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jaytkay's avatar

What can you make from scratch that most people buy?

Asked by jaytkay (25810points) April 15th, 2016

Recently I came across a simple recipe for ricotta cheese, and one for mayonnaise. Aren’t those things you simply buy at the store? I want to try both recipes.

I just made double-hung windows for our porch from lumber, glass, putty and paint. My mom was a great clothing maker with the sewing machine when I was a kid.

What do you make?

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30 Answers

Jak's avatar

Soap. Lye,distilled water, various fats or oils. Spices, botanicals, essential oils. My soap is awesome.

CWOTUS's avatar

Love and spaghetti sauce, I guess.

jaytkay's avatar

@Jak Interesting. I did not know what lye was. So I Googled “how to make lye” and found that I have made soap, like this:

“If you throw some white ashes from a hardwood fire into your frying pan after dinner — the lye in the ash will combine with the fat from the cooking to make a crude soap.” Mother Earth News

Jak's avatar

@jaytkay yep Soap was initially an accident.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Automotive service labor.

Whenever possible I perform car modifications and repair myself.

The feeling of satisfaction is priceless.

ibstubro's avatar


Honestly, I prefer to buy most of my stuff because the bought stuff is consistent and stays good longer.

Yeah, homemade mayo is great. For 48 hours or so.

Still a GQ.

Mimishu1995's avatar

When I was about 8 I used to design a simple board game based on my imaginary characters. You just need a dice and some pieces and you can play it, just move forward to the goal. The deal was that you were some guy trying to get home while avoiding obstacles on the way. If he stumbled on an obstacle, he got a certain number of bandages or sometimes had to move backward. When everyone got to the goal, the player with the least bandage won. I remember being a bit cruel with the obstacles and my bandage count was always more than 10. Too bad at that time I didn’t have anyone to play with.

ibstubro's avatar

Oh, I can make a mean crossword or hide-a-word puzzle!

jaytkay's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I have worried about my friends who buy their kids elaborate toys, compared to those who tell the kids “go play”. The games and stories they concoct on their own are so entertaining.

My mother-in-law had a great party strategy for holidays. She would tell the kids that there was a show scheduled in a few hours and they had to present a play.

The kids took it as an order and worked really hard to please her.

At the scheduled time, we adults lined up our chairs like a theater and the performers delivered their play. It was a smash hit every time. Tears were shed in the audience.

Seek's avatar

I weave cloth occasionally. I like making warp-faced bands, which are good for purse straps and ribbons and belts and such.

zenvelo's avatar

Pies. Especially apple pies.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

“Tyler sold his soap to department stores at $20 a bar. Lord knows what they charged. It was beautiful. We were selling rich women their own fat asses back to them.”

anniereborn's avatar

Cleaning products. Depending on the needs….vinegar, baking soda and/or hydrogen peroxide will do wonders.

Jak's avatar

(Never talk about Fight Club!)

jca's avatar

I just bought a Janome sewing machine (bought it two or three years ago, brand new, just unboxed it about three months ago), and I joined a national sewing guild. I want to learn how to sew. I wish I had more time so I could practice.

Food from scratch, I make macaroons (very easy to make).

thorninmud's avatar

I’ve made several harps for my daughter. I make leashes and collars for my dog. And I use a 3D printer to make all kinds of little widgets (just cranked out a bunch of flexible lids for opened cans).

jaytkay's avatar

@Seek I like making warp-faced bands

I would expect Worf-faced bands.

Seek's avatar

I’d have to learn tablet weaving to make Worf-faced bands, and that seems so fiddly to me. I prefer inkle. A bit lazier but it works.

jca's avatar

Right now I’m making chicken soup. It’s very easy and way better than anything in store or restaurant because you make it how you like it. I just throw in carrots, celery and onions plus chicken of course. Boil for an hour or two, and at one point, take the chicken pieces out and debone. Throw in rice toward the end (or pasta or potatoes or whatever starch you want, or no starch).

@Seek: Oreo pie sounds very good.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Meals from scratch, frequently.

CWOTUS's avatar

Iced tea.

I can hardly believe that people actually buy pre-made iced tea in stores and then lug it home. It’s water and ground tea leaves! And the tea leaves are in bags with strings!

si3tech's avatar

Baking powder. (no alum)

Seek's avatar

@jca – Alas, the Oreo pie was made using boxed pudding mix, a pre-made pie shell, a tub of Cool-Whip, and a jar of hot fudge. Nothing close to “from scratch”, but it was a good lesson in following directions for the little one.

Seek's avatar

@CWOTUS – Well, in my case, I have to buy water by the gallon anyway, and it’s worth it to me to save the time and hassle of making iced sweet tea. Hubby likes it way sweeter than I do anyway, and I just can’t bring myself to waste the sugar.

I don’t bring iced sweet tea home very often, but when I do, it’s a hit.

johnpowell's avatar

I like to make my own (flour) tortillas. They are simple but a bit messy. And you can make elephant ears with the unused dough.

ibstubro's avatar

Scratch biscuits and gravy, if we’re including food.

All kinds of gravy and sauces, especially white sauces. Creamed veggies, especially cabbage and spinach.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Pretty much anything I want. For starters, bread, beer, mead, wine, guitar pickups, electronic circuits, software, basic homestead stuff like plumbing, electrical, flooring, drywall… I have built solar panels from scratch, yes from scratch. I can wrench on cars and motorcycles. I have built solid body guitars, arcade consoles, gaming computers, effect pedals, theramins, I built a small steam engine once, I designed an entire 32bit microprocessor in college…

MollyMcGuire's avatar

pancake batter
oatmeal and grits (who buys that instant stuff)

I can make anything from scratch. If I don’t make it, I probably don’t eat it. I’m going to eat dinner tonight in a restaurant, but I don’t do that often. I figure steak, salad, and rice is pretty safe.

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