Sometimes I wonder what kind of monster I have created in committing myself to make everything from scratch wherever possible. Things have gone from a novelty to dependence, and I seem to be doing more and more of it. I do recognize that the only reason I can is because I work out of my home. If I had a 9-5 job, I could probably do the bread and yogourt, and that would be about it. Yet, I also know that if I planned it right I could likely do it. I could also train family members to pick one item to take responsibility doing as well.
I’m not buying less food as a result, but I am buying cheaper, and in considerable bulk: a 10 or 20 kilo bag of flour, or a 4 litre 3-bag of milk. I’m definitely not dependent on running out to a grocery store for a last minute ‘must have’.
When I look back on it, it all began with tomato sauce 25 years ago. A friend said, “why don’t you do it?” and the local Portuguese hardware store was more than pleased to help me get set up. I’m still using the same manual grinder I used to.
A week in the DIY life
So lets take a look and see what I have done in the last week, with links to blogs I’ve published on these items in the past. Perhaps you may be inspired to try out a few of them.
Ketchup: Last Thursday, I did up some ketchup. My go-to ketchup recipe is pretty simple: 250ml of green tomato chutney, pureed with a 6oz can of tomato paste.
Yogourt: I make yogourt about once a week. I’ve noticed that my starter just keeps getting better and better. We were away for the weekend so I made it when we got back on Sunday night.
Granola: is one of those items everyone has come to depend on just ‘being there’. I get reminders when the jar gets low. This morning there was none, so time to make up a new batch.
Dog food: I just put out my dog food post before this – and that is this afternoon’s task. I’ve got to put together the meat portion of it.
Pasta: Although we do have a jar of old fashioned dried pasta, if I am cooking it for a family dinner, I’ll always make it from scratch. Tonight, my wife will be in need of some serious comfort food – so pasta, it will likely be.
Last weekend I bought some ‘cultured vegetables’ from the market, and I can’t wait to do my own. I’ll be posting about this shortly. I also want to make up another batch of puff pastry and croissants. There’s a couple of bunches of rhubarb defying me in the fridge. I don’t know if I will do jam, chutney or both there.
When I think back on it, I would not do it any differently. I know I would feel I had let myself down if I bought a bag of granola or a loaf of bread. I also know that I can’t complain either. My family members would look at me and say, “Well just go and buy it”.
I’m curious to see who else out there approaches their food this way. I’m sure there are though I don’t know anyone in my immediate circles. Drop me a line and send me to YOUR blog!