Monday, 8 September 2014

Scratch that

One of the most basic ideas in thrifty or frugal cooking is to make food "from scratch" which means from the most basic ingredients, without the use of convenience or pre-prepared items.  I find that this is really the best way to get the most out of the food budget, because we are not paying for someone else's time and energy in doing some of the preparation work.

I was mooching around the internet on Saturday morning, having a little browse and looking for some new you do!  Occasionally, anyway.

I came across a link to an American lady's website, which promised frugal food, and there was a lovely looking recipe for Lemon cakes, which were made in a traybake pan, and the headline promised that there were only 3 ingredients for this cake - so I was intrigued.....

Headed over there, and what did I find?  Three ingredients?  Yes.  OK.  But they were ONE box lemon cake mix, ONE box instant vanilla pudding mix and some butter......I don't even know what the UK equivalent of instant pudding mix is, although I suspect it might be something like Angel Delight, but to say I was disappointed with that recipe was an understatement.

To make that from scratch would involve, I would think, eggs, flour, butter, sugar, lemons, perhaps milk.......and it would probably be cheaper than buying boxes of who knows what.  And I already have a good recipe for a lemon tray bake, so I am no further forward in expanding my repertoire!


buttercup said...

Reminds me of mk1 daughter who lives in the States and is noted for her culinary skills. they went to a bring a plate party and one husband not to be out done was loudly telling every body his wife had made her own cream. Turns out she had whisked the cream into soft peaks!

Jackie said...

A lot of American recipes seem to involve a pack of this and a tin of that.
The tins at least I think you can explain by looking at the way the Amish and others up north can everything from fresh. It's winter preserving of their own home grown food, so that explains the 'can of mushroom soup' syndrome.
But packs of cake mix always make me laugh. In what way is that cooking from scratch.
PS to the best of my knowledge the closest thing we would have to instant pudding is custard powder :)
PS When is Blogger going to accept OpenID from Wordpress?! I am actually mostly at, although I do sometimes still hang out on my blogger blog!

Andrea Williams said...

Morgan, I want to make your beetroot chutney but can not find it? help

Angela said...

I too have been amused by some "recipes" on USA websites. I did get some 'Liptons Onion Soup' from approved food, as I have seen that on a number of websites. It made OK soup, but produced a great coating for roast potatoes, and a tasty party dip.

I can whip my own cream too!