While I was making dinner a couple of weeks ago, my teenage daughter wandered through the kitchen and asked if whatever I was doing counted as cooking from scratch. I can't remember exactly what I was making -- I think it might've been beef stew or something like that. I'd opened a few cans of vegetables, but I wasn't using any packets or mixes.
Is that cooking from scratch? Or is it cheating? What if I was using frozen veggies instead of canned? I've got a good friend who butchered her own cow a while back and wants to render her own lard someday. She definitely cooks from scratch!
When I was growing up, we ate dinner at home most night, but dinner usually involved a box or seasoning packet. (Sorry, Mom, if my memory is distorting things.)
When I got married, if I cooked if was from boxes and seasoning packets. And whatever category frozen fish sticks and french fries fall into. No matter how hard I try, I am not good at cooking. I can bake and usually have predictablly decent results, but dinner? That's a nightly gamble.
Two or three years ago, my husband said he'd be happy if we never had Hamburger Helper again. I never actually asked him if that meant the particilar variety we were having that night, or if it means all of the "dinner that starts with a box" options. I didn't want to know the answer.
What counts as "cooking dinner?" I've been trying to figure that out for a long time now. Buying a pizza from the take and bake place doesn't count....but a frozen lasagna from Safeway somehow sort of does. I can buy two rotisserie chickens from Costco for less than the sale price I saw for whole chickens at the grocery store yesterday. But then I'd lose points in my own head for not cooking.
And what about those seasoning packets?
This Swedish Meatball mix from McCormick is my new favorite dinner. They taste way better than the frozen meatballs we used to get now and then. And I get to at least pretend I'm cooking.
Tuesday afternoon, we stopped at Safeway to get celery and pie crust for the dinner I had planned. Because I can't make my own pie crust and my daughter, who can make good pie crust, isn't here tonight. When I'm there, I always check their meat sales and if there are good deals I'll plan the week's dinners around them.
This time they had chicken fried steak (with a sell-by date of today) on clearance for half off the sale price, making it something like two dollars a pound. We love chicken fried steak and fight over the left overs. So that'll be what we're having for dinner. The rustic pot pies can wait for later this week.
Is that cooking dinner? Or cheating?
And while we're talking about food, I wanted to share a free book I found while browsing Amazon for stuff to download to our Kindles. The free titles sometimes don't stay free, so please make sure you check the price before you order. I know, it's the August issue and this is February, but it'll help us plan ahead. There's an article about drying food in your car and another on clothes lines. I really want a clothes line next summer.
You might also be interested in checking out Craft Business Heroes - 30 Creative Entrepreneurs Share The Secrets Of Their Success.
This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday at We are THAT Family and Waste Not Wednesdays at Jo's Country Junction.