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To wonder who these wonder women are who 'cook from scratch' every day

(629 Posts)
MGFM Mon 30-Jan-17 14:06:49

Following on from all the threads about supermarket shopping and how to make it cheaper etc, I just can't get me head around all of the families 'cooking from scratch' everyday.

Is it just me that thinks that cooking from scratch everyday is an absolute nightmare? Are people confused about what cooking from scratch actually means? Are all these people who do this SAHM/SAHDs? Are they getting up at 5 am to put the meal together to heat up in the evening. I just dont get it.

I am currently on Mat Leave but when I was working full time and getting home around 1645/1700 every night, the last thing I wanted to start doing was cooking from scratch.

And what does cooking from scratch even mean? I enjoy sausage, mash, peas and gravy. The mash is from scratch...does that count?

I tend to cook from scratch at the weekend....a big pan of chilli which can cook for a few hours, or spag bol and then will freeze the left overs but I dont start cooking this on a thursday night for example.

Anyway, If I am being unreasonable and it is actually pretty easy to be super mum/dad and cook from scratch, can I please have your recipes?

Thanks! -

glueandstick Mon 30-Jan-17 14:09:03

Cook in the evening and have it the next day. Works well for soups, stews and anything else that needs some time.

MGFM Mon 30-Jan-17 14:10:04

but don't you get fed up using your evenings to cook?

Astoria7974 Mon 30-Jan-17 14:10:45

I do. It's a lot easier than a lot of people make it sound. Do a mixture of planning meals, cooking in evenings/early mornings, and using veg I've prepped and frozen in advance.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 30-Jan-17 14:11:47

It just gets to be habit I think. Cooking from scratch doesn't have to mean spending hours in the kitchen. For me it just means I don't buy ready meals or many jars. But other things I'll happily cut corners on. So tonight I'm making fish pie, will poach the fish in milk then use the milk to make the sauce, but I'm using ready rolled pastry to top it because frankly, life's a bit too short to make puff pastry!

We shouldn't beat ourselves up about food.

Pallisers Mon 30-Jan-17 14:12:00

I think it does depend on your definition of from scratch. I don't really buy prepared foods from the supermarket (if I lived in the UK I might -they just aren't nice where we live)

When I was working full time and getting home around 5 or 6, I still cooked most nights. We tend to eat a bit later than most (7 usually) even when the kids were smaller so that usually gave me about an hour to cook something.

I also cooked stuff that was fast (and I am fast in the kitchen!) so pasta and tomato sauce, stirfry, etc.

I would consider sausage, mash peas and gravy as a home cooked dinner.

I cooked dinners at the weekend and froze them.

I also would sometimes buy a rotisserie chicken on the way home and serve that.

I like cooking though and found it generally a way to unwind a bit between work and home.

HairsprayBabe Mon 30-Jan-17 14:12:13

Cooking from scratch doesn't have to be long and complex,

super easy from scratch dinners include

Frittata, salad and wedges
Pasta and veg sauce
Stir fry
Fajitas
Veg curry - can be super quick if you pre make the curry paste
Sausage stew

I rarely cook anything on a weekday that takes any longer than 20 mins! And it is all "from scratch"!

IHeartKingThistle Mon 30-Jan-17 14:12:23

Oh yes, and meal planning and using the slow cooker on work days!

Wtfdoipick Mon 30-Jan-17 14:12:50

I use a slow cooker a lot so no processed ingredients in other words cooking from scratch or I'll do something like salmon, boiled potatoes and veg again that is cooking from scratch. Neither take long to prepare.

Eatingcheeseontoast Mon 30-Jan-17 14:13:04

I know what you mean - I think some people's idea of 'cooking from scratch' is opening a jar of sauce rather than just poking a fork in the top of a ready meal.

We'll fairly often have a stirfry - which I'd probably count from scratch as I cut up the meat and veg - but will usually put one of those Blue Dragon sauce sachets in it. Would it be any less from Scratch if I'd opened a bottle of soy and some hoisin sauce?

When I make a curry I'll use Pataks curry paste or ground spices. DH will use a jar of curry sauce ... Is there a difference? Probably less oil, salt and sugar in mine.

I'm not going to make my own sausages - but would count sausage mash and peas from scratch. But chicken bits breaded out the freezer and on to a tray with mash and peas...?

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Mon 30-Jan-17 14:13:10

I've always cooked "from scratch", but mainly because I enjoy it, I suppose. But during the week I don't necessarily cook complicated things. For example, tonight we're having sea bass with roasted tomatoes and red onions, tomorrow it'll be salmon with stir fried veg and noodles, Wednesday is lentil, veg and ham hock soup with bread (made in the bread maker, not actually by hand!). So all relatively quick and easy to make.

I certainly don't make sausages from scratch - wouldn't know where to start on that one!

NavyandWhite Mon 30-Jan-17 14:13:28

It's not the cooking from scratch that's hard but the planning and having the right ingredients in imo that takes imagination and time.

I've just made a chilli con carne and will throw some potatoes in the oven to go with it. Took me about 15mins. Tomorrow will be a chicken risotto, Wednesday I'll do carbonara with garlic bread (bought) Thursday will be something quick like omelette and salad. Friday I'm not sure about yet!

A good cook book is your friend.

mugglebumthesecond Mon 30-Jan-17 14:13:31

Cooking from scratch doesn't have to be complicated. It's just using unprocessed stuff.

Veg in the steamer with some chicken or pork chips, pasta with a quick tomato sauce, omelette , a roast chicken with some salad, loads of meals to cobble together from scratch.

Stir fry, plus you can cook from scratch using a slow cooker- meat and veg chucked in the slow cooker in the morning.

Soups are so quick to make!

OutToGetYou Mon 30-Jan-17 14:14:08

I get home about 8pm but cook from scratch most nights. Having said that, it's usually poached salmon, veg and potatoes (tinight) or something simple like that.

I have a veg chili to knock up Wed though. Only takes twenty mins.

I also prep my lunch for the next day which is usually a salad with beans and some sort of protein.

But it is only me.

AddToBasket Mon 30-Jan-17 14:14:32

I am a bit baffled by 'cooking from scratch every night' too if you are in family life.

We used to be able to do this in town when we didn't have DC. Not now though. My DC need to be ferried about for sports, I often don't get back from work til 6.45/7pm. If we didn't rely on the 'batch cooked out of the freezer' menu option we would have a really limited diet. Lots of our meals need to be ready in 15mins. And we don't have time for daily trips to the supermarket.

FeckinCrutches Mon 30-Jan-17 14:15:17

I cook from 'scratch' most days, I tend to do the prep while the kids are getting ready for school. So this morning I put a pack of chicken in the slow cooker with stock/veg for a casserole. I made double the amount of mash yesterday so put the rest away for today's meal.
Tomorrow is cod wrapped in Parma ham with wedges and salad. So I'll cut the wedges up in the morning and leave in a pan of water. Two minutes to make a salad, and wrap the ham round the cod and you're done.
I use my slow cooker a lot!

Twistmeandturnme Mon 30-Jan-17 14:15:26

Your chilli example would work for midweek. Put it on when you get home. Cook until bedtime. Reheat next evening.

I cook 'mostly' from scratch: but batch cook/do weekend prep. My freezer has part cooked roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, chopped onions etc all in ziplock bags. I make slowcooker soup or stew or mince based meal a couple of times each week. It is much cheaper (and bought sauce jars are generally weird tasting imo) ...but there are always pizzas in the freezer for when my plans go awry. grin

playmobilpeacock Mon 30-Jan-17 14:15:30

I cook 95% of our food from scratch. I am a sahp and I love cooking.

Tonight we are having sticky chicken and egg fried rice. You marinade the chicken overnight and then fry it off when you need it.

Per chicken breast:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp runny honey
An inch of ginger root, grated
A clove of garlic, grated
A tsp of sesame oil

Mix all the ingredients together and add a sliced chicken breast. Fry over a medium heat.

I find it's easier to plan meals that over lap.

For example, last night we had chicken curry and rice. I cooked extra rice for today's dinner.
Tonight I will cook extra chicken so that is lunch for tomorrow sorted.

Also, it doesn't have to be complicated. My DC love a simple cheese omelette and salad.

JassyRadlett Mon 30-Jan-17 14:15:55

If you're doing big, complex meals, sure.

I tend to batch cook those ones at the weekend, and then during the week it's stir fries (c15 minutes from ingredients to plate), baked fish (pop in foil bag with lemon and butter, chuck in oven, do some veg and couscous, job done), pasta with a sauce made from cherry tomatoes and spinach, or courgette and Parmesan, or whatever.

I'm no saint, but I don't think cooking from scratch automatically equals complex and onerous. Or maybe I'm one of those who don't understand what cooking from scratch means. What does it mean for you?

NB: I do not make my own pasta or my own bread, usually.

Huldra Mon 30-Jan-17 14:16:36

Cooking from scratch just means not a ready meal, or most of the meal you have prepared yourself with some pre made ingredients. I don't know anyone who makes their own miso paste or mustard.

An omelette is cooking from scratch, pork chops and mash can be cooking from scratch, a stir fry can be cooking from scratch, a carbanara can be cooking from scratch. All very quick.

whifflesqueak Mon 30-Jan-17 14:16:44

I cook from scratch every day. I work part time (weird hours, hospitality industry) and have a two year old and a one year old.

I never buy prepared food from the supermarket, so this is my normal. I enjoy it.

if I made sausages with mash and gravy, I would make the gravy from homemade stock that I keep portioned up in the freezer.

as I say, I enjoy it. otherwise I wouldn't bother.

MrsRonBurgundy Mon 30-Jan-17 14:16:50

I cook from scratch as in I don't eat ready meals, processed food or jar sauces or things like that.
Most of the things I cook take 30 minutes tops in the kitchen. I meal plan and my examples of quick meals are what I'm having this week are:
Chicken fried rice
Salmon with ratatouille
Lamb koftas with a feta and olive salad
Pork with feta, beetroot and hazelnut salad
Paprika chicken with potato salad

They're mostly lean in 15 recipes so they're designed to be quick (although I think 15 mins is stretching it, they take me 30) and good food.

caffelatte100 Mon 30-Jan-17 14:17:05

I cook everything from scratch but it doest take long. I live abroad so no great choice of convenience food available at all. However, I just make double or triple portions - every single time!

The time is really in the washing up and cleaning up the kitchen.

I have these little ceramic bowls with lids, perfect for the microwave and so use those. or freeze food as well. So then I have my own convenience food that I have actually made.

Camomila Mon 30-Jan-17 14:17:30

Some 'cooked from scratch' is a lot quicker and easier than others I guess.

I made salmon and broccoli pasta the other day...it took 20 mins. I boiled pasta, chucked some broccoli in half way through, warmed up some smoked salmon and added cream cheese and a bit of pesto. By the time I'd sprinkled on black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil the dish looked a lot fancier than the effort it took to cook it.
TBH though I'm not sure that counts as completely from scratch as I didn't make the pesto...I'd say most of my day to day cooking is about this level of mostly from ingredients but with one or two ready made bits.

It also depends what time you want to have dinner. Our ideal dinner time is 7/7.30 so if I got in from work at 5 that'd be plenty of time to cook for me.

Fruitcocktail6 Mon 30-Jan-17 14:17:37

It doesn't quite mean making your own sausages, just not using ready meals or jar sauces.

I enjoy cooking though and I tend to get bored in the evening if I don't cook. We do get takeaways at the weekend though.

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