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What do you class as 'homne-cooking'?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by modelmaker, May 27, 2011.

  1. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I agree with nick. How far do you take it? Does scrambled egg on toast constitute home cooking if you didn't bake the bread yourself?
    The simple reality is that unless you have all day long, day in day out, and a deep passion for food, it's not really possible to cook everything you eat entirely from scratch. I love good food and these days as I pick and choose when I want to work I have the time to do a lot more than I actually do, yet I don't. A week at River cottage would probably kill me, fascinating as it would be.
    The other thing is since we've allowed supermarkets to dominate what the majority of people eat, many of the skills you'd need have been forgotten or never learnt. It never fails to astound me when I read recipes on websites, some pretty basic ones are regarded as being suitable for the advanced cook.
    Interestingly, my daughter and wife had a girls' day out shopping last weekend and not to leave me out, brought a marmelade making kit from Lakeland which consisted of a can of marmelade concentrate and a dozen small jars. (Lids sold separately) I duly used it to show willing and to give some to my daughter to take home with her. The marmelade is ok. A bit thin on fruit, but no worse than a Value jar from the supermarket. I imagine some people would regard this as home-made marmelade.

  2. Does this mean that preparing salad isn't home cooking ;-)
  3. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I think if all that is required is heating and/or serving, it's not home cooking.

    Not sure.
  4. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    It could be....

    Did you home-cure the ham? (or coat it with a delicious sticky marmalade glaze before baking?)
    Boil some eggs?
    Make your own mayo and/or salad dressing?
    Pickle your own beetroot/red-cabbage/onions?
    Make your own coleslaw?
    Bake a loaf of bread (Extra cooking points if you then use a slice to make your own croutons for the salad!)?
    Churn your own butter for the bread?

    A salad can take a lot of cooking!

  5. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    My view of 'home cooking' has altered since I came to this country.
    I grew up milking goats to make cheese and butter from with my Grandma, We grew our own food, salughtered our own animals, caught our own fish ,etc. It was all home-reared and homemade.
    Life now is different because I shop at butchers, fishmongers, markets and supermarkets - I use tinned tomatoes! I do as much as I can - but does 'home cooking' really entail making these products? Some of them, yes! But others I'm not so sure about.
    For some people, it is a 'novelty' to make some products like Marmalade - they'll make some becuase the Seville oranges are in the shops and make half a dozen to a dozen jars at the most so they can pretty up the jars and give them to friends as a present and keep 1 or 2 jars for themselves. When I make preserves, it is to use the excess up out of the garden or so that I've got something to grace my table on Boxing Day!
    I don't churn my own butter but I do make my own yoghurt and bake my own bread. Ready meals have their place but I don't like to eat them at all if I can help it because I invariably end up feeling hungrier after I've eaten than before I ate!
  6. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    My salad thoughts were somewhat tongue-in-cheek...
    I can bake my own bread - and enjoy doing it. (I don't use a breadmaker)
    I make my own joghurt - using a joghurt maker. (But remember mum making joghurt in the airing cupboard....where she also put her bread dough to rise)
    I don't make my own jam because mum makjes the best jam! But I have started to make my own curd.
    I have a brother who used to go fishing - and bring home his catch for mum and me to gut/scale/clean/cook....I hate scaling fish!
    And another brother used to work as a sort of estate-manager/game-keeper back in Germany.
    I agree about Ready Meals....they have their place, but are ultimately unsatisfying.
  7. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    I would say home cooking iswhen you change the ingredents significantly. For example turning mince into burgers or making a spag Bol using tinned toms rather than shop bought sauce, or just add water.

    The smashed eggon toast isn't home cooking as it isn't really a meal, more of a put on or a snack.
  8. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Tonight I made a Thai style curry with rice.
    I prepared the vegetables myself, but I used coconut cream and prepared Thai paste.

    Home cooking?
    From scratch?
  9. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I'd class that as definite home-cooking!
    Cocunut cream counts as a simple ingredient. No more of a 'cheat' than prepared mustard or tomato ketchup - which could be homne-made but are equally valid bought ingredients.
    The Thai paste is more open to debate. I almost always have a jar of curry paste in the cupboard. I understand the advantages of blending my own spices, but sometimes it just isn't practical.
    But what if you had used a pour-over sauce? But chopped the chicken and fresh veggies...and boiled the rice....still homemade curry?
  10. Some pedants would say you didn't make the paste yourself, but I class what you have done as home cooking.
    It is certainly a bit different to opening a jar of Uncle Bens [​IMG]
    And I use tinned coconut milk too - coconuts are a bit hard to grow on my balcony [​IMG]
  11. oh - and whilst I normally make up my own spice mixes - I also have a jar of paste normally for emergencies -aka days where I can't be bothered to grind my spices or dry roast them.
    Technically it could be classed as cheating - but ALL of us take short cuts at times!
  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I'd say coconut cream counts as an ingredient. Otherwise, tinned tomatoes, tinned pulses, tomato puree, stock powder, worcestershire sauce, bought mayo (nowt wroong with Hellman's) would all be off limits to the purist home cook.
    I love to make my own red or green Thai curry pastes; they are superior to the bought ones in a direct taste test
    However, it's time consuming and the ingredients aren't always readily available; the bought ones can be very good! The 'Thai Taste' brand is excellent. With careful useage, plus a few added extras such as fresh herbs, some fish sauce and lime juice, it's delicious and perfectly good.
    Maybe not technically home-cooking, but who cares when it's this good!
  13. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I don't use shop-bought paste purely because I always find they have an aftertaste that I don't like and its so simple to whizz up the paste in the processor - I make a huge batch and store them in the freezer.
  14. I find it depends on where you buy the paste. I don't buy a Sharwoods or a Patek - mine are from the ethnic food store with names I cannot pronounce.
    I do make up my own but sometimes I do cheat!
    As I said - one thing I never use are packet sauces. Yeeeeeeeuck. They all taste vile, IMO. This is probably down to my upbringing. When I was over at Easter, Grandma had bought a packet of cheese sauce, thinking it would be easier to make up, now she is old and doddery.
    She was incensed. Firstly, she needed a magnifying glass to read the instructions, secondly it was more of a faff than a saucepan of milk, cornflour and cheese and thirdly "it tasted like s.hite" (her words).

  15. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Never use them either - especially as they are so expensive now! We never had packet things available to us when I was younger.
  16. Nor when I was young, although I seem to remember there were some around in the 80s and considered highly sophisticated.
    My family was considered old-fashioned because we didn't use them!
    One thing I do admit to using - Bird's readymade custard [​IMG]
  17. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    There was an English family in the village where I grew up before I moved back with Mum to Egypt who used to have packet things sent over and everyone thought they were very odd!
  18. Home cooking to me is when you put effort into the cooking, think about the ingrediants and it tastes far better than the supermarker c rap.
    I hate ready meals as i think they taste of plastic and unrealistic. I'd much rather make my own. I also hate the taste of the very cheap pasta sauces which makes it expensive for me to buy them being a student. Admittedly it is time consuming cooking your own. I do alot of cooking when i'm not on placement for my joint ITT and degree course, but my mum (who makes the best lasagne, sheps pie and fish pie!) does give me some of her own semi-cooked food in foil trays that i can just take from the freezer and put in the oven to cook fully when i'm really busy, so i suppose these are a ready meal of a kind. She does make her own pasta, fresh mash potato, cheese sauces, and use british mince though! They taste far better than a ready meal too!
    I love cooking, and do find it the best way to relax on a saturday evening after a tough week. I also think my boyfriend has more respect for him because i can put a plate of proper home cooked food in front of him rather than a take-away (which leaves us both blotted)
  19. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Welcome to the cookery forum, Bella.
  20. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Hello Bella! ALways good to see new faces round here!
    If you're Mum cooks the food and you re-heat it then it counts as home-cooked IMHO.
    Oh, and unless you are my sister, then your Mum does <u>NOT</u> make the best shepherds pie! [​IMG]

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