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creative1's avatar

What are you like in the kitchen?

Asked by creative1 (12049points) June 27th, 2012

I am wondering who out there cooks fully from scratch and who buys mostly all those starter meals that you see in the stores these days. I had a cookout for my daughters this past Sunday and found everyone one surprised that I made everything from scratch right down to the cake and the Boston baked beans. I enjoy cooking and think its just healthier when things are made fresh from local ingredients that they just taste better and they are better for you.

I see so many of the instant meals in the stores these days so I know they must be popular given there are so many of them in the stores. I wonder if I am a dinosour by cooking most things from scratch. There are only a few things that my daughters ask me for and I don’t think that within limits that to let them have them from time to time it isn’t a bad thing.

So what is your cooking style instant meal or from scratch??

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70 Answers

LittleLemon's avatar

I am definitely a boxed meal person. I’m not proud of this fact. But I must say it’s not for lack of trying (kind of). Every year I make beer battered, cheese injected, bacon-wrapped hot dogs for the 4th of July. That takes some time, believe-you-me.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I do it both ways, also use pre-made like salsa with ingredients I cannot get, to make a fresh avocado guacamole.

marinelife's avatar

From scratch. I love fresh vegetables.

bkcunningham's avatar

We cook from scratch for the most part. A few things are semi-homemade. For instance, I keep boxed cake mixes and brownie mixes for a quick desert. I like the pineapple upside down cake mix coupled with fresh pineapple. In the winter we bake bread. I buy bread from the bakery other times. Without any doubts, homemade tastes much better.

We are having a pool party Friday night. My husband is going to smoke pork butts and we are pulling pork for the event. I’m making a homemade, from scratch chocolate cake. Other people who are coming have told me what they are making and 99 percent are making things from scratch.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

More like “nightmare in the kitchen”!

bookish1's avatar

I am a total Dom in the kitchen. Unless you’ve been to chef school, you better be prepared to be my sous chef.
Cookin from scratch since the age of 13.

LittleLemon's avatar

@bkcunningham Can I come visit you? O_O

Aethelwine's avatar

With the exception of our once weekly pizza night, everything I cook is from scratch.

My husband and I just went to a family reunion over the weekend and he couldn’t wait to go because he knew that this side of his family always put together a great meal of homemade goodies. He was very disappointed when we noticed that most of the meal was store bought. Many of the older generation had passed away and it was mostly the younger generation that was at the reunion. He said the meal would have been completely different, and better, because everything would have been made from scratch. There was no way in hell his grandmother would have brought KFC!

cazzie's avatar

I cook from scratch. I bake from scratch. If you can’t make pasta from scratch, you will never measure up in my kitchen. Hubby cooks like a god and I bake like a goddess. He usually deals with the main dish, I usually deal with the starter and dessert. Between us, we serve a mean dinner party.

Coloma's avatar

Being single I alternate between cooking, take out and Lean Cuisines. lol
I can’t remember WTH I made for dinner for over 20 years when I was married and raising my daughter. haha
I just made my favorite pasta salad on Saturday and baked some BBQ Chicken breasts.
I love to make soups, spaghetti sauce, chili and other one pot type meals.

I love to grill a Salmon steak with fresh Asparagus when in season too.
I don’t eat a lot of meat, more fish and chicken, but I do make the worlds most killer pepper steak sandwiches and whip up a T-Bone steak dinner loaded with sauteed mushrooms about once a year.
How am I in the kitchen?
Well….left handed, right brained blonde on wine, MUST do all her slicing and dicing before the 3rd glass of Vino or I will amputate a finger. haha

No knives and unattended fire sources like burning candles in another room when Coloma uncorks the Cabernet and breaks out the Ginsu knives. :-P

creative1's avatar

@cazzie I need to meet someone you that will cook with me in the kitchen, boy would that be lots of fun to do together.

Coloma's avatar

@creative1 Well c’mon over! We can make a nice dinner and have wine on the deck and eat outside! :-)
I eat outside every night all summer long! :-)

cazzie's avatar

Me @Coloma and @creative1 sounds like a GREAT dinner evening.

zenvelo's avatar

I prefer cooking from scratch, except for pie crusts. I use pre-made pie crusts because I don’t have a pastry stone.

JLeslie's avatar

I mostly cook from scratch, but would never bother to make baked beans from scratch, because the canned ones are good. I would say 60% of what I make Is totally scratch. 25% has some sort of packaged product in it, but still prepared somehow and cooked or baked. The other 15% ready meals just thrown in a microwave or pan or toaster or something I eat right out of a box. I am including things like pasta as from a box, as I don’t make fresh pasta, same with bread.

I remember when I was in 5th grade my mom made cookies for a bake sale in my school and my teacher said, “oh, I can’t believe you baked from scratch.” My mom replied, “I didn’t, it’s a box mix.” The teacher said, “that’s scratch, I mean you actually took the time to bake instead of just buying a box of cookies.” My mom was sure to tell me cooking from a box is not scratch! Hahahaha.

creative1's avatar

@Coloma I am on my way… I look forward to the cooking and the wine mmmmm

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie If you tried my mother’s baked beans recipe you would think otherwise.

bookish1's avatar

@JLeslie: You can bring store-bought cookies to a BAKE SALE? What is this world coming to? headdesk

cazzie's avatar

Hey, we should get a ‘best recipes from fluther’ book published.
Eat that, Reddit.

JLeslie's avatar

@bookish1 From what I understand that is all you can bring to schools now. Nothing from scratch permitted. That is what I have heard anyway.

Coloma's avatar

Well…of course I shall have to whip up a batch of the Happy Brownies for dessert, plan on staying over. ;-)

wundayatta's avatar

It can be dangerous to cook with me. You must do everything exactly as I tell you to, or you might find a knife between your ears.

Sigh. My wife, I’m sure, would leave the country on Thanksgiving or Christmas, if she could. I don’t quite reduce her to tears, but I do get into a very focused state. I have to, if everything is going to get done on time, at the same time, and be done properly. Sometimes I become a little less than sensitive to other people’s feelings in the process. I know this is hard to imagine, but I assure you it is true.

It’s funny because lately, my wife has been learning to cook. After a few less than stellar outings, she has been producing some edible food, which is nice. She made risotto from scratch this weekend, and it turned out very well. She’d even made the chicken stock. Not according to my chicken stock recipe (which, I’m afraid, exists only in my head), but it was good enough.

In any case, I like things done in certain specific ways, except when I don’t. I expect cooks to be able to read food, and it is quickly obvious whether they can or can’t. My wife doesn’t know how to taste food in her head, yet, but perhaps, one day, if she keeps trying, she will get it.

She is willing to try things from boxes, and she has a set of recipes she uses when I’m not eating at home. Things the kids will eat, but that I don’t enjoy.

Well, it’s been 22 years, and we still get along, amazingly enough. It’s kind of interesting not having to cook. I think I’ve been really tired of it. It’s a lot of stress working all day, and then coming home and having to cook and help the kids practice and whatnot and garden. So not having to cook is a definite relaxer. I love good food.

But I don’t think you have to use boxes to make things take less time. There are many ways of cooking fresh food that don’t take long. It may be simple in preparation, but it tastes better than anything out of a box because it uses fresh ingredients. That makes all the difference.

bkcunningham's avatar

@LittleLemon, come on over! We have a friend who just gave us a taste of him homemade, from scratch root beer float cookies. I swear, when you bite into one, it taste exactly like a root beer float. I’d never had a root beer float cookie before. I know what I’m asking him to bring the next time we play cards.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m mostly a do it myself cook. I don’t like all the salt and other additives in prepared food.

LittleLemon's avatar

@bkcunningham That actually caused me to salivate a little. On that note, I’m off to lunch. God bless Fluther.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I do a little of all of it. On slow days, especially in the summer, I will cook from scratch. On busy gymnastics nights, during the school year, I will either fix a boxed/pre-packaged meal or be totally tired and lazy and just pick up fast food or order take-out. I love summertime, because I really have no time restrictions on meal preparation, so I can fix whatever I want. We do a lot of Italian food, Tex-Mex, and grilling steaks, burgers, chicken, etc… right now.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m like a blind, forgetful firestarter in the kitchen. I eat whatever my wife cooks. If she doesn’t cook I eat cereal.

ucme's avatar

Nervous, but imaginative.

DominicX's avatar

As a college student, I don’t cook much. Especially not from scratch. But when I do, I find it most rewarding (and I’m really the only person in my apartment who cooks).

Coloma's avatar

Okay then, it’s a plan!
Wundy, bookish1 and zenvelo will be the male chefs and us women will have a wine and cheese and happy brownie party in the kitchen while whipping up a few items to go with the head chefs entrees. Let the testosterone duke it out over the best piecrust. lol
All you girls can help me not slit my wrists or set the house on fire while we cook together. ;-p

deni's avatar

When I cook, I only cook (and bake) totally from scratch. It’s thrilling. But, I’ll say that I don’t do it as much as I should. I work in 2 different restaurants and can eat very cheaply and as healthy as I could possibly want, and it’s so easy and delicious, so I usually just do that. But I’ll cook a meal a couple times a week, bake some pies here and there (they are my specialty), bread, whatever. But I should do it more cause I enjoy it and am good at it. And I fuggin love butter.

jordym84's avatar

From scratch – I find cooking and baking (especially baking) rather therapeutic :)

6rant6's avatar

I’ve heard about @deni‘s quite a bit, but I never understood it was so healthy. Thanks for the tip!

Pretty much I cook from scratch. Even if I use bottled pasta sauce, I put my stamp on it. I’m as happy to make dressing as used bottled. I like to think many of my meals no one has ever eaten before. And sometimes it turns out that no one will.

Blackberry's avatar

Cooking takes too long. I eat a lot of cereal, sandwiches, and restaurant food. If I do cook, I only do simple stuff like baking chicken and making canned beans and rice.

thesparrow's avatar

@wundayatta You actually stayed with a woman who is only starting to cook now? And you would come home from work and cook rather than waiting for dinner? I have no words… for… that O_o

Facade's avatar

I’m very particular about my food, so I mostly cook from scratch.

josie's avatar

I cook from scratch. It is the only way to know exactly what you are eating, and what your caloric intake is. Plus, I am good at it. With the possible exception of my girlfriend, and risking hubris, I am the best cook I know.

Blackberry's avatar

@thesparrow I’m confused, are you baffled that Wundayatta didn’t choose a mate that would cook for him?

tedibear's avatar

Mostly, we cook from scratch. The boxed mixes and convenience foods are generally too salty for our taste. (One exception is frozen french fries and frozen pierogies.) Or they’ll have some funky flavor that we don’t like. I can get venison burgers, mashed potatoes and a vegetable on the table in under 20 minutes, including prep time and setting the table. Chicken in about 40 minutes. We try to limit take out to once a week, and sandwiches to once a week.

Bellatrix's avatar

We cook from scratch. It is very rare we buy any processed food or take away. We are both very capable cooks and I love my husband’s food.

Ponderer983's avatar

I cook everything from scratch. For Father’s day, I was told to bring dip, and the host assumed I was buying something pre-made. I just looked at her, because she knows I cook. So French Onion Dip and Crab dip were made from scratch.

thesparrow's avatar

@Blackberry I was brought up in a relatively traditional household. It also generally works that way in a marriage.

Coloma's avatar

@thesparrow Well, lets hope the little wifey doesn’t tire of serving you your supper or you might have to learn to cook too. lol
Tradition is often wrong, yet blindly held as ultimate truth. As a mature female I would be insulted if a man felt that cooking was my “job” all the time. Bah!

thesparrow's avatar

@Coloma Actually, I AM female! Lol.

It’s really great to see that women and men are both cooking in the household. That is wonderful and gives me so much hope for my own future. I’ve always observed only the women in my family cooking and doing housework (while holding down full-time jobs) so I have somewhat a bitter/cynical—you could say—attitude toward it. Kind of mind-boggling when I do see it happening.

Ya, I enjoy cooking but wouldn’t want it to be that if I don’t cook, my husband goes hungry because he doesn’t know what to do. That seems to be in my family. You know, for a long time I thought this was normal.

Coloma's avatar

@thesparrow Haha…oops….yes, I agree, the idea that woman should work and still be responsible for all the domestic duties…bah humbug! One of the bonuses of a lot of middle aged men is that they get all into cooking when they start balancing out as humans. It only takes about 50 years on average,or right about the time a lot of women rebel against their “duties.” LOl

augustlan's avatar

What is this ‘kitchen’ you speak of? ~

I’m like @tinyfaery, with a mass of anxiety thrown in. When I ‘cook’, it’s spaghetti (sauce from a jar, with browned ground beef added), a frozen french bread pizza, or something equivalent. I do have a couple of dishes that I rock at, but mostly… I don’t cook. Thank goodness my husband is an excellent cook, and he’s a ‘from scratch’ kind of guy.

I do make one hell of a sandwich, though. The other night we had grilled cheese sandwiches that were to die for: Haverty cheese, ham, and avocado on sourdough, cooked in real butter. Sandwich heaven, I’m telling you.

thesparrow's avatar

@coloma I have no problem doing these household duties if a man wants to financially support me. That way I can invest my energy into them, him and my family. I easily adapt to whatever situation befalls my in life.

thesparrow's avatar

HAHA, I can’t believe all of these threads where women can’t cook. And they’re married. That, to me, is just weird. I’m sorry. Maybe I am traditional. But when you have kids and stuff, don’t you have to cook for them when you are at home with them?

Are you all Anglo?

bookish1's avatar

@Coloma: It’s a deal. I’ll get started on Japanese Curry with Deep Fried Tofu which none of the other guys have to bother with cause I have made it about 6,000 times. And mine will be more beautiful than in that picture, because I can deep fry like a beast.

@thesparrow: I’m mixed race, only half farang.

And on the topic of marriage and stuff, well… I would just love to have a sugar daddy financially support me. I’d cook every meal. But cleaning, hell no, haha.

SYS's avatar

I do it both ways but prefer to do it from scratch and have often been told my burgers are the bomb. Guess nothing beat hand grinding and kneading the meat.

mambo's avatar

I’m quite a tornado when it comes to cooking. I always make a mess but everything comes out delicious.

bookish1's avatar

@mambo : Haha, I’m like that too. If I have company over, I clean up as I go along, but when I am by myself I am a total hurricane. I almost always use up every bowl in my possession as I’m doing prep, lol.

jazmina88's avatar

I’m a yummy spicy simple mess . I love the fresh stuff we are getting this summer. Lots of 5 ingredient stuff, caprese, cucumbers, melons.

augustlan's avatar

@thesparrow What country do you live in? In the US, it’s not all that uncommon for a woman not to cook. I was a stay at home mom for 14 years, with 3 kids, and I did cook sometimes but I never enjoyed it and was never great at it. I just made sure there were lots of easy, healthy things in the house for the kids to eat. My kids are older now, and I have a different husband, so I practically never cook these days.

wundayatta's avatar

@thesparrow I’m not quite sure how to interpret all that. Do you not believe my story? Do you think I am a fool?

Most people think my wife is lucky. For me, it’s just who I am. Frankly, it always weirds me out a bit when women are the sole cook in the family because I don’t think women taste food the same way men do. You tend to underspice.

My wife grew up thinking of food as fuel. I grew up with food as one of the two great pleasures of life. Except, growing up, I didn’t know what the other great pleasure was, so I thought food was it. In any case, when I met my wife, she was eating rice and steamed vegies. And when she really wanted to splurge, she would fry an egg. In margarine.

I don’t know if she’d ever seen a wok. She certainly didn’t own one. She had things like slow cookers and a pressure cooker that I’d never seen before. The pressure cooker turned out to really do a good job with rice. I don’t believe she’d ever actually used it.

So I cooked. I’ve always cooked. And we both worked. She does the laundry and I do the cooking. Did. Now that she’s not working outside the house, she’s decided to become Suzy Homemaker, and is making progress cooking. She is losing her fear of garlic and herbs. I think she’s losing her fear of doing things the hard way.

She has cooked for the kids when I’m not home, and she’s been making casseroles and things that she knows I don’t like. I guess the kids enjoy them.

My theory of cooking is different. I do not cook for the kids. I believe that if you cook for the kids, you will stunt their growth in many ways. You make them think they are the center of the world (no other society does this), and you fail to expose them to the broad range of foods that are available, and that will stunt their willingness to explore when they grow up.

I cook for myself and trust that others will find something to enjoy. People keep telling me I’m a good cook, and while I suppose they could be being polite, I tend to agree with them when I have done something well, and disagree at other times. I have pretty tough standards compared to most people, I think. And that’s the standard I cook to at all times. Even when I’m doing something quick. It still has to be with fresh, high quality ingredients.

Oh yeah. Teaching her to cook also means teaching her to shop. Ai-yai-yai!

JLeslie's avatar

@thesparrow Whether you have kids or not if both people are working hopefully the “work” at home gets divided up, unless the couple can afford a servant, which is very rare in America. Cooking, cleaning, gardening, laundry. Sometimes the men wind up doing most of the cooking, especially if they are better at it and enjoy it. Sometimes neither person is great at cooking nor enjoys it, and then they wind up eating out more, getting take out, or eating a lot of simpler foods that don’t require much “cooking.” America has so much convenience food people can get away with never cooking. Especially in certain cities like NYC you can get healthy food at salad bars and delivered. But, most of America faster food is usually not very heathy.

Coloma's avatar

@thesparrow Well, looks like this thread is a good opportunity for you to expand your role playing horizons and realize that just because a human is born with breasts does not make her a servant. Not wanting, knowing, or liking to cook does make a woman defective or “weird” in any way, anymore than a man not being handy around the house or a mechanical whiz makes him deficient. Hardcore gender roles are passe these days.

@bookish 1 Sounds great, just give me a weeks notice so I can save up calories for the big feast! lol

Keep_on_running's avatar

I try to make what I can from scratch when I can be bothered. What annoys me though is when people buy a bunch of candy bars or chocolate and mix it into flour and call it cooking.

Mixing up a whole load of pre-made sweets that have been pumped out of a factory and preparing them in whatever way is not really cooking to me.

bookish1's avatar

@wundayatta: What do you mean “no other society does this”? Where are you getting that from?

I know for damn sure my dad was eating mild yogurt and rice until he was about 10 or so, when he started eating grown up burn your mouth out hot South Indian food. And that is normal.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

When I cook, I cook from scratch. Aside from canned tomato and bean stuffs, I don’t use canned much and definitely not pre packaged foods because they’re so expensive and usually yucky tasting. Flash frozen, pre cut & diced stuff, yeah, I use all I can find.

Coloma's avatar

I just made a decadent spinach salad with bleu cheese, OMG!
Hey, bonus….my bag of Tootsie Pops came with three Banana flavored, unheard of!
bon appetit!

Will somebody pass the grey Poupon?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I forgot to mention that we typically avoid the kitchen when our daughters’ friends stay over, and prefer to order in instead. =0) We’re having Chinese tonight.

wundayatta's avatar

@bookish1 Yes, in the US, there are parents that accommodate their kids doing nothing. They cook special meals for them all their lives.

From what I understand, this does not happen anywhere else in the world.

thesparrow's avatar

@JLeslie @Coloma Wonderfully put, for both. As for my personal relationship, my fiancee does cook and I am grateful for that; when we move in together we’ll never be wanting for food since we both enjoy cooking. The gender roles I am referring to are actually quite common in many parts of the world, including America. They are unfortunate but they are there. Although, they occur much more often in traditional European marriages.

@wundayatta That’s very sweet. My mother has actually cooked for me my whole life and I’ve never had to lift a finger; I only started cooking on my own recently because she’s such a dictator in the kitchen that I cannot possibly learn from her, and we fight all the time. When I cook, I like to have fun and experiment with ingredients. For my mom, cooking has always been somewhat of a chore, since she’s never even witnessed a man who does it other than my fiancee, and even then she seems to disbelieve that he can.

mattbrowne's avatar

At ease.

As long as my wife isn’t monitoring what I’m doing.

Thammuz's avatar

I prepare everything from scratch, usually. The times i don’t, it’s because i have no time, so i whip out some microwaveable food and eat that, but it’s not ideal.

As for when i cook, i’m usually militant. I don’t stop for anyone, i don’t want people interfering and if you want to help and don’t execute the orders as quickly as i would, you beetter say you’re sorry and get the fuck out of the kitchen before i use you as an ingredient as well.

Especially when i’m cooking something that takes precise timing and/or a complicated preparation, in which case i may well ban everyone from the cooking area.

bookish1's avatar

@Thammuz: I understand. I ban everyone from the cooking area when I’m deep frying 1) because most people don’t realize how dangerous it is and 2) you need to really concentrate on the temperature of the oil, etc., to get the best results.

Thammuz's avatar

@bookish1 That and, in general, if i’m moving hot metal around in a small confined space, i don’t want fleshy beings getting any closer than they need to be.

thesparrow's avatar

I love cooking, as long as I have a husband who will be able to feed himself on the occasions that I can’t cook

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Bored beyond belief.

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