The younger generation of cooks is missing so much by not having the cookbook exposure we not-so-young cooks had in our youth. I recently compared my old Joy of Cooking cookbook with the New Joy. The latter does not have recipes for making ice cream, jam and other preserves, butter, yogurt, and so much more. All these recipes I just mentioned I make regularly. Joy of Cooking, the first cookbook I ever bought, exposed me to so many foods modern cooks no longer make. I thought it was normal and common to make my own butter, cottage cheese, buttermilk, breads, peach ice cream, raspberry jam, etc. Joy of Cooking let me know that anyone could make these recipes. I always was, and remain, an adventurous cook who will try anything. I regret that today’s young cooks do not have the exposure and book instruction that I had to find their own culinary adventures.
This conversation was so interesting. And funny, because just the other night, I had a friend over and we had some vanilla bean ice cream I’d made in my new ice cream maker. She complimented me by saying, “With the vanilla beans, it looks just like store bought!” Gee, thanks! haha.
I do think there is something else in Jenn’s original post, too, besides people not understanding/valuing homemade food. It’s that people can be so cynical these days that they don’t quite believe that someone else takes joy and pleasure in baking and making things for them to enjoy. A few times when I’ve offered homemade baked goods (I have a lot of these lately, thanks to Rose!), they will say, “Oh, are you trying to get rid of it?” Um, no, I just think it’s really good and that you might enjoy it! So, maybe it is people’s skepticism that someone else is doing something nice for them, or maybe it’s a deeper issue of self-worth and they don’t think that they are worthy…getting a little too psycho-babbly here but you know what I mean!
Anyway, that’s part of what I love about this forum—we all take pleasure in making things from scratch and find some sort of satisfaction in turning out a superior product, even if it sometimes takes multiple tries!!
I agree, Loop, and I think the cynicism also comes from when people who don’t like to “do” like to take a superior attitude, as if it were beneath them to do something when they can just buy it instead.
Sort of like that comment some politico made several years ago (and I don’t know who because I don’t pay attention, but I heard about it) about people who “stay home and bake cookies.”
When I used to knit, I knit all my own sweaters and would knit socks while I walked from my car to my building, and people would always say things like, “It’s a great way to save money, isn’t it?” I used to tell them it was actually more expensive than buying, but I’m paying for the entertainment value—sort of how they might go to a movie.
Anyway, I guess it’s like those who don’t do take a defensive stance by pooh-poohing those who do do in a superior way. Usually, if someone does something, ANYTHING—baking, gardening, knitting, quilting, music—they can appreciate everyone else’s doing, but if they’re potato couches, then they get “that way.”
I also get upset when people ask how I have time to cook, and then proceed to ask me whether I watched the latest episode of “Lost”, “Survivor”, or whatever. I don’t have time to waste my time watching TV.
And yes, saying you bring dessert and then showing up with some store bought monstrosity - I still have some Safeway cheesecake rotting in the fridge. I tried one bite and then politely said that I’m trying to loose weight and rather not eat dessert. Urgh.
Just had a conversation with an acquaintance, and she said that she gets mad when she invites people and they say, yes, they take care of the potato salad, and then show up with a tub from the grocery store. How much work is it to make a potato salad.
But as many of you said, people today don’t even know how to cook from scratch and think it must be very complicated because they never knew anything else.
Oh, and Loopy, yes, when they say it’s just like store bought - ohhh, I want to strangle them!
Oh boy, I’ve stopped getting reminders from this thread and had no idea the conversation continues.
Kathleen, not all younger cooks are a lost cause. I’m in my early 30’s and LOVE making things from scratch.
Julie, let’s become neighbors! Imagine the things we can do… homemade pasta, gnocchi, apple caramel charlotte.. Not good for my waist but good for my stomach LOL.
Loopy and Anne, what you both are saying about cynicism are so true! I almost want to go to the point of saying that they are insecure about not liking/able to make such things and so compensate by saying that the store version are just as good or better. C’mon, what is wrong by saying “good for you that you like baking/cooking.”
Silke - I do watch TV, have about half a dozen shows that I am following. But I still make time to cook and bake. I used to watch a lot more TV and now the list is getting shorter as the time I spent in the kitchen increases. Life is so much more fun this way .
Anne, I’ve had people made that comments about knitting too! And I do it also for entertainment value (I can’t watch TV without knitting/cross stitching now).
PS: You knit while walking? You must have excellent coordinator skills, I would be afraid of tripping over .
I must confess, there are pies I make that I use store-bought crust for. And I buy frozen puff pastry. I think for me, though, it’s saving time. While I grew up on home-cooking, I often buy things I could make. Between a full-time job, school, commuting, friends, family, and church…I simply cannot find the time to fill a stock pot full of odds and ends to make my own stock. I’d like to think that when I finally have my own place (my own kitchen!) I’ll do more slow cooking. I’ll have the freedom to make stew late into the night!
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.
Let her know that maybe one day all these “already made” items will not be on the grocery shelf.
I’ve been reading lately on food shortages, etc.. Maybe one day we will have to depend on ourselves instead of other people for all of our needs - it’s called self-sustainability.