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What foods do you make from SCRATCH? I'm speaking about the first steps in the process of cooking. Not meals, but the food elements we use in making meals. Do you roast your own coffee beans? smoke your bacon, make your own wine, liquers, jams, catsups, mustards, pickles, dried tomatoes, grind your own spice mixes, etc.
 

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Hmmmm

Nice topic.

I make the basics. Jams, pickles, preserves, dried tomatoes and figs, wine , olive oil ( he he ) and I have started experimenting with home made cheese but I am not ready to post results yet!!
My husband makes yoghurt once a week.
But in Greece I am not the exception :)
I have tried to cure prosciutto in winter time but I failed :(
 

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I make bread, yogurt and chicken/beef/pork stock from scratch. I wish I could make money from scratch, too!
 

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My Mom (who once won 1st prize for her canned peaches at the state fair) had us do practically everything from scratch growing up. Now, I don't have the equipment or storage space (for the equipment or finished product!) Here is a brief list of what we would make:

Canned fruit- peaches, pears, nectarines, pickled crabapples, tomatoes
Jams and jellies- crabapple, apricot, strawberry, rasberry, blackberry
Relish
Pickled vegetables
Salsa (green and red)
Applesauce (to this day I cannot even look at that yellow stuff in the store)
Baby food (no processed stuff for us!)
Cereal
Granola
Crunchy healthy grainy stuff (that we sprinkled on everything)
Enchiladas (ahem, including the tortillas... it took all day but was amazing)
Salad dressing (celery seed, yum!)
Dried fruit
Fruit leather
Pickles (I remember the vats of cucumbers, and not only that, we would start by picking the cucumbers too)
Canned pie filling- apple, blueberry, and mixed berry

For me, what I make from scratch rather than buying is a short list, but the store-bought products don't even come close
Guacamole
Salsa
Pesto
Alfredo sauce
Soup (I know this should be obvious, but those people who buy canned soup just don't know what they're missing in homemade soup)
Mocha mix (tacky but fast, and store-bought is so expensive!!)
Bread

I wish I were my in-laws (they're raw-fooders) They make everything from scratch, including milk (from nuts) and crackers (from nuts and spices), and tooth powder and salve.

~~Shimmer~~
 

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The one thing that I've finally started making from scratch and am really excited about is: PASTA! Next week, some handkerchief sheets with herbs in them!
 

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Isn't homemade pasta great, Suzanne?

My list:

roast and grind spices to make my own blends
spice pastes
guacamole
salsa
pasta
pesto
bread
pastries
crème fraîche
sauces
ice cream
sorbets
jam and jellies (occasionally)

I look forward to making my own butter—just waiting to get my hands on genuine farmers' heavy cream...

I just wish I had more time!
 

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Oh, yes, pasta! I just discovered this; found a really good recipe for vegan pasta. (I'm not vegan; I just sometimes act like one.)

Lasagna with homemade noodles vs. "thing called lasagna with boxed noodles" = no comparison at all. It was an almost religious experience.

Homemade gnocchi. Ooo. I haven't branched out into spaghetti or fancy stuffed things yet, but I'm sure I will.

I also always have a little jar of lowfat homemade chocolate sauce in the fridge (a sort of all-purpose base for little fiddly dessert things for one), and tofu mayonnaise (infinitely tastier than the purchased version, also very low in calories, and startlingly versatile). Pesto. I made some eggplant and olive tapenade last weekend which was awesome; the remains have found many uses. We make our own spice blends -- garam masala, Old Bay, "chicken & egg" seasoning for scrambled tofu are some examples that spring to mind.

We make fake "meat" from gluten and various other ingredients. "Chicken", "beef", "ham" and "sausage" -- one or another of these is usually around. They're easy to make in bulk, and freeze well. Not to mention they are miles cheaper than Yves Veggie Cuisine, even if a bag of vital wheat gluten DOES cost ten bucks!

I haven't done much in the way of pickling, jams and jellies; I usually do up one or two very fancy things for Seasonal Giving, but we haven't yet renovated our fruit cellar, which means we'd have nowhere to store stuff if we did preserve. My Moroccan Pickled Lemons were a huge hit this past xmas, and I did end up with four jars for us. I remember I tried making sauerkraut once and it blew up.... One of these days, I want to try Japanese rice bran pickles. I never met a pickle I didn't like.

A. (my husband) really likes drying stuff; he's put all sorts of things through his dehydrator, which is nice, as dehydrated stuff is very expensive to buy (like, f'rinstance, sundried tomatoes) whereas a bushel of tomatoes from the Italian markets in Hamilton is dirt cheap in season.

Oh, yes, and he went through a phase of wine making too. His red came out very nicely; he even used wild Concord grapes in it, and it was still drinkable, if a bit on the rambunctious side. He also made mead, once, about fifteen years ago. Two bottles are lost in his mother's house someplace. They may be either really, really devastatingly good, or honey vinegar by now...

I'd like to try some smoking. I have a bunch of Steven Raichlen cookbooks, and he's big into smoking. He has a scheme for smoking on the stovetop on a rack set in an old wok lined with tinfoil; he makes it sound very easy, but I have a sort of sinking feeling that it's a bit messier and smellier than it sounds.
 

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Let's see:

Pasta (Of course)
Tomato Sauce (big batch, freeze the rest)
BBQ Sauce
Ketcup (Heinz has nothing on mine)
Salsa
Coleslaw
Jams & Jellies
Ground Spices
Ground Pepper
Bajan Seasoning (everyone in Barbados has their own recipe)
Baby Oatmeal (just whiz quaker oatmeal in a blender till its like powder. Who needs Gerber! )
Cake/Cookie Mix(for when I want a cake in a hurry. I bag a few of these mixes and all I have to do is add eggs and liquids. )

Does making biscuits count?

Can't think of anything else right now. But you did remind me that I have to buy another blender. Thanks

Jodi
 

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I regret to say I do not make too many things from scratch. I occasionally make stocks (chicken, shripmp), tomato sauce, pasta. Although I don't think some of those count by alexia's criteria. Alas, time is the killer that drives me to use - gasp!! - convenience products. I don't feel too bad about it because I buy carefully and there are some pretty good quality products on the market these days.

Jock
 

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Things I've made in the past....raisins, fruit leather, strawberry and b;ueberry jam....picked the berries myself, pasta(got 2 machines in the basement and have not used them in a few years, ice cream....doing a camp June 10-14 for 4th graders., mango chutney...was not as good as store bought, granola....not done in a while, icebox cookies, gorp, lavosh, breads, pastry cream, dessert sauces, BBQ sauce, I grind spices....actually gave up coffee a few months ago.
I don't make my own puff anymore. My brother has a stone grinder so I occasionally grind grains.
Viniagers, oils....
I made feta, cheddar and chevre from sheeps milk....the fudge was better. I throughly appreciate cheese makers a whole lot more after that experience.
Yogurt, dried tomatoes, dried shrooms....dried herbs, frozen herbs
 

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Since my early 20's (over half my life ago), I have enjoyed "putting food up." I've pickled veggies, canned sauces, sweets, jams and chutneys, etc.

Primarily I do this to enjoy the abundance of any given season - like when red and yellow peppers go on sale in the summer! (My pulse is quickening...I have got to get a life...) Strawberries make great preserves and jam; mangoes make great chutney (don't forget the crystallized ginger); blueberries make great conserve, jam and sauce.

I've done canning to give as Christmas gifts because I feel a home-made, thoughtful gift of foodstuff is something that is always well received. This year I gave something I called "Christmas Jam" because it contained cranberries. (The high level of natural pectin in cranberries make them basically a fool-proof 'first jam' to make...guaranteed success.) Every year at Christmas, I give some kind of hand-made confection...usually including chocolate.

If I had more room to actually grow anything, I'd probably can it. Last year I pickled string beans (green beans) and my hubby uses them as a snack or to put in Clammy Marys (bloody marys made with Clamato). He says, "I like stuff in my bloody marys!"

We truly enjoy making our own bread. It was a challenge to learn how to make good, flavorful, crusty bread at altitude (7000 feet) where things rise so fast, they don't have time to develop flavor. I make my own pizza crust every time I make pizza. Daughter's friends love to come over for pizza.

I make my own gnocchi because frankly, there is not a real "Italian" store (salumeria) for hundreds of miles and I have no chance of buying anything near authentic gnocchi. We make other hand-made pastas as well.

My dad makes his own mozzarella and other cheeses. Now that's an idea...hmmmmm.
 

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BIGHAT:

You may have been too frisky with unfermented sugar, not yeast. It's the unfermented sugar that determines carbonation pressure. Discuss this pressure problem at your local winemaking supply shop and they may be able to provide you with some appropriate testing materials. Otherwise, use a triple beam scale that measures accuracy to a tenth of a gram, to determine the amount of sugar per bottle for fizz.

...been there and done that. And I was lucky that the champagne I made exploded a couple hours after I had scrutinized it very closely. My eyes and good looks are still intact.
 

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Chiff, that pretty much describes us all -- except I think that we HAVE a life, in nurturing our friends, family, co-workers, and each other. That's what's so sad about folks who don't know the joys of food; they're missing something so fulfilling. And so much better for them than sitting in front of the tube with a bag of potato chips! Okay, enough preaching to the converted.

I'm in awe of the people here who make cheese, and grow their own veg, and so on. I hope we get all sorts of new threads out of this one, telling us how to make fruit leather, or root beer, or vegan pasta, or or or ...
 

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Hmmm, used to cann all of the fruit we ate...peaches, pears, cherries. But the poor stoves that we had moving around forced me to give up on those.

I still make all of our applesauce (30 qts. last year). We go apple picking in the fall. The majority of the 6 bu. we pick turn into applesauce. Some I make apple rings out of and dehydrate.

I make all the jams and jellies that we eat, including pancake syrups. Our favorite is black and blue. Combination of blackberries and blueberries. We pick the berries fresh in the summer. I end up freezing for breads and muffins and cereal, and makes jams and sauces......the only problem we have is the schnauzers like to eat the berries out of the bucket as we pick.

I make all the marinara we use (26 qts. last year). some years the garden gods are good to me and I can use homegrown. Last year I had to buy them from the farmers market.

I grow all the herbs we use and dry for the winter months. I do regret not containing the oregano as it's like a weed. Fresh pesto sauce is a snap. Freeze extras for the winter.

We dehydrate fruits and 'matoes. I make the rainsins that we use. Fruit leathers and yogurt leathers are great. Dried apple rings, pears, bananas.

I make pasta on a regular basis. I used to make all the pasta we ate. Now I use alot of (gasp) store bought. Make tortellini and ravioli.

The house is never without cookies. The only cookies we buy are oreos. Cakes and bars homemade, natch.

Homemade rolls and breads are a given. Potato cinnamon rolls are the favorite. Bread is the first thing I make when we move into a new house.

Custard based ice cream in the summer months. Homemade peach, followed by triple chocolate and strawberry are the most common requests.....

I try to grow enough green beans and wax beans to feed us through the year. I blanch them, then throw in the freezer. Have been asked to forgo the zucchini this year by the sons. I'm going to plant it just to irritate them:p

soups and stews a given. Cream of broccoli is the fav in the house, followed by chicken noodle.

We have a smoker and will smoke turkey, pork and a beef roast to have to freeze and eat.

we made Galliano one year. Decided not to do it again after it etched the inside of the blender.:eek:
 

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Hey Jill! Can I move in with you? Im real adoptable and cute....really. :lol: :lol: And what is Galliano??

Im with Suzanne....can someone share the "How Do You Make Fruit Leather?". Pwwwweeeessseee!!!
 

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Jodi, come on over. The house is under remodeling, but we'll put clean sheets on the bed and that bath is clean....or so I hope!:look: You will be responsible for a meal, though!

The way I make fruit leather and yogurt leather is to use (for fruit)puree of the fruit, spread it on a a special sheet for the dehydrator(it's almost like silpat)that the fruit won't drip through. Put it in the dehydrator and let it go. It dries and gets leathery. Store in an airtight container.

For yogurt I use custard yogurt and do it the same way. Spread out fairly thin and dry. It really intensifies the flavor of the yogurt.

I started doing this when my boys were young because I didn't want them to have all the sugar in the purchased fruit roll ups.

Made the raisins one day on a lark...now they won't eat store bought!:D

Galliano is the liquor(sp) that you use to make harvey Wallbangers....I'm showing my age. That drink was REALLY popular when I was in college.....
 

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Svadisthana, I have to confess that most of the gluten things I'm making lately are coming straight off Vegsource, where Bryanna Clark Grogan has been on some sort of wild fake-meat mania lately. Sausage! Meatballs! Ham! Corned beef! She just reposted her entire seitan file at
http://www.vegsource.com/talk/beginn...es/123227.html

plus a bunch of "fish" recipes at
http://www.vegsource.com/talk/beginn...es/123344.html

The ham is here:
http://www.vegsource.com/talk/beginn...es/123226.html

All of the ones I've tried have been darn good (the corned beef, for one, was amazing, and the "chicken" is a standard around here) although I've found that if I follow the cooking liquid recipes exactly, it comes out a tad salty for my taste. Her technique for bread-machine kneading and slow-cooking seitan is particularly useful.

I'm having a lot of fun with it; I make the "fake meat," then go through all my "normal" recipes and make meaty stuff with it. I did up a traditional sauerbraten that turned out really nicely (well, I liked it, but A. didn't care for the extremely medieval sort of quality it had). A. made traditional Tibetan "meat" stuffed dumplings called momos out of the "roast beef," and they were a big hit at a party he took them to, which included a group of Tibetan monks visiting from India.
 
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