Author Topic: DIY Food items...  (Read 117161 times)

puglogic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Colorado
DIY Food items...
« on: July 06, 2015, 09:05:15 PM »
It started off innocently enough:  Making our own salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, hummus.   They turned out to be a gateway drug to pickles, relish, mayo.  My husband looks worriedly into the kitchen when he sees me now making ketchup, beer mustard, hamburger buns, tortillas.....  I only wish I had more free time (I work full time) because this stuff tastes SO much better than the stuff you get in the store, and doesn't have the chemical/preservative load, the trans fats, etc.  Just have to make sure I keep a steady supply of jars and bags.

Does anybody else go over and above in the kitchen to make some of your own edible stuff?  Care to share your favorite?  (yes, you'll be enabling me...that's okay...I can quit any time I want, honest....)  :)


Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 09:45:48 PM »
Yup. And more power to you! You name a kitchen thing, there is a good chance we DIY it. You're not alone.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 10:22:36 PM »
There are quite a few of us on the boards :)

My latest experiment has been lacto-fermenting. Just made a killer batch of Kimchi.

I have to actually think about it as some many things have just become second nature. Ohh...those fancy jars of green peppercorns? Super easy to buy the green peppercorns in bulk and make your own solution to rehydrate them. Then peppercorn gravy and pan sauces are a snap and those little tiny jars sell for big $$$.

Oh preserved lemons are another dead easy one and makes almost everything taste better.

I make my own tintures, tea blends and oxymels.

Not so much kitchen related but bug spray, sunscreen, soap....

Will have to keep this thread in mind, so much of it is just automatic I don't really stop to think people don't ususally make this kinda stuff.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7358
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2015, 05:48:23 AM »
Nice job with the healthier and cheaper options! It's probably more rewarding time spent than watching some reality trash TV, so win/win.

I find that you can make some stuff much more cheaply than you can buy it (like sauerkraut). And other stuff the yield really isn't there (like pickles). I also limit the amount of stuff I DIY by having more pedestrian tastes. I don't even know what tintures or oxymels are, and I don't drink tea :)

The breads can be a saver too. But we don't eat a lot of that stuff. We mostly eat meals made from whole ingredients, with only some chopping and cooking involved.

Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2015, 07:40:53 AM »
Love kitchen science experiments! Have you tried making yogurt? You can get it ready in the evening and let it ferment overnight.

Homemade wine? That is our favorite DIY by far and also quite popular with others.

puglogic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Colorado
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2015, 09:09:27 AM »
We've made yogurt in the past and need to get back on it.  My favorite thing last year was making chevre (goat cheese).  We were trading for goat milk by the gallon, and we made endless little logs of goat cheese and put them in the freezer.  I can't wait to find another deal like that.

Coolest new thing this year was this recipe, which I can't try for another few weeks, but am looking forward to:  http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/pickled-garlic-scapes-make-ahead-monday/

I'm also hunting for teeny-tiny red beets to make into spicy pickled beets. McCutcheon's has these Spicy Beet Balls that are so freaking good it's not even funny....for an anti-Mustachian $7.00/jar.  No thanks.

Swick, do you have a personal favorite recipe for Kimchi?  I've never made it but I have a big crock for lacto-fermenting and would like to give it a shot.


Rachelocity

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Location: Montreal
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2015, 09:26:38 AM »
Making yogurt is awesome.  Making Greek yogurt, even from inexpensive store-bought yogurt, is the lowest-hanging fruit imaginable.  The recipes for no-knead bread are also fun, and a project based on benign neglect. 

My weekend project will be making strawberry jam, because it's the end of the season which means the flats of "jam quality" berries are cheap at the market.  Nothing is more happy-making than opening the fridge and seeing a jar of bright-red jam! 

The thing I haven't tried yet is roasting my own coffee.  It's apparently very achievable with a hot-air popcorn popper, a strainer and a Ninja blender, all of which I have!  But this will require experimentation and patience, and a team of samplers.  I may give it a go for Thanksgiving dinner, so the family can offset their food comas with caffeine! 

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2015, 10:51:22 AM »
I'm also hunting for teeny-tiny red beets to make into spicy pickled beets. McCutcheon's has these Spicy Beet Balls that are so freaking good it's not even funny....for an anti-Mustachian $7.00/jar.  No thanks.

Swick, do you have a personal favorite recipe for Kimchi?  I've never made it but I have a big crock for lacto-fermenting and would like to give it a shot.

I wonder if they use little tiny beets or they just cut them rounded?

I'm afraid I have only made Kimchi once so far and I took the general concept and kinda just free-styled to what I had to use up, (usually) ends up with tasty results but generally never the same twice. It drives my husband and family nuts.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2730
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2015, 11:31:31 AM »
I'm also hunting for teeny-tiny red beets to make into spicy pickled beets. McCutcheon's has these Spicy Beet Balls that are so freaking good it's not even funny....for an anti-Mustachian $7.00/jar.  No thanks.

I have family members who make pickled beets every summer. They just buy bigger beets (whatever's available) and slice them up before canning.

asauer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2015, 12:06:37 PM »
Yep.  I started canning my own jelly and just wandered through the fridge and pantry like "what else can I make?"  I make most of my own condiments now- chow chow being my favorite b/c it's SO versatile and uses the green tomatoes you get at the beginning of fall.  If you want full-on enablement check out the book "Make the Bread, buy the butter."  Lots of good stuff in there and she shows the cost/benefit of making your own.

Rachelocity

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Location: Montreal
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2015, 12:17:59 PM »
Quote
I have family members who make pickled beets every summer. They just buy bigger beets (whatever's available) and slice them up before canning.

If you're hung up on having beet balls instead of chunks, either grow beets in a window box and harvest them when they are the appropriate size, or use a melon baller on large beets and use the remaining beets to make borscht. 

Mmmmmm, beets!

NotJen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2015, 12:22:37 PM »
I bought a nut milk bag earlier this year, which means I now make my own yogurt (I prefer strained) and almond milk.

I started making my own BBQ sauce last year, and wondered if I should make the ketchup that goes into it?  Decided not to go down that path yet.

Fruit jams/butters made from extras from my CSA box -  strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, rhubarb (so disappointed this didn't show up at my farmer's market this year), apples, pears, squash.  Great mix in for yogurt and oatmeal, and they all freeze well. I get good results without using the pectin that many recipes call for.

lunahsol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2015, 12:38:44 PM »
Yes!  I am excited to see what things/ideas others share!

I try to make as much as I can - not just to save money, but because it is healthier, tastes better and I enjoy the process.  I no longer buy hummus, guacamole, marinara sauce, rice milk, almond milk, peanut butter, salsa, salad dressing.  Pretty much anything I eat that is a sauce or can be done in a blender, I will make myself.  Cashew "cheese" is my new favorite sandwich spread. 

I have learned to make my own corn tortillas, but buying the pack at Costco is so cheap and easy that I have not been able to make the switch there.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2959
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2015, 12:52:38 PM »
I've been loving making more and more condiments and things:  ketchup, bbq sauce, mayo, yogurt, farmer's cheese, creme fraiche, fermented hot sauce, sauerkraut, coconut butter, tahini, hummus, kombucha, chutney, relish, jams, jellies, chile paste.  Fun and delicious!

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2015, 12:52:57 PM »
America's Test Kitchen put out a book in 2012 called DIY Cookbook that's just great. It's broad on all kinds of DIY kitchencraft - great recipes for everything from corn chips to bacon. Highly recommended.

JessEsq

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2015, 03:12:23 PM »
We are getting much better about DIY....

Here are some we have tried (many of which are in our regular rotation)

Biscuits -- it's SOOOOO EASY! We make Biscuits & Gravy pretty much every week and I used to buy the biscuits... pssshhh no need. If I do a buttermilk version, the same dough makes donuts

Kombucha

Beer (that's DH's thing .... I don't know how)

Preserved Lemons

All salad dressings and most other sauces (yogurt sauce, pizza sauce, pesto)

Tahini which then gets put into hummus & sauces

Various preserves (when the food co-op has a bumper fruit crop, that usually becomes jam)




Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2015, 05:00:39 PM »
Making yogurt is awesome.  Making Greek yogurt, even from inexpensive store-bought yogurt, is the lowest-hanging fruit imaginable.  The recipes for no-knead bread are also fun, and a project based on benign neglect. 

My weekend project will be making strawberry jam, because it's the end of the season which means the flats of "jam quality" berries are cheap at the market.  Nothing is more happy-making than opening the fridge and seeing a jar of bright-red jam! 

The thing I haven't tried yet is roasting my own coffee.  It's apparently very achievable with a hot-air popcorn popper, a strainer and a Ninja blender, all of which I have!  But this will require experimentation and patience, and a team of samplers.  I may give it a go for Thanksgiving dinner, so the family can offset their food comas with caffeine!
RE:Strawberry jam - save yourself time in the summer by freezing the berries now and pull out a bag or two at a time later on and maker freezer jam. Much better flavor as the berries aren't cooked. It takes just a few minutes to make them whenever you are running low. I freeze the jam in 1/2 cup ziplock/glad containers so no need to buy jars, lids, etc.

JeffC

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2015, 05:44:13 PM »
I ferment my own hot sauce out of the peppers I grow in my backyard. I have had 3 excellent batches, better than any hot sauce I have ever tried, and one fully inedible batch.  Red peppers make much better sauce than green.  Lesson learned.  It is actually good for you because fermented food is probiotic and helps your digestive system.

Here's some info.  Not my intsrtuctable but this is the process. 

http://www.instructables.com/id/Lacto-Fermented-Hot-Sauce-In-progress/step1/Materials/


puglogic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Colorado
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2015, 05:48:07 PM »
Awesome.  We just went to a restaurant in Denver today that's all cultured/fermented foods, including kombucha.  Really great stuff.  They did something with carrots...lacto-fermented them with hot peppers and something sweet...served with cilantro...I can't explain but it was freakin' amazing and I can't wait to figure out a recipe.

Has anyone ever made their own nut butters?   Almond butter, etc? 

Is it difficult (or does it completely destroy your blender/food processor?)



Arktinkerer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2015, 06:10:09 PM »
Was thinning the carrots and kept thinking we could do something with the greens.  Turns out they make an excellent pesto...

puglogic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Colorado
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2015, 10:12:11 PM »
I read this the other day:  http://www.attainable-sustainable.net/radish-leaf-pesto/

Seems worth a try...I have plenty of radish leaves....

MMMaybe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 385
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2015, 10:34:50 PM »
Love this thread. I'm trying to DIY more and more.

Right now I do: Pickles and pickled beets; yogurt, bread, spreadable butter, dips, marinades, dressings and BBQ sauce.

When I move back to a Western country when I can get more ingredients reliably (or at a reasonable price), I will keep upping the ante. I think my first foray will be into soft cheeses like marscapone and ricotta.

For those who make creme fraiche, would Bob's Red Mill powdered buttermilk work as the culturing agent? I can't get regular buttermilk here.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2015, 11:27:41 PM »
Love this thread. I'm trying to DIY more and more.

Right now I do: Pickles and pickled beets; yogurt, bread, spreadable butter, dips, marinades, dressings and BBQ sauce.

When I move back to a Western country when I can get more ingredients reliably (or at a reasonable price), I will keep upping the ante. I think my first foray will be into soft cheeses like marscapone and ricotta.

For those who make creme fraiche, would Bob's Red Mill powdered buttermilk work as the culturing agent? I can't get regular buttermilk here.

I have made both Marscapone and ricotta. All the recipes I have seen just use lemon juice.http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2012/4/24/homemade-mascarpone.html

I don't remember where you are, Middle East somewhere? If you could get your hands on some water buffalo cream it would make amazing marscapone, very similar to the Turkish Kaymak, I imagine. Any cream would work though. I somtimes wonder how a goat marscapone would taste...

MMMaybe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 385
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2015, 05:30:18 AM »
I have made both Marscapone and ricotta. All the recipes I have seen just use lemon juice.http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2012/4/24/homemade-mascarpone.html

I don't remember where you are, Middle East somewhere? If you could get your hands on some water buffalo cream it would make amazing marscapone, very similar to the Turkish Kaymak, I imagine. Any cream would work though. I somtimes wonder how a goat marscapone would taste...

I'm in the Philippines. We mainly get UHT cooking cream, which probably won't work. I will try the lemon juice if I find some decent cream :)

GardenFun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
  • Location: Packers Hell - they're everywhere!
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2015, 08:12:05 AM »
DIY typically revolves around three areas:
- Products whose flavor cannot be replicated in store bought versions
- Products with too many added "extras"
- Products wicked cheaper to make that purchase

For flavor, it is hands-down stewed tomatoes.  The family recipe has a flavor that I cannot replicate in the store variety. 

Avoiding added "extras" results in homemade bread, salsa, garden veggies and fruit.  Can also link these under the first area. 

Wicked cheaper to make than purchase:  jam (free garden fruit), yogurt, pickled items (pepper rings, pickles, green beans, giardiniera).

 

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2015, 08:53:17 AM »
I've done mustard, drink mixes (with the help of 2 books Make A Mix and its sequel), loose sausages, vanilla extract, attempted vinegar (massive fail but the mold was a pretty pink and powder blue lol), bread on occasion as well.  I want to do jellies and jams and once I get the dehydrator back from my mom who is holding it for me dried fruits and vegetables maybe herbs too.

midweststache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 471
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2015, 09:04:07 AM »
DIY typically revolves around three areas:
- Products whose flavor cannot be replicated in store bought versions
- Products with too many added "extras"
- Products wicked cheaper to make that purchase

For flavor, it is hands-down stewed tomatoes.  The family recipe has a flavor that I cannot replicate in the store variety. 

Avoiding added "extras" results in homemade bread, salsa, garden veggies and fruit.  Can also link these under the first area. 

Wicked cheaper to make than purchase:  jam (free garden fruit), yogurt, pickled items (pepper rings, pickles, green beans, giardiniera).

Does the "wicked cheap" aspect of this come from a personal garden? I would love to make my own homemade things, but I find that by the time I get the ingredients its often a wash, money-wise (obviously there other elements at play--taste, preservatives, etc.).

NotJen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2015, 09:29:43 AM »
I read this the other day:  http://www.attainable-sustainable.net/radish-leaf-pesto/

Seems worth a try...I have plenty of radish leaves....
Radish Top Soup is a favorite I discovered last year.
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/38036/radish-top-soup/

I use lots of leftover greens in smoothies. Except carrot tops - they affected the taste, so now I just use them when making stock.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2959
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2015, 10:43:40 AM »
Awesome.  We just went to a restaurant in Denver today that's all cultured/fermented foods, including kombucha.  Really great stuff.  They did something with carrots...lacto-fermented them with hot peppers and something sweet...served with cilantro...I can't explain but it was freakin' amazing and I can't wait to figure out a recipe.

Has anyone ever made their own nut butters?   Almond butter, etc? 

Is it difficult (or does it completely destroy your blender/food processor?)

You can do the carrots just the same as fermented pickles.  Basically put them in a brine and wait.  Love them because they stay crunchy.  Green tomatoes, okra and young onions are also good additions to fermented pickles.  http://www.foodrenegade.com/lactofermented-carrot-sticks/

PARedbeard

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
  • Location: Pennsylvania
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2015, 10:47:41 AM »
I, too, have been dipping my toes into this world, and I love it! It started with bread, which turned into beer. Then Mead, then sauces and guac and hummus and (of course) some pita chips to go with them. And mozzerella looked kinda good, so why not give it a try? I have tried lacto-fermentation with mixed results, but I am keen to give it another go or two!

relena

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2015, 11:02:45 AM »
where do you guys find pickling salt? i want to try making pickles and recipes that i found say to use pickling salt.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2015, 11:39:09 AM »
where do you guys find pickling salt? i want to try making pickles and recipes that i found say to use pickling salt.
You don't need it. Any fine, non idolized salt it fine. But typically you find it with canning jars.

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2015, 11:45:01 AM »
I have done cream cheese and butter.  The butter I had to get the heavy cream from either Whole Foods or a known organic dairy.  Same with the half and half since regular half and half is heat treated making it useless for butter and cheeses I have read.  Mesophilic cultures that work with low heat are good for cream cheese.  You add them to the room temp half and half let them sit for how long it says then drain them with good cheesecloth.

The butter was good but bland til I added buttermilk cultures to the cream and let them sit for about 8 hrs to multiply.  Then beat the living daylights out of it with a mixer and drain the liquid off.  I may do butter again once it gets cold for giggles.

Kitsunegari

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 454
  • Location: Quebec, CA
  • Penny wise, pound foolish
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2015, 11:59:15 AM »
We do a few things, mostly the classicals:
bread
jams
preserved bell peppers
yogurt
kombucha

We tried cheese once, but I vetoed it

We're planning on start brewing our own cider and my SO plans to build a séchoir (we live really close to a farmers' market)

shelivesthedream

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4316
  • Location: London, UK
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2015, 12:25:12 PM »
I have a DIY food 'To Do' list that's about a mile long! I'm waiting until we have a bigger kitchen (ours is fine for cooking at the moment but it's pretty small so not great for prepping large amounts of stuff and we only have one eeny weeny freezer). However, things we do do at the moment:

- Bake all bread products (except for bagels, they are an occasional shop-bought treat)
- Make jam and sweet relishes for cheese/meats (though turns out we don't get through much jam... still got five of the six jars of blackberry jam I made last autumn! However, we do spiced jellies with cheese in a big way, so will be making lots more this year - WAY more than two jars of rosehip jelly, plans for winter spiced apple and mulberry jelly)
- Make our own flavoured spirits (blackberry gin, damson vodka, rhubarb gin) - I'm not a drinker but my husband just loves it
- All sauces (I can't eat onions or garlic or too much lactose at once, so no shop bought curry sauce for us!)

Tried and failed:

- Mead. We made some kind of gross honey vinegar. We might try again one day, but tbh we're not that interested in drinking it even if it does work. We just wanted something to do with the rinsings from extracting honey. I'll probably cook with them somehow this year.

Top of our list for the next few years:

- Kimchi and sauerkraut (am growing cabbages this year and intend to kimchi/sauerkraut everything we cannot eat)
- Soft cheese (I've heard mozzarella is really easy)
- Homebrew (not me personally, but I have a friend who's gearing up to it and I'd like to join in)
- Pesto with all the basil and misc greens I am growing (though I know a whole bowlful of basil makes one tiny jar of sauce but we LOVE pesto and even the shop one with basically zero onion and garlic gives my tummy a little wibble)
- Cordial (so many blackberries to be picked it seems a shame to leave them...)
- Pickles (hopefully carrots and beetroot if I grow enough!)

It's not a money saving thing for us at all. I'm delighted if we break even vs a shop bought version. It's partly a flavour/goodness thing (especially with the avoidance of sliced shop bread) and partly just for the fun of it! I don't even mind that we haven't eaten 5/6 of the jam because I enjoyed doing it so much!

Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2015, 12:29:35 PM »
where do you guys find pickling salt? i want to try making pickles and recipes that i found say to use pickling salt.
Most major grocery stores carry it. Look down on the bottom shelf or way up on the top shelf in the regular salt area. It will probably be in a box vs a canister like table salt is.

relena

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2015, 02:23:08 PM »
Thanks Mrs. LC

Btw, here's the list of items I make:
Bread
Yogurt
pasta noodles
various desserts

My mom makes us dried apricot, apricot fruit rollups, and apricot jam



I use lots of leftover greens in smoothies. Except carrot tops - they affected the taste, so now I just use them when making stock.

My family loves carrot top green smoothies. It's really good with apples, banana, water.

GardenFun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
  • Location: Packers Hell - they're everywhere!
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2015, 02:24:27 PM »
DIY typically revolves around three areas:
- Products whose flavor cannot be replicated in store bought versions
- Products with too many added "extras"
- Products wicked cheaper to make that purchase

For flavor, it is hands-down stewed tomatoes.  The family recipe has a flavor that I cannot replicate in the store variety. 

Avoiding added "extras" results in homemade bread, salsa, garden veggies and fruit.  Can also link these under the first area. 

Wicked cheaper to make than purchase:  jam (free garden fruit), yogurt, pickled items (pepper rings, pickles, green beans, giardiniera).

Does the "wicked cheap" aspect of this come from a personal garden? I would love to make my own homemade things, but I find that by the time I get the ingredients its often a wash, money-wise (obviously there other elements at play--taste, preservatives, etc.).

Yep.  Strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, cukes, peppers, tomatoes, onions, green beans.  I do purchase cherries but we have pick your own farms in Door County that make it affordable. 

I wish we had better stone fruit options, for the reason you listed.  Hearing west coast forum members discuss having apricots, plums, peaches, lemon trees in their backyard makes me crazy jealous.  I would love to have a Meyer lemon problem, or a neighbor with way too many apricots! 

Axecleaver

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3389
  • Location: New York
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2015, 02:28:29 PM »
Great thread! A lot of the kitchen experiments build on each other. For example, cheese makes whey, use that in bread.

We do a lot of lacto fermentation in the summer - sour pickles, sauerkraut, hot peppers, and asparagus are big favorites. We have wild concord grapes here, the leaves help a lot with the pickling (adds tannin).

We homebrew and I've got three recipes nailed down for different seasons that are big crowd pleasers. Planning to start doing sour beers next to link up the lacto+homebrew angles.

I did some mozzarella cheese recently and used the whey leftovers to make bread - really made a more complex, delicious loaf that I loved. I worked in a few handfuls of fresh basil to the mozzarella, which makes the cheese delicious.


puglogic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Colorado
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2015, 04:30:52 PM »
Wow, Axecleaver, your mozz sounds awesome......

Part of the cost thing, for us anyway, is that we buy a lot of things organic.  The cost for a really good loaf of organic bread around here is $4-5.00, whereas I can make it organic at home for about $1.00 max (if it has walnuts and such in it) 

frompa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
  • Location: Pennsylvania
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2015, 05:46:05 AM »
Count me in on this thread, too.  There are not many things that we don't make -- from beer to bread to cheese to yogurt to pasta to corned beef and smoking our own bacon to all manner of condiments.  We don't make ALL of them ALL the time, but over the last ten years or so I'd say we've acquired the skills so that we could do so, given the time.  I second the earlier recommendation for that book "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter."  And a way earlier one (late 70's?), called "Better than Storebought," that maybe you could find in a used book store. 

Probably the greatest motivator in making our own is the decision to not spend, period.  When buying isn't an alternative, making one's own is a particular pleasure. 

BTW, anybody have a good recipe for toothpaste? 

Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2015, 06:12:33 AM »
Count me in on this thread, too.  There are not many things that we don't make -- from beer to bread to cheese to yogurt to pasta to corned beef and smoking our own bacon to all manner of condiments.  We don't make ALL of them ALL the time, but over the last ten years or so I'd say we've acquired the skills so that we could do so, given the time.  I second the earlier recommendation for that book "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter."  And a way earlier one (late 70's?), called "Better than Storebought," that maybe you could find in a used book store. 

Probably the greatest motivator in making our own is the decision to not spend, period.  When buying isn't an alternative, making one's own is a particular pleasure. 

BTW, anybody have a good recipe for toothpaste?

A simple recipe for toothpaste is 1 tsp baking soda mixed with 1/2 tsp salt. Add enough water to make a paste. You can flavor it with mint if you choose. I wouldn't exactly call that a "good" recipe because the taste isn't that wonderful but it will get the job done.

Over the years we have made a ton of DIY food items - some good some not so good. Experimenting is fun!  We grew much of the food we ate including fruit, vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, and eggs. The grocery store was avoided and purchases there limited. We made ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings, bread, spaghetti sauce, noodles, yogurt, vanilla extract, etc. Now we live in the 'burbs and no longer raise animals but still do grow some fruit and vegetables and continue to make many DIY foods as it just is a way of life.

Wine has to be our favorite DIY although I'm not sure it really counts as food. The science geek in me likes to experiment with different combos of fruit to make unusual wine. We just made an ecclectic mixture of apple, cranberry, raspberry, kiwi, and strawberry wine that is unbelievably good even though it doesn't sound tasty.

PARedbeard

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
  • Location: Pennsylvania
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2015, 06:59:23 AM »
Hey Mrs.LC--I have a bit of experience with beer, cider, and mead making, but I have never tried fruit wine. Is there a good book/website I should visit before I get started? I'm looking to do a pretty low-tech version (maybe crushing my own fruit, boiling with water, popping yeast in and letting it go). I'm hoping for drinkability in 4-6 months. Is that possible, or do I have a pipe-dream?

Also, have you ever tried using natural yeast from the air?

Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2015, 07:47:08 AM »
Hey Mrs.LC--I have a bit of experience with beer, cider, and mead making, but I have never tried fruit wine. Is there a good book/website I should visit before I get started? I'm looking to do a pretty low-tech version (maybe crushing my own fruit, boiling with water, popping yeast in and letting it go). I'm hoping for drinkability in 4-6 months. Is that possible, or do I have a pipe-dream?

Also, have you ever tried using natural yeast from the air?
You're not dreaming. We have consumed young wine and it's good. Not going to win any international awards but perfect for enjoying with a couple friends. Winemakingtalk.com is great forum for information. You could start by using a kit to learn the basics and move forward from there.

We have not tried the natural air yeast route. We buy Red Star wine yeast and have had good luck with it.

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2015, 07:59:12 AM »
I tried to make sparkling lemonade once with champagne yeast but it never fermented my apartment was too cool plus it grew mold. On the upside  my homemade yogurt came out well....

Axecleaver

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3389
  • Location: New York
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #45 on: July 09, 2015, 08:31:43 AM »
Quote
Also, have you ever tried using natural yeast from the air?
My grandmother made dandelion wine when I was little. This uses the natural yeast in the dandelion blossoms. She made it in the Spring when dandelions were everywhere, and it was fun getting the extended family picking them in the country fields where we grew up.

It was incredibly variable, which is how it goes with open fermentation - some years it was sweet, delicious, effervescent and light. Other years it gave people terrible headaches the next day. I've never made it myself but it's on my to-do list.

My Italian-American wife makes limoncello out of vodka and lemon zest. It's very easy to do but took us a while to get the zesting operation down. Very good in summer cocktails.

Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #46 on: July 09, 2015, 08:39:31 AM »
I tried to make sparkling lemonade once with champagne yeast but it never fermented my apartment was too cool plus it grew mold. On the upside  my homemade yogurt came out well....
The yeast may not of worked due to the acidity of the lemonade. We make a lemon wine that is excellent and a great drink in the summer. To combat the high acidity of the lemon we make a slurry with the yeast and slowly add lemon to it as it multiplies. The process takes a couple hours to get enough yeast bubbling before we pitch it into the remaining lemon mixture.

BlueBeard

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #47 on: July 09, 2015, 08:44:55 AM »
America's Test Kitchen put out a book in 2012 called DIY Cookbook that's just great. It's broad on all kinds of DIY kitchencraft - great recipes for everything from corn chips to bacon. Highly recommended.
Thanks for the tip, requested from the library

stripey

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 772
  • Age: 119
  • Location: Australia
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #48 on: July 09, 2015, 09:32:58 AM »
I do heaps of things. My most recent attempts are vanilla essence (= vanilla beans + vodka, wait a few months) and curing olives (the tree was laden, and on public property). Both turned out well!

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: DIY Food items...
« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2015, 12:22:12 PM »
I have sourdough starter in my fridge if no one has thrown it out.  It hasn't turned sour yet it has kind of a sweet flavor and is an oogy gray but it is alive and usable.  I made biscuits with it and mixed it with cornbread batter.
I need to feed it and let it come to room temp to see what it has been doing since I've been ignoring it.