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lillycoyote's avatar

If you don't always cook from scratch is there anything or are there some things that you absolutely must always cook from scratch?

Asked by lillycoyote (24815points) May 30th, 2010

I’m not much of a cook anymore but when I make lasagna I always make it from scratch, including the sauce and I even make my own noodles. Needless to say, I don’t make it that often. And when I have popcorn, I pop it in a big heavy pot on top of the stove so I know that the only things in it are popcorn, butter and salt. Plus it just tastes so much better than microwave popcorn.

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23 Answers

AmWiser's avatar

I’m a fanatic when it comes to cakes and pies and most cookies. If they are not from scratch, I am not completely satisfied. I absolutely agree with you on the popcorn.

poofandmook's avatar

I like to make my own vodka sauce rather than jarred. That’s about it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

There’s a lamb/beef dumpling I make from scratch, dough and all and also the vegetable and goose fat broth they get cooked in.

YARNLADY's avatar

I can only answer the opposite – is that OK? I cook a lot, but I never make Lasagna or Chili relleno from scratch.

lillycoyote's avatar

You can answer anyway you want @YARNLADY :) that’s why I ask all my questions in the social section. But just to clarify, your answer means you basically cook everything from scratch except Lasagna or Chili Rellenos?

eden2eve's avatar

I’m with you on the popcorn (never in the microwave). Once at work I was doing that, and was roundly scolded by a scientist who had made a study of this phenomenon. He said I was poisoning myself. Now I can’t stand the taste NOR the smell of that micro stuff. Same reason I pretty much never barbeque anything, especially chicken. Scientists scared the heck out of me about that.

Potatoes. I hate frozen, canned or boxed potatoes in any form.

I mostly make pasta from scratch. I have a pasta maker and the results are SO much better… no comparison.


I make my own dehydrated fruits and veggies. Also jerky.

Usually ice cream and puddings.

lillycoyote's avatar

@eden2eve I’m absolutely with you on the potatoes, pasta and soups. I will occasionally make my own ice cream but tend to generally get store bought, even though I have a decent electric ice cream maker.

YARNLADY's avatar

@lillycoyote Yes, I cook nearly everything from scratch. I like my own sauces and toppings with no salt and no sugar.

Buttonstc's avatar


Regarding barbecue. If you marinate the meats beforehand, it solves the problem of carcinogens produced in barbequing.

eden2eve's avatar

The research indicated that any time there is any charred matter on the meats, they are highly carcinogenic.

noodlehead710's avatar

@eden2eve Potatos? Absolutely, why even bother with some crazy pre-made potato-substitute, when actual potatoes are neither expensive nor tough to prepare.

Growing up we would also make pasta from scratch with a pasta maker, and there is nothing like it. Also my mother, who used to work at a pizza place when she went to college, would often make pizzas from scratch. Hand-spinning the dough for the crust is something everybody should try at least once, it’s fun!

Also every pie crust has to be made from scratch. Unfortunately, now that I’m living on my own I am lacking the materials to make some things (pasta maker!) and the know-how to make others. I definitely try to stay away from “heat it and eat it” foods though, cooking is a life skill that gets better with practice.

eden2eve's avatar

GA, @noodlehead710

I found my pasta maker at a second hand store, paid about $6.00 for it. I really enjoy simple and healthy foods, and think it’s wonderful that you choose to avoid processed foods.

lillycoyote's avatar

If anyone ever needed a pasta maker it is @noodlehead710 We should all chip in. :)

Buttonstc's avatar


I can’t do links from iPhone but the research I read is from scientific sources.

The percentage of HCAs which were removed by various items in the marinades was in the 78–89 percent range.

I’m not referring to thick BBQ sauces which end up burning but to either dry rub or thin liquid type marinades.

Even as short a time as 10 mins. prior produced those high percentage of reductions.

This was measured in reputable scientific laboratories.

faye's avatar

I’m with everyone on the potatoes and soups, and I also prefer my own dips and refried beans. I have never liked charred so that’s an interesting fact. Does this refer to hot dogs over a campfire too?

eden2eve's avatar

They said anything charred, but Chicken was the top contender on the Cancer list.

eden2eve's avatar


Maybe the marinades act to decrease the cooking time, therefore diminishing the damage done to the cells of the meat. I don’t know much about this, just what I was told by the scientists who did the research, and subsequently published it. But in my view, I’d rather avoid the method altogether than just “reduce” the damage.

Thanks for the information, though, that is informative.

perspicacious's avatar

I make everything pretty much from scratch. I sometimes use cake mixes and boxed scalloped potatoes.

susanc's avatar

The main things I buy already made are canned diced or crushed tomatoes and – this is Wrong – canned beans: black, white, kidney, etc. I should soak them instead, but I never remember in time. And I don’t make chutney. I can’t use cake mixes because they always taste like tropical oils. But I have an unbelievably delicious cake recipe that only takes about a whole evening to make, if anyone wants it.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Chili, pesto, baked goods (cookies, cakes), pasta sauce, soup. None of these things taste half as good when they come pre-packaged.

john65pennington's avatar

For my wife, its homemade cornbread and banana pudding. she makes the best in the world.

prescottman2008's avatar

Biscuits, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Chili con Carne, Beef Stew, Beans and Ham, and on and on and on.

noodlehead710's avatar

@john65pennington Ever had cornbread with banana pudding? I’m not sure how that would be, but I like to try to mix completely unrelated food items; sometimes the results are actually quite good!

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