Monday, November 8, 2010

Not From Scratch

I've been posting a lot of recipes, and I've noticed that most of them are a bit, shall we say, "time consuming"? Not even I, with my tons of time, really have enough time to cook and bake like this all the time, so I'm dedicating this week to "Not From Scratch". Other than one recipe (which is just SO good, I had to!), all the posts and recipes this week will be easy to throw together, can be done on a weeknight, and use pre-prepared goods.

I'm a big fan of pre-packaged, quality products. Pictured are a few of my favorites. Now, most of these things, I have made from scratch, but buying them is just easier. And, frankly, usually tastes as good. Heating up Bush's chili and serving it over some corn bread from a mix, with some shredded cheddar and sour cream is wonderful, and does not take more than 15 minutes. Stonewall Kitchen marinades are also a wonderful time saver (if you don't have time to marinade your meat, just heat up the marinade and use it as a sauce!). Dickenson's curds and preserves are a staple in my pantry, and I use them in a lot of my baking (which I also occasionally use a cake mix for). The Physicist buys our organic chicken broth in bulk, because I just don't have the patience to make it from scratch, freeze it, and then wait around for it to thaw before I use it in a recipe. Sure, you can make fudge sauce from scratch, but somehow the sundae is sweeter when you don't.

And here is my confession: I don't like pancakes, unless they're made from Jiffy Baking Mix. The Physicist has tried many recipes for making pancakes from scratch, and I can't make it to a second bite. I can tolerate other mixes and pancakes from Pamela's Restaurant (President Obama's favorite pancakes too, but they aren't really pancakes but more of a butter conveyance system), but the pancakes I want, I crave, are Jiffy.

So, yes, you can milk your own cow and butcher a whole pig. But, most people don't have the kind of time or energy to spend more than 20 minutes putting dinner together. If you're pressed for time, and your grocery store can offer you a delicious, time-saving alternative, well then, you should take it.

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