I make everything from “scratch”. Okay, not everything, but most everything. It isn’t that hard and it is less expensive and it tastes better. Through the years of creating things from scratch it has become secondhand and I don’t have to put much thought into it. A lot of times I don’t even have to look at most of the recipes anymore.
It wasn’t always that way, and when I first started cooking (what seems like centuries ago) I would never have believed that I wouldn’t have to double check every move I made. But then one day I woke up and made pancakes without a reference, and then it was biscuits without pulling out a single book. Next came bread (which I could make in my sleep – and probably did several times) and then…. It all just seemed to become second nature and my brain and hands just took over automatically.
I’m telling you this because anything we do repeatedly we get better and better at and that includes cooking. I started thinking about this because my son brought one of his friends home the other day and asked me what would be a really easy recipe to teach her. She had no cooking or baking experience and he wanted to show her how easy it was to put together a tasty meal. I told him a couple of recipes that were very basic and they went on their way – presumably to throw together a delectable dinner.
I see a lot of people who are financially struggling, but haven’t been taught the skills to cook and save money. They are afraid to try because it is scary and they don’t want to waste their time and money on something they won’t eat. I understand the fear, but instead of taking on the attitude of fear, “gird up your loins and fresh courage take” and change that feeling of apprehension to one of adventure.
If you start small and work your way through your favorite (previously pre-made) goodies one by one, you will become a master of your kitchen. You will also find that rotating your food storage becomes a lot easier.
I love that show “Julie and Julia” and how Julie bravely plowed through Julia Child’s HUGE cookbook. I don’t have any desire to do that, but there is no reason that you can’t pick one simple recipe and become a master. Start with pancakes. Pancakes are simple and it might take you a whopping 30 seconds more to make it from scratch than from a pre-mix. And after you get really good at it then you can move on to biscuits.
I love biscuits because even if you have nothing in the house you can always make a big plate of fresh biscuits with homemade milk gravy. Not only have you saved money, but you have also created a favorite comfort food.
And I think that you will find that if you time yourself it will only take less than five minutes to mix a batch of biscuits up. The gravy will take less time to make than it takes the biscuits to bake.
After you have mastered the biscuit you can get really adventuresome and make pigs-in-a-blanket – and you won’t have even peeled and smashed one single cardboard cylinder!
If you just don’t want to figure it out by yourself and you would prefer to skip all of the beginner’s mistakes, then ask a neighbor or friend to teach you. And if you don’t have anyone that is experienced, then pal up with someone and both of you can learn together.
Even when I made mistakes (and there were a few) my family was always forgiving and they would make suggestions on how to make it better the next time. And then I got better.
And just to make you laugh, read Where Do You Buy Scratch and then go get busy.