I just got my copy of Artisan Bread Every Day by Peter Reinhart. So excited about it and want to make something from it right away. Since it’s 90 degrees over the weekend I didn’t feel like I want to crank up my oven to the highest temperature and make artisan bread.
So I settled for making Cinnamon Rolls and brought it to work.
A co worker - who’s a very nice person - saw what I brought and asked “were you bored this weekend?”
She had no idea I baked every weekend - as I am pretty private at work. I wasn’t offended at her comment because I know it wasn’t intended to harm. It made me sad though. Do we live in a society where if you do bake something from scratch that means you must be bored?! Are people really so removed from home made anything?
Little does she know that I live for my weekend baking and cooking and usually make lots of goodies. I bring my lunch in every day - which I know surprised/impressed a lot of my co-workers.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m venting too much. I just want to share this experience .
I’m with you all the way, Jenn. When I lived in NYC, work associates thought any sort of cooking a throwback. I especially remember one corporate lawyer who overheard me talking to some friends that I had invited to dinner, telling them I was making homemade pasta and looking forwwrd to it. She walked up to me and said, “why would you bother when you can just buy it already made?” I told her it generally came out better than storebought, and that I also enjoyed learning a craft, hanging out with friends, etc. She was utterly disdainful.
I agree. It’s so funny, because packaged food used advertise that it “tastes like homemade,” and now it advertises that it “tastes like such-and-such restaurant,” making home-made even less significant!
I once got a very cute compliment from some children though on some chocolate chip cookies—they tasted “almost as good as store-bought.”
Julie - how do you like making your own pasta? I made dumpling skin a couple of times and really enjoyed it. It’s so easy when it’s just flour, water, and salt and no yeast involved. So I thought I want to try making pasta next.
Do you have one of those pasta roller? Are there any brands in particular that you like?
Anne - that comment is funny, .
CharlesT - so far the review at work has been: “they are really good.” I think they’re pretty good but was a little dry. I forgot to adjust the milk for high altitude (was too focused on making sure everything is “sterile” and clean as I don’t want to make people at work sick).
She walked up to me and said, ?why would you bother when you can just buy it already made??
My mother is the same way. The ultimate dinner roll in her eyes is Sister Schubert’s frozen rolls. She loves frozen waffles and boxed cake mixes (using margarine and Egg Beaters). “You can’t taste the difference,” she says.
I do everything from scratch, too. I hate it when we have a potluck and people say they will bring a dessert, then they bring a cake from the supermarket. Yuck. I’d rather bake a cake on my own on top of what else I’m making.
How true, how true. I find myself more and more turning down dessert if it is not homemade, especially cake. I cannot stand the store made icings anymore, because as Jenn already said, I have been spoiled with roses recipes. I would much rather eat the butter in mousseline than the vegetable shortening in store bought icings, hands down. Who doesn’t like butter. I enjoy baking and cooking, and I am proud of the fact that my kids always have homemade treats in their lunches. They have never complained once that it was not store bought.
I love it! Making my own pasta was one of the first things I learned to do when I left college and was learning to cook for myself. Back then, I made it in a bare bones kitchen, kneading it by hand and rolling it out with a wine bottle on a tiny little counter in my tiny little apartment. Now I have a roller attachment for my KA, but there are still times when I roll it by hand (with a rolling pin now). The ideal rolling pin, if you decide to go that route, is a very long one that is not tapered. It is definitely a skill, though, takes a lttle more practice than rolling out pastry.
The most important thing for me, and this has been the case for twenty years, is to have finely milled durum flour for the pasta. Right now I order King Arthur’s fine durum a couple of times a year, so that I always have it in stock. Using the durum, and getting the texture just right- thin but still a touch firm- are the things that really set it apart from either restaurant or store-bought fresh noodles.
My family is all Italian, and we always called these “homemades,” as in: Come over for dinner tonight—we’re having homemades!!
I can remember all the old women at my grandmother’s house, the hand-cranker and the pasta hanging all over the kitchen!
Not to mention the cheeses hanging in her basement!
All so beautiful to see!
Sounds wonderful! I love Italian food so much. It’s sort of funny because I’m not of Italian descent and my mother never made any Italian food while I was growing up, other than the occasional spaghetti with jarred tomato sauce. But I make risotto, fresh noodles, gnocchi, meatballs, etc. all the time. With breads, too, I find that the Pugliese-style breads and focaccia are my favorites.
Mmmmmm…..Julie!! Adopt me now!!! Gnocci is my all-time fave. And rosemary foccacia with chili!
When I was a kid, and we’d go and visit the old aunts (three of them named Rose, BTW), they’d sit me at the dining room table with a bowl of sauce and a big “contucco” (spelling?)—the heel—of Italian bread. They’d hang out and talk, with words of emphasis—and the punchlines to all jokes—in Italian.
In my house, anything other than Italian food was pretty slack, with the notable exception of a really kicking roast beef and potatoes. And beef stew.