Subtitle: I know you think I’m crazy.
Sub-Subtitle: *Ok…not EVERYTHING
It all started with baked oatmeal muffins. Four years ago, I pinned a link to this blog post on one of my very first Pinterest boards (disclaimer, I have since tweaked the recipe for myself and she has since updated the recipe on her site…so they aren’t exactly the same anymore). Then my mom let me borrow her yogurt maker. She eventually bought me one of my VERY, VERY own…so she could have hers back.
Baked Oatmeal Muffins
“Wheat Thin” Crackers
Cheese (yes, cheese…post about that coming soon)
Here are four reasons I spend my free time in the kitchen:
- It’s fun– first of all, it’s become my hobby. Some people scrapbook. Some people fish. Some people do…other things (I don’t know, what do people do if they’re not making stuff in the kitchen??) I enjoy discovering new recipes for things that I would normally buy in the store and then tweaking them to fit my family’s tastes. Usually, they end up better than the store bought versions…if I do say so myself.
- It’s cheaper– Now, I will admit that this means dollar wise. If you assign a cost to your time, you may not decide the cost is worth it… unless you discover the truth in reason number one. But it really, really is easier on the wallet. A bag of whole wheat flour costs $3.98 at the grocery store. A GOOD loaf of whole wheat bread that doesn’t have a bunch of crap in it costs $3.75. The bag of flour will make six loaves of bread. Even after factoring in the cost of other ingredients, that’s hands down a cost saver. I’m able to spend the savings on more fresh fruits and vegetables…and ice cream.
- I got tired of putting things back on the shelf– When I really started reading the ingredient labels on packaged foods at the grocery store, my arm got tired. I was in danger of getting a repetitive motion injury: Pick up the package. Turn it over. Read label. Put it back. Repeat. 95% of the packaged foods that I picked up I would reject because of the length of the ingredient label, or the amount of sugar and sodium, or the number of mystery chemicals. Really and truly, it just eventually became easier to make it myself. The other options were give up on my family’s health or starve.
- I’m a control freak– No surprise to those of you who know me in real life, I like to be in control. When a friend asked me why in the world I was going to make my own cheese, my response sounded something like “Because I can control the quality of milk, and I can control where the milk comes from, and I can control the number of additives and, you know…I can CONTROL.” In all seriousness, though, the amount of control over their daily bread that most Americans have given up is scary. This is evidenced in the ever growing list of food recalls (I tried to count the number of food recalls in 2015, but gave up eventually…you can find the list here). I can go visit the cows who produce the milk from which my cheese is made. I can see the conditions they are kept in. I know exactly what is going in my, and my family’s, mouth. I can’t say the same about cheese that comes in plastic wrappers.
So while I know making your own food isn’t for everyone, that’s why I do it…in a nutshell. (Hmmm…I wonder how hard it is to make your own nutbutter?)