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What food is not worth making yourself as shop bought tastes just as good?

(78 Posts)
spookysal Tue 11-Dec-12 16:23:28

Which food do you always make as it tastes better?

And which do you buy as their is no difference in taste?

I'm thinking of making bread sauce for example, but considering is it worth it?

ViperInTheManger Tue 11-Dec-12 19:58:40

If you want homemade mince pies but find bought mincemeat a bit bleeurgh try putting the mince in a pan, grate in 1 Bramley apple add a splosh of cream sherry and warm through. Allow to cool before use. It turns even cheap mince into lovely stuff.

I find myself buying more each year as there is more stuff available, I have bought pigs in blankets and stuffing balls wrapped in bacon already.

DewDr0p Tue 11-Dec-12 20:09:08

Hmm can't think of much that doesn't taste better homemade tbh.

That doesn't mean I don't buy/eat the the shop bought version though!

I suppose it depends how good you are at cooking and where you shop though wink One of our local bakeries does amazing mince pies which are absolutely sublime and way better than anything I've ever made - but they also bear no resemblance at all to their supermarket cousins!

Startail Tue 11-Dec-12 20:17:29

DH makes amazing mincemeat, he has a Veggie sister and veggi mincemeat was hard to get and hideously expensive.

Still uses veggie suet, so I can give my Jewish friend a jar.

She got fond of mince pies as a child and was miffed to discover they weren't kosher.

He does very nice spiced Cranberry sauce too.

spookysal Tue 11-Dec-12 20:22:37

What is a really nice Cranberry sauce recipe - you are all twisting my arm into making it now!

CuriousMama Tue 11-Dec-12 20:28:23

I make most things but haven't done cranberry sauce yet. I just got a good tip for shortcrust for my mince pies, replace flour with 1/4 cornflour as makes them light. I'll try it beforehand see what they're like.

Taffeta Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:50

I make a cranberry and orange compote, tis delish and v easy. Shop bought cran sauce vom, IMO.

Pesto, mince pies, roast anything, cake, gravy all better homemade.

I def wouldn't bother with complicated pastries like danishes, puff, or bread for that matter. Am crap at bread. Pastry is piss easy if you do it in the food processor.

I am the other way around with mince pies, I don't think you can beat hm pastry ( I use lard/butter mix w orange juice ) but am happy to pimp shop bought mincemeat with some orange zest and brandy.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:26

I'm using Paul Hollywood's mince pie pastry this year, with ground almonds for extra crumbliness, it's lovely.

onyx72 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:35

Ready-made Ambrosia custard. Heated up in the microwave.

Why bother making your own from scratch or using the powder mix and scorching the pan?

melliebobs Tue 11-Dec-12 20:47:06

I always make my own Xmas pudding as I hate hate HATE candied peel and too many currants make it really gritty.

Love my grandmas recipe as no candied peel. It has tri colour cherries and it's a little more cakey than shop bought. grin

BornToFolk Tue 11-Dec-12 20:52:00

Here's how I do cranberry sauce, not sure you can really call it a recipe!

Stick a punnet of cranberries in a pan with a splash of water, a splash of orange juice and a splash of port if you want. Not too much liquid though. Add some sugar. Not too much as you can always add more later if not sweet enough. You can also add some cinnamon or orange zest if you like. Cook until all the cranberries have burst but not so much they all turn into mush. Pour into a jug, it'll kind of set as it cools but not so much as shop bought stuff.

NUFC69 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:54:40

I'm another one who always makes my own pastry (but it's usually shortcrust) but buys mincemeat. I also always make my own trifle - tbh after you've tried mine you wouldn't want one from a shop. I am happy to buy meringues, though. And I have now given up making pigs in blankets or stuffings - I usually try to serve three and we love the different concoctions the supermarkets come up with.

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 11-Dec-12 21:08:24

I only started making things from scratch a few years ago, but since then, I happy to take the time to make my own. I am no food connoisseur, but I much, much prefer the taste.

I make Christmas pud, Christmas cake, mincemeat (mincemeat is the easiest thing in the world as you just toss it all in a bowl with the booze and stir it over a week or so), cranberry and orange sauce - Sarah Raven, chilli jam (Lorraine Pascale) and chutney (Lorraine Pascale).

I buy loads of other things, even though I prefer the taste of homemade. DH made bread (a parmesan and parma ham, and a sundried tomato) a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. I saw the ingredients that went into it though, and I ate loads!

For me, its the amount I eat when I've made something myself. I love teh taste so much, I can't stop eating. At least I have a stopping point with most shop bought things. Except chocolate. I would never ever make something involving pastry as I am incredibly poor at it.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 11-Dec-12 21:11:22

I used to make dozens of mincemeat pies but now I CBA.

Fairy cakes
Apple pie
Banoffi Pie
Bread sauce

All better home-made

FannyBazaar Tue 11-Dec-12 21:17:56

I will never forget my ex husband's cousin boasting one year at Christmas dinner at his mother's that he 'made the bread sauce'. Of course his poor mother had done all the rest. I asked how it was made and what went in it as I genuinely didn't know and he confessed he didn't know either it was out of a packet! Cheeky sod.

I think most things are better homemade but have never actually made a Christmas pudding myself.

nemno Tue 11-Dec-12 21:20:37

I think all the sweet stuff is much better made at home eg mincemeat, cranberry sauce, puddings because I add much less sugar and much more booze.

Most of the main meal is best home made too but I can't imagine wrapping a chipolata in bacon is too different to shop done, but you can more easily choose happy pig products/organic/special recipe ones if you do it yourself.

Hmm, what else? Ready-peeled frozen chestnuts definitely on my list. And I might just buy thick cream rather than whip it.

roooibos Tue 11-Dec-12 22:00:31

I've just amended my home delivery order to add bread sauce ingredients on the strength of this fred, can't wait (must get out more...)

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Tue 11-Dec-12 22:09:01

I hate alcohol in sweet things, mince pies are about the only exception, so that's another good reason to do homemade desserts.

mmmnoodlesoup Tue 11-Dec-12 22:14:51

Does anyone make red cabbage with apples? I always buy it ready made but would like to make from scratch this year.

Homemade gravy and roast potatoes are a must.

spookysal Tue 11-Dec-12 22:16:42

I make Delias spiced red cabbage mmmmnoodlesoup. I make in advance and freeze. I love it.

Clary Tue 11-Dec-12 22:18:52

mince pies from shops (those packet ones) are just Boak, I will not eat them, soggy claggy pastry ugh.

Home made are best but I think they need to be made by me, not boasting but nobody else rolls their pastry thin enough for my liking. I assume it's because they like it thicker!

I make Christmas rocky road which is totally gorgeous but v v expensive. Much better than any sweetmeat you could buy tho.

I buy bread because I am too lazy to make it; I buy puff pastry because I have never succeeded in making it tbh.

DewDr0p Tue 11-Dec-12 22:56:50

This red cabbage recipe is fabulous.

And this is Delia's cranberry sauce recipe. Not sure you need to blitz them in the food processor though, I'd be tempted to skip that step and perhaps halve the quantities - this makes loads.

Oh great, thank you! Looks pretty straightforward too! Mmmm

DoubleMum Wed 12-Dec-12 09:20:12

HM sage and onion stuffing is absolutely gorgeous but you can pimp up packet stuff by adding extra softly fried onions and copious amounts of melted butter.
HM bread sauce is lovely and you can freeze it (ditto the stuffing). HM cranberry sauce definitely worth it for the proper tartness.
A good sausagemeat and chestnut stuffing is well worth doing too, but I suspect those expensive fresh stuffings I see in M&S may be very nice too, don't know I've never bought them. My grandma used to do a fantastic dried apricot and rice stuffing, in fact everything at my grandma's was homemade and there were always at least 4 different stuffings. Pre-kids DH & I used to go and stay the weekend before and make everything with her. She would have been horrified at the idea of buying xmas pud, or cake, or trifle, or indeed anything like that. She wouldnt even use frozen peas!

JoInScotland Wed 12-Dec-12 09:28:53

Things that I wouldn't bother making from scratch again: marzipan - took ages and didn't taste any nicer, ditto candied fruit (never again!)

Things that are much nicer made at home: bread - handmade or with the bread machine... shop bought bread isn't as moist and is too salty! I agree with the poster who said most shop-bought things are too salty. We make our own biscuits because of this. Mincemeat is much nicer at home, same with mulled wine, Yorkshire puddings, soup and pasta sauce. I do a massive batch of pasta sauce in the slow cooker and it is so delicious - we freeze it in portions in the freezer. Make it thicker and it's pizza sauce... never going back to shop bought!

SnowProbs Wed 12-Dec-12 13:56:21

Things I have made in the past but think shop bought is just as good and/or just sooooo much less faffy:

Red cabbage with apple (Waitrose one is nice)
Mince pies
Xmas pud
Piggies in blankets
Cranberry sauce
Brandy butter
Yorkshire puds

Recently converted to Aunt Bessies maple parsnips after a lifelong snobbery about AB!

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