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The Homemade Kitchen: 5 Things to Make from Scratch

Many of us were raised in kitchens where convenience was king (or queen.) Many common recipes had a can of soup tossed in, or a soup packet sprinkled over, or some other shortcut involving a can, packet or bottle.  In many ways, the way we eat has been changing – it’s different in every household to be sure, but many of us are looking for ways to cut processed foods. If we can make something from scratch, we have more control over the health and flavour of each dish and meal. We can source ingredients that we feel comfortable eating or serving to our families; in some cases this may mean organic foods, looking for vegetarian options, or accommodating food sensitivities.

And let’s face it, there’s something satisfying about being able to create something special with just a little time and effort in the kitchen. I always feel like I am taking a little better care of myself when I take the time to make something myself rather than buy the commercially prepared version. Do I avoid all processed foods? No, not all, and there are some occasions where sanity screams for a shortcut. But when time allows, I love the idea of taking simple ingredients and making things from scratch.

Here are five things that you can learn to make from scratch that are easy and offer a lot of reward for your efforts. They’ll bowl you over with their simple goodness, spoil you with flavour and ruin you for commercially prepared versions. Some of them allow you to cook once, and save extra portions for future use.

Five things to learn to make from scratch:

Homemade butter

Homemade whipped cream

Homemade stock:  vegetable, chicken, beef

Homemade tomato sauce

Homemade salad dressings

They’ll also make you look like a hero to anyone lucky enough to share your kitchen or dinner table. Planning a dinner? Whip up a salad dressing or two ahead of time. Dessert? A generous serving of homemade whipped cream gives a rustic charm to any sweet treat. Any muffin or sweet bread recipe would be immediately lifted by the addition of homemade butter. Tomato sauce and stock can be used in many meals, saved in the fridge or freezer, and added to other recipes.

Are there certain items you insist on making from scratch in your kitchen? Are there some things that you prefer to buy premade? Why?

What would be the first thing you would try to make on your own if you were to make the switch?

Writer, editor, recovering chocoholic. Most often found writing, drinking coffee, and chasing kids. Find her on Twitter @littlemissmocha.

2 Responses to “The Homemade Kitchen: 5 Things to Make from Scratch”

June Cubbon

I always thought that making an Angel Food Cake from scratch was ridiculous when a mix is basically the same price as a dozen eggs. However, in an effort to use up eggs before going on a trip, I followed a recipe for homemade and I was surprised how much flavor an Angel Food Cake from scratch has in comparison. Everyone raved about it at Easter dinner.


    Jen Taylor

    Love your experience with angel food cake – and funny that it was just a random thought that made you try it out. And now you know and can enjoy the better version from now on. Thanks for your comment!

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