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january • bread

Friday, 21 January 2011

I saw this post on Simply Homemade & decided I don’t have nearly enough on my plate right now, so I’m up for a new challenge: Each month during 2011 I’m going to replace one item I usually buy at the store with a homemade version. Ideally—that is, if my family likes the homemade versions—I’ll continue on with each new addition as I go along, so by the end of the year I’ll regularly be buying twelve fewer pantry items at the grocery store.

To see where I’m going I suppose you need to know where I’m starting. We eat mostly homemade meals, both because I am cheap thrifty and because I have a thing about knowing what is in my food—although I occasionally stretch the definition of “scratch cooking” to include the use of a can of cream of chicken soup—and I already have a small stable of pantry staples I generally make rather than buying, most prominently chicken broth (and I freeze the meat in 1-cup portions to use in recipes that call for cooked chicken), biscuit mix (or “faBisquick,” as George calls it—for those nights when we want bread but I don’t feel like making dinner rolls, or when I’m using a recipe that calls for Bisquick), and a variety of snacks. I am married to the world’s pickiest eater and a semi-vegetarian (he says he won’t eat anything he’s never killed, and by the time he was old enough to help out on the farm they didn’t have cows anymore) and the mother of…well, two toddlers, who typically decide all over again each day what they do and do not like to eat.

I’ll only be making things that are a cost savings over the store-bought equivalent (which means I won’t likely be roasting my own coffee beans any time soon) or, where the cost is a wash, when what I can make myself is healthier than the store-bought version (which means I probably will be canning tomatoes this year, even if I’m not able to grow any myself).

So—January. The bread was a big hit with the kids, and I like it too. I bought some white whole wheat flour & vital wheat gluten because I’d like to try that version—George doesn’t like brown bread, but it seems like a “white” whole wheat bread might be a good compromise that we can all eat.

Now I just have to think of eleven more things to make. (I’ll gladly welcome suggestions…)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Friday, 21 January 2011 11:24 pm

    I’ve been wanting to do something similar, but I’m just lazy. I got my a kitchen aid mixer for Christmas and I’m tempted to get the pasta maker accessory. You already do granola…you could do yogurt. Veggie soups from scratch- tomato, potato…etc

    • Friday, 21 January 2011 11:28 pm

      Yogurt is what I’m thinking for February. I’ve been meaning to try it since Julia was little but then Asher was born & … yeah, you know how that is. I’ve been reading online a bit for ideas to keep it at the correct temperature for as long as it needs to set up & hoping I can find a method that works for us in the next few weeks. The kids eat a ton of yogurt so that really would save us a lot of money.

      I also want to try making pasta—George & I were talking about it last year at some point, making our own ravioli—but I don’t want to invest in a pasta maker (or even the attachment for my mixer). So I’m trying to figure out a good/not too difficult way to improvise it. If I ever do figure it out I’m sure I’ll post about it. 🙂

      (And you’re not lazy. I’ve seen all the knitting you’ve been doing… seems like you’re keeping plenty busy there.)

    • Friday, 21 January 2011 11:51 pm

      Do it do it do it! 🙂

      I will check out the crock pot thing. I’d read somewhere that the temperature was too high in a crock pot, but maybe there’s a way around it…

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