I realized this morning (as I made two different pie fillings from scratch) what a struggle it is for me to get away from making things myself and to just buy it.
When I decide “I’m going to save myself the work this time and just buy the thing already made”, it somehow is never quite that straight forward. First of all, I have the homemade version coursing out of my taste buds and burning in my mind, so nothing on the store shelf looks, well, like it should. I start reading labels.
Note: If you are trying to make a transition from homemade to store bought NEVER read the labels!
But it can’t be helped. I’m already thinking things like how is there this much crap in here? I make this with like 4 ingredients. I could easily make this with half that amount of sugar! And what even is Acetylated Monoglycerides?
I’m drifting dangerously close to resolving to just go home and make it. I give my head a shake and scan the price of the item I’m holding. It burns me like a hot potato and I nearly drop it on the floor. What?! I could definitely make this for less… and my mind starts calculating the cost of real ingredients. Stop it! Your doing it!
And just like that, I’ve ditched the notion of buying the pre-made product and am I’m off buying the one or two ingredients I don’t already own at home. Feeling pretty stinking satisfied with myself that I’m not only going to be saving my family from evil 14 letter ingredients, but a few bucks as well. Somehow the time it was going to save me by purchasing it already made slips from my brain and is replaced with my familiar friend
Closely related to Homemade.
But every now and then I survive all those steps, and just close my eyes and grasp what I need off the shelf. I try to numb the knowledge of the ingredients and prices by making it a quick grab and move right along.
This happened yesterday at the grocery store.
I’m making homemade danishes for an charity auction, and I really don’t need to make 3 pie fillings from scratch for their centres. I don’t love constant stirring over the stove, it’s too unimaginative.
Problem is- I must have literally had my eyes closed because when I got out the fillings last night it was followed by a groan. Both of the boxes not only needed things like separated eggs and milk (am I paying $4.99 for cornstarch and flavouring?), but they also came with long detailed time consuming instructions. With lots of stirring over the stove🙄! My eyes then spotted a coconut on my vanilla filling, and slid over to the products name. Coconut Pie filling. “Nooooooo!” Well, at least I have a lemon one. So why is their a lime on that box? Yep, Key Lime Pie. My husbands flipping the boxes around at the counter with a smirk and cheeky sparkle in his eye, “didn’t you even READ? It says the name right on the box…. Both of them.”
I snatch the boxes from him and mumble about them being in the vanilla section with all the other vanillas and the lime one right next to the lemon ones. And suddenly freak out wondering what on earth my canned “cherry” filling actually is. After unloading half my cupboard I’m convinced I never even put it in the cart, when I finally find it next to the beans. Thank God, It’s Cherry.
I need the other two fillings today.
So you see, even when I try to just buy pre-made, I’m busy making homemade. Because driving into town with 4 kids sounds like more work then sitting at the stove stirring (which apparently I’d be doing anyways).
Driving to get something I forgot or because I got the wrong thing is OFTEN my reason for discovering how to make something homemade and save myself a trip. (One year amid making homemade gingerbread houses, we ran right out of icing sugar to make icing, and it turns out icing sugar is just blended white sugar with cornstarch!)
And guess what?
I made lemon and blueberry filling in about an unfocused half hour and they were cheap and simple 😊
and so now
I’ll probably always have to make pie fillings, because of all above said reasons.
And they turned out pretty tasty too.
Some of the Things We Love Better Homemade:
- Bread (for the most most part. Best dollar I’ve ever spent was my breadmaker at a thrift store. Fresh focaccia for about 10 mins of effort? Yes please.)
- Jam (so easy to throw a little fruit in a pot- my kids even make it! We use chia seeds to thicken and only a couple Tbs sugar)
- Muffins (we love extra fruit ones)
- Lasagna (the more you make it the more efficient you get)
- Cookies, cakes, pies, squares, pancakes (I do love baking, and it doesn’t have an after taste baked with pronounceable ingredients)
- Cheese sauce ( 100s of dinners thank me for learning this)
- Granola (not all recipes are the same, some are fantastically easy)
- Pita pockets (entertainment for the kids, and soft and STRETCHY… not dry and crummy)
- Dried fruit (ALWAYS better. Why are the stores coated in sugar!?)
- Puddings and custards (a win for cornstarch)
- Apple sauce (purée with the skins for fibre no one knows is there! Instead of sugar add cinnamon for a sweeter flavour)
- Soup (raised on the stuff- keeping the tradition running strong)
- Pizza ( breadmaker dough, and what-ever-our-hearts desire toppings. Yes even last nights stir fry)
- Gravy (just the old fashioned good stuff… or organic bouillon paste)
Some things truly are easier/ better to just buy. And there is NO comparison to Campbells tomato soup. But what are some things you simply love homemade and can’t go back to bought? Do you also love some of my above list?
Blessings! And happy food making.