Sunday, April 27, 2008

On cooking.

Ok, my American buddies, don't shoot me but something came up on my forum recently that both surprized & shocked me. A British lady was enquiring about the use of pre~mix cakes in the States & I was shocked at how many women, American women, said they couldn't cook a cake from scratch & that pre~mix cakes were so much easier. Truely?

It's not that I've never used a pre~mix but baking from scratch is not that difficult. If I can do it anyone can. In point of fact I would think I had failed in my duty to raise my children if I hadn't taught them all to cook from scratch ~ boys & girls.

Now I don't like to do pastry; I don't like the way it clings to my fingers & crawls under my nails but I can make pastry & I have taught the kids how to make pastry. After all there is a stage when they like nothing better than to play with the food! I don't like to cook either but I can put together a meal that includes all the basic food groups with my eyes shut. It might not be an interesting meal but it will be healthy & nutritious. Liddy, who enjoys food in all it's various shapes & forms, is even better informed nutritionally to accomodate her body's sporting needs & Ditz likes to bake & is a good little cook. The boys are very good cooks too & the trawlers rose up & called me blessed because my boys did not have to be taught how to put together a fast, filling, basic meal.

I didn't think I was that old~fashioned but being able to cook from scratch strikes me as being one of the fundamental necessities of life. Maybe I'm wrong? What I do know is that if they ever replace a solid meal with a pill I will be first in line!


Constance said...

I can make cakes from scratch and you're right about them not being that hard to do! Having said that though, I just made a really nice cake yesterday and the base was...

It was really easy but it took a little bit of time. You mixed a small box of Strawberry Jello powder into half of the white cake batter. You poured strawberry batter on one side of the round pan, regular on the other and slightly swirled them. Bake and cool as per directions. Then you take 2/3 cup of sour cream and whip in 2/3 cup of powdered sugar. Blend in 16 oz of Non-Dairy Whipped Topping. You spread the "frosting" on the bottom layer, top with sliced strawberries. Add the top layer, frost top and sides and put sliced strawberries on the top.

This was REALLY yummy! I could've made the cake from scratch but didn't have enough cake flour. I always keep boxed cake mix on hand in case I need to throw together something at the last minute. I also use boxed cake mixes to make my famous "Instant Cookies"!

Have a great week!

MamaOlive said...

I have heard of people thinking baking from a mix, or even opening a can and sticking in the oven is 'homemade.'
My mother made sure we knew how to cook and bake, and I hope to do the same for my children.
I keep cake mixes on hand for emergencies, or for a recipe base, but I couldn't just mix one up and call it cake. God forbid I'd ever use canned frosting! But this does seem to be an unusual approach in general.

Heidi said...

I like to make as much for scratch as I can. That said, I haven't figured out how to make an angelfood cake from scratch that is light and fluffy like those from a box and it takes so many eggs! If anyone has any suggestions for that, I would appreciate it!

My daughter loves to bake and is just learning the basics of cooking. I'm hoping that if I can stay patient enough with her, she will take over in the kitchen soon. :)

molytail said...

I *could* cook a cake from scratch - if I had a recipe & directions - but I pretty much always use boxes for that because I don't normally have all the 'from scratch' ingredients on mixes usually just need an egg or two and water or sometimes oil...

Icing - always from a container. My few attempts at making icing from icing sugar turned out AWFUL! :-P

Ganeida said...

I knew you ladies could cook! :) Moly, just for curiosity's sake, how can you screw up icing? Icing sugar, water, a bit of butter maybe, food dye &/or flavouring. What on earth do you do to it? This is easier than the cake!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear! If I'd make a cake from a mix I wouldn't feel like I'd "created" it! I don't mean to put down those that use mixes, but for me "from scratch" is the only way. My boys made a family favorite, "Crazy Cake", from scratch many times. Cookbook page looks like it too. :-)

Mary from Indiana

molytail said...

Moly, just for curiosity's sake, how can you screw up icing?

Oh I'm just good like that. *grin*

Nah, it just never worked - came out all runny and blahhhhh.... pretty sad looking stuff, yup.

Ganeida said...

Moly, you crack me up.

Connie your cake sounds scrummy. I may just try that * Mary from Indiana*, I don't suppose you'd like to give us the recipe for your *crazy cake*. The name alone will draw Ditz's attention.