making yogurt? Can someone clue me in on how to do it?!
I have a yogurt maker. You need a yeast starter to get going and thats it. I would love to use it still but the amount of yogurt it makes and the amount we consume, the electricity alone would kill me! So no more home made yogurt.


And yes I cook from scratch each and every night.

One thing I am looking for is a great home made baggette bread recipe.
I love to make and bake my own bread. There is something about kneeding that is so theuriputic.

We also started making out own corn tortillas and they are yummy. Do you have a good flour one recipe??
post #9 of 384
i want to learn to make cheese. animal, vegetable, miracle got me all excited about it.
post #10 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
How about making yogurt? Can someone clue me in on how to do it?!
yogurt's actually insanely easy to make! I've got one going that started with soem greek yogurt from trader joes (2-3 tablespoons) and then half gallon of whole organic milk (we eat a LOT of yogurt, LOL!) mis them together, and then just put it in a warm spot overnight (I use the oven, it's gas so the pilot light keeps it warm) others I know have had success putting it on top of a heating pad on low, with a towel between the two.
post #11 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
How about making yogurt? Can someone clue me in on how to do it?!
I just bring a gallon of milk to the boiling point for one minute, let it cool to "warm on the wrist" (115F), mix in 1/2 cup store-bought plain yogurt (or yogurt from my last batch, if making a smaller batch use 2 Tablespoons per quart of milk), and keep it warm for 5-8 hours. I put it in glass storage jars, first. But I've reused the plastic yogurt containers before or just left it in the pot, too. If you have a gas stove, the heat from the pilot light will be enough. I just put my electric one on so that it is barely on, no where near where the temperature numbers. The ideal temp is 110F. You can also just wrap it in a towel to protect from breezes and put it someplace sunny. Homemade yogurt will be thinner than storebought. If that is a problem, you can strain it through cheesecloth (you can also make yogurt cheese that way, add some garlic or spices if you want and strain longer). It will seem a little thicker after you cool it for a few hours.

ETA I'm not sure if the boiling is necessary with modern ultra pasteurized milk. I've never wanted to risk having a batch not turn out by skipping that, lol. My directions are from the Fannie Farmer cookbook.
post #12 of 384
Amy I have to rec the book Artisian Bread in Five Minutes a Day..it's AWESOME! No kneading, but it's bistor/bakery quality bread and so YUM!

Here's how I make the basci recipe:

makes 3 1-1.lb loaves

MIX
2 packets of yeast
1.5 tsp of Kosher Salt
3.5 cups of lukewarm water (nees to be about 120 degrees)

Add 6 cups of unbleached AP flour (I use organic)

Mix well.
Let dough rise in bowl/container for 2 hrs
Put in fridge for up to 2 weeks. Let dough sit in fridge for 3 hrs before first baking. This is a wet dough and you will need to use some flour to shape it.
Do not seal/airtight your container. I put mine in a HUGE cermanic bowl and throw plastic wrap on top.
Let dough rest 20 mintutes before you put it into a 420 degree oven on a baking stone or in a dutch oven. Use a steam pan under for a yummy crispy crust.
We LOVE this bread!
post #13 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
How about making yogurt? Can someone clue me in on how to do it?!
yogurt's actually insanely easy to make! I've got one going that started with soem greek yogurt from trader joes (2-3 tablespoons) and then half gallon of whole organic milk (we eat a LOT of yogurt, LOL!) mis them together, and then just put it in a warm spot overnight (I use the oven, it's gas so the pilot light keeps it warm) others I know have had success putting it on top of a heating pad on low, with a towel between the two.
post #14 of 384
just got mother earth news in the mail today and there's a great article (with easy recipes) on cheesemaking - thought it was very timely
post #15 of 384
I'll join!!

We do a fair amount of canning ourselves, but I also buy minimally processed foods to create our own 'nearly scratch' foods!

Our fav from scratch meal lately is bean burritos (and NO we don't make the cheese ourselves! ). We use the hillbilly housewife tortilla recipe but make it half whole wheat and half white flour. We use pinto beans that we canned ourselves from dry beans and make them into refried beans. We like to add in cheese at the table (due to Molly Anne's dairy allergy) and top with homemade canned salsa. Yummy!
post #16 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by josybear View Post
i want to learn to make cheese. animal, vegetable, miracle got me all excited about it.
Me, too - the book was great! I also got the Mother Earth mag a couple of weeks ago (had a chapter from the book and some recipes) and that made me think it was doable at home. I checked out Home Cheese Making, by Ricki Carroll from the library rather than buy it, and started reading through it.

I'm motivated, just have to buy the initial ingredients to get started. It always seems that projects like this, frugal as they are in the long run, cost a nice big of change to get started. And since I've been in the middle of canning, that's been where I've been putting my extra funds (canner, jars, lids, etc). Dh has asked me to hold off, since I also spent a bundle starting a garden this year.
post #17 of 384
Well we are suburbanites with a small...or I could say no yard so a garden for me is not in the cards in this house...we are planning on moving hopefully in a year back to MN or SD and I want some land so that I can really cook from scratch...I dream of a big garden, chickens for meat and eggs, some goats for milk, maybe a pig and cow, even maybe some sheep for wool.

Anyway, for now I make everything from scratch...using grocery store supplies!

Probably my favorite thing to make is pizza...I love my dough! It's just basically the dough used for my bread! Does anyone have a great recipe for pizza sauce? I can't seem to ever get the seasonings right so I have resorted to store bought.

I don't buy any convience foods...I guess except crackers...but I would like to try making graham crackers! And the occasional box of Annies mac and cheese...it makes me sick though thinking about it

I am going to soak in all of the ideas and recipes.
post #18 of 384
Amy, I second the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book, it was really good!

I'm also looking for a good cracker recipe, my kids are cracker mongers!

I'm Nadia, SAHM to 3 kids and while I can and do cook, I would like to do it more to save us money and to eat healthier as well. I want to get back to baking bread (maybe using the Artisan Bread book) and I am hoping to start canning this year too. I don't have my garden in yet, but there are some plants 50% off at a store near me, so I might try to get it in yet.
post #19 of 384
Well I definitely am not as industrious as some on here, but I do cook from scratch most nights. I make my own Caeser salad dressing almost nightly(while being pg got a craving that has not left, gotta have the Caeser). I am great at baking bread, but right now 2 things are keeping me from doing that. First it's about 100 at my house right now, and the oven is not going on. Second-it's more for just enjoying, my DH will not make sandwiches with homemade bread, it's not "soft" enough for his p.b & j, that's fine with me.

I would say I am another person who makes homemade foods using store purchased ingredients.

I'm here to see if anyone can steer me in a good direction for homemade pasta, I was given the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid by my neighbor, and I would love to make raviolis or something yummy.

I have been making more homemade things, but I am going to continue to get my tortillas from the tortilliaria, they are just like the ones in Mexico and they are so good. Speaking of Mexican food, does anyone know how to make authentic red enchilada sauce and cabbage pico de gallo? Those two things are my favorite.:. Thanks.
post #20 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
I am great at baking bread, but right now 2 things are keeping me from doing that. First it's about 100 at my house right now, and the oven is not going on. Second-it's more for just enjoying, my DH will not make sandwiches with homemade bread, it's not "soft" enough for his p.b & j, that's fine with me.
Totally agree with you on the bread for both reasons (maybe it's because I'm in eastern WA too...it's so hot!). I just can't make a pb and j with thick slices of sourdough. I just use it for breakfast/snack with jelly or cream cheese. Maybe non-sourdough would be better for "regular" use.

I especially like making the following things from scratch: granola, refried beans, veggie burgers, bread and buns, yummy jam, baked goods that use local or garden fruit.

I would like to get better at making healthy (and portable) snack food from scratch. Like granola bars.

I also hope to do canning for the first time this year: tomato things (spag. sauce, plain tomatoes, salsa), beans, maybe some fruit.
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