Occasionally I’m asked what my blog is about, or what my philosophy on food is – they’re both pretty intertwined. I generally say one of two things: Michael Pollan’s “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” or my own “why buy something when you can make it yourself?” But as much as I agree with the latter statement, it’s much easier said than done. I like food shopping, I like trying new products, and I have a fairly busy schedule. As with many things in life, it’s easiest to take the lazy route in the kitchen.
Last year I made a commitment to bake all my own sandwich bread. Somehow, miraculously, I didn’t buy a basic loaf of bread all year. Looking back, I kind of wish I’d kept count of how many I baked. Fifteen months after imposing my own rule about bread buying, I still haven’t returned to my old ways. Bread baking has become part of my routine, buying it seems so foreign and, as we don’t go through it too quickly, making my own is sustainable for now.
Yet despite all that dedication to bread, my dedication to homemade hasn’t translated as well to other sections of my pantry. Granted, I do a lot of dinner cooking and I undertake the occasional extra project, but as far as making grocery staples is concerned, I have a long way to go. If I really want to make as many ingredients from scratch as possible, I need to improve my game.
For the immediate future, I’m going to focus on two items we use a lot around here: vegetable broth and tortillas.
The vegetable broth has been on my to do list for weeks now, ever since Heather talked about making her own on the Best Life Ever Podcast. Why, I asked myself, if I make my own bread, can I not manage to make my own broth in the slow cooker? But for some reason I still haven’t gotten around to it, because I apparently have weird priorities. Hopefully this post will be just the push I need to get rolling with making and freezing my own.
My decision to start making my own tortillas is based on my current obsession with breakfast wraps and all things Mexican food. No sooner did I have the thought than I started seeing tortilla recipes online, including this one from The Kitchn and this one from Mark Bittman. My plan is to try them both, plus some other recipes I have saved, see what works best and get into the routine of making a batch or two regularly for consumption through the week.
Also on my list of things I want to start making: granola, crackers, granola bars and pasta (for special occasions, not regularly). Any advice or links would much be appreciated!
I don’t know about vegetable broth but the smitten kitchen recipe for chicken broth (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/11/perfect-uncluttered-chicken-stock/) is pretty amazing and very easy.
I probably have that recipe saved somewhere…is there anything from Smitten Kitchen that isn’t awesome? Nevertheless, there generally isn’t much chicken around here.
Casey @ Salted Plates says
I make really great veggie broth from the vegetable scraps. I save them in the freezer until I have a gallon sized bag full then simmer for two hours. It’s basically free ( I do add a bay leaf) and so simple!
That’s my plan! I have a pretty full bag in the freezer as we speak, but for some reason I can’t get the vegetables from the freezer to the pot. Go figure…