Wednesday, September 7, 2011

From Scratch

Younger Son likes the chicken noodle soup out of a can, but he only likes the noodles and a little (if any) of the broth. So today, after serving him a dish of the noodles and some broth, I decided to do something with what was left in the saucepan.

First, I peeled and chopped a potato into it, then added some onion. Then I boiled that until the potato was done. I added a bit more water and some seasonings. I dumped in a small can of chicken, juice and all. Then I got that all to a good boil. I added a few handfuls of dry noodles, and let that cook until the noodles were done. Older Son and I cleaned it up!

So what does it mean to cook "from scratch?" Now, I don't care for the canned chicken and noodle soup, but doing this little "doctoring" experiment with this broth turned out yummy. Hubby likes to doctor up a can of steak-and-potato soup with butter and noodles, and that's not bad, either. These little extras you add to canned or store-bought things just makes it seem a little more like home cooking. But that might not actually be considered "from scratch."

Now what I would consider "from scratch" chicken soup would be getting a chicken (or pieces) and boiling it/them until done, then de-boning the chicken and have the meat and broth. Then adding fresh vegetables to it, such as carrots, potatoes, celery, onion, etc. Noodles would be handmade. (You can buy that style frozen, and they're not bad, but I'm thinking homemade noodles.)

But I suppose if you wanted to get even more extremely "from scratch" than that, you would raise your own chickens (both for meat, and for eggs for the noodles) and grow your own garden (for the vegetables). Would it be too much to say raise your own wheat for the flour? Now that would be getting down to the nitty-gritty of "cooking from scratch!"

We used to laugh when we'd go out to eat, if it took awhile to wait on our food. If someone had ordered a hamburger, we'd say they had to go slaughter the cow. If it was dairy-related, they had to go milk the cow. If it was chicken, they had to go butcher the chicken. This all sure gives an appreciation for the convenience of our foods now. But I like that you can find a happy medium between the goodness of home-raised meats and produce, and the convenience of what you can purchase at the grocery store. "From scratch" can be various combinations of cooking and baking, but as long as it's reasonably healthy and your family eats it, that's what counts!

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