Cooking From Scratch Is It A Thing Of The Past?

Cooking From Scratch Is It A Thing Of The Past?

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Cooking from scratch is it a thing of the past? Every time my family comes to our home or I go to their homes, I try to teach them some new skills by having them cook from scratch.

Most of my daughters cook from scratch even though all four daughters have one or two jobs each. Proud mama here that my daughters know how to work. My one daughter is a single mom and her son enjoys cooking from scratch, I love it! I feel strongly to reshare this post, thank you my friends for following me on our preparedness journey.

Netflix Documentaries

I have watched a few Netflix documentaries that have opened my eyes to the quality of the food we can buy and prepare at home. We can cook healthier meals right at home with better ingredients.

We must grow our own food or buy from local Farmer’s markets, if at all possible. Here’s the deal, when we eat out the food tastes yummy because they sometimes add more butter, salt, and sugar than we may realize on that oversized plate of food. We are what we eat.

Cooking From Scratch Is It A Thing Of The Past?

Cooking From Scratch Is It A Thing Of The Past?

Dinner Plate Sizes

Cooking From Scratch

I love comparing the dinner plate sizes of today to the pioneer plate sizes from yesteryear. They used salad size plates and they worked on farms. It was hard work, and they most often had to stay at it six or seven days a week. Picture eight-inch plates to the 12-inch plates many of us are using today.

I swear, they bring out a platter of food at a local Mexican food restaurant here in Southern Utah for one person. The plates above show approximately the white eight-inch plate sizes from years ago and the cute 12-inch turquoise plate size today.

Cooking From Scratch

Cooking From Scratch

Here are my favorite basics you need in order to cook from scratch. Feel free to tell me some items I should add to my list. I’ll provide a little detail about the items on the list in an effort to get your creative juices flowing as you contemplate your personal efforts to cook from scratch.

  1. Beans
  2. Rice
  3. Soups
  4. White bread flour
  5. Yeast
  6. Crackers
  7. Peanut butter
  8. Jams and jelly
  9. Powdered eggs
  10. Instant milk
  11. Popcorn
  12. Dehydrated onions
  13. Lemon juice
  14. Cocoa
  15. Garlic
  16. Raisins
  17. Spices
  18. Tortillas
  19. Chicken broth
  20. Olive oil/Coconut oil
  21. Dehydrated or fresh potatoes
  22. Pasta: who loves spaghetti?
  23. Tomato paste or flakes
  24. Salt
  25. Sugar
  26. Honey
  27. Baking soda
  28. Baking powder
  29. Cream of tartar
  30. Canned meat
  31. Wheat
  32. Dehydrated carrots & celery
  33. Salsa and green chilies
  34. Water
  35. Fruit
  36. Vegetables
  37. Oatmeal
  38. Cornstarch
  39. Fresh produce, when possible
  40. Vinegar
  41. Cheese

How To Make A Roux

Cooking From Scratch Is It A Thing Of The Past?

A roux is usually made from flour and fat cooked together as a means to thicken sauces we use when cooking. If you are wondering how to make a roux (pronounced roo), all you do is take a saucepan and use equal amounts of butter and flour. Then add milk according to how thick you want your cream sauce or roux. For instance, melt one cup of butter in the saucepan and then add one cup of flour. Stir quickly with a whisk. Whisk until smooth and add milk slowly. Sometimes it takes 2-quarts of milk or more. You must stir or whisk constantly. I add salt, pepper, and sugar.

Yes, sugar, it makes my sauce taste fabulous! You can cook it for 20-30 minutes to make the flavors stand out and to reach the full flavor and thickening you want. Again, you will add more or less milk depending on how thick you want your roux or creamy white sauce to be.

If you make a roux, you can make creamed chipped beef on toast or biscuits, add cheese to make mac and cheese or add clams simmered with onions and celery to make clam chowder. The possibilities are endless. You can make just about any creamy soup you can think of with leftovers. love this recipe!

I gave this roux example to show how we all can add flexibility to our meal planning by using ingredients found in most pantries. Every time family members visit our home they ask for creamed chip beef on toast. I know I’ll always have what’s needed for the roux, and away we go in preparing a tasty meal the whole family looks forward to. In case you missed this post, Cream Chipped Beef: Step-By-Step Pictures

Beans and Lentils

You can buy dried beans in a bag or purchase ready-to-use canned beans. You can make soups, hummus, side dishes, chili, and so much more. The good thing is, that you have a great protein meal that usually doesn’t take much time, and the beans are a staple you have available in your pantry inventory. I can make a meal with beans and my favorite spices, then add some tortillas and salsa for a filling healthy Mexican-themed lunch or dinner.

I would add lentils to your pantry if you haven’t already, you can make soups, stews, chili, and even tacos! You can stretch meals with lentils just like beans!


White rice has a longer shelf life than brown rice, so I store very little brown rice. I can use rice to stretch so many frugal meals, love it! It’s fairly inexpensive even in smaller bags. I like to buy white rice in #10 cans, the shelf life is 30 years (unopened) because it is commercially packed compared to the bagged rice from supermarkets. I prefer not to use mylar bags. I only want to buy food storage once with zero waste. Brown rice lasts about 6 months from the grocery store because it has a higher fat content than white rice. You can store brown rice in the refrigerator for 2-3 months longer if kept in an airtight container.

Rice can be a great base for so many tasty and healthy meals. There are thousands of recipes on the web where rice is the key ingredient. Many of those recipes include ingredients found in the typical pantry, hopefully just like yours.


Some people make their own creamed soups from scratch. I buy Campbell’s cream of chicken by the case. I can make just about any casserole or soup with it. I watch for the case lot sales in the fall. Be sure and check the expiration dates.

Now winter is headed our way, who doesn’t like a warm bowl of soup to change the mood? Soups are often used as a quick remedy for common illnesses. I’m not sure how soup does its trick, but it has surely made me feel better on a day when I feel out of sorts.

Read More of My Articles  Popeye Pancakes Recipe With A Secret Trick

White Bread Flour

If you can make bread you can barter and survive. Trust me, people love hot bread right out of the oven. You can make muffins, pancakes, waffles, cookies, cakes and so much more with flour of any kind.

Yeast: I purchase the brand SAF Yeast for my bread and biscuits. Period. I have not had good luck with other yeast brands. I store the amount of yeast I will use for a month in the refrigerator. The rest of the packages I store in my freezer. They have lasted three years for me in the freezer, if unopened. If you can’t find it where you live, you can buy it online: Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch

I have handed out in person and online my “no-fail” bread recipe. I always mention that the steps to make it are important and need to be followed closely. But, I also state the importance of having FRESH ingredients if you want the best results. They truly make a difference.


Need I say more? Crackers are great with chili, and soups, and topped with your favorite chicken salad made with mayonnaise. We just talked about soup, and what better add-on is there than some fresh and flavorful crackers?

I was in a locally owned grocery store yesterday, and although the store is fairly small compared to the mega-stores we often frequent, I couldn’t believe all the choices of crackers. If you were to add chips to those choices it is truly mind-boggling.

Peanut Butter

Sometimes my husband and I have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. I make homemade whole wheat bread which is a bonus for my budget. The last time I bought my stock of the Jif brand, I was not only reminded of how many varieties of Jif there are, but how many competing brands are available.

The great thing about peanut butter is how many variations you can make just by using the hundreds of choices of jams and jellies that are also available. Let’s discuss some of those next.

Jams and Jellies

I mentioned above how much jams and jellies add to peanut butter sandwiches. I’ve also found they can be used alone when served with pancakes, biscuits, rolls, and bread. It seems the most common varieties are made from fruits and berries, like peaches, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and more.

When our girls were at home we had an annual tradition of making our own raspberry and strawberry jams. When we lived in River Heights, UT, near Logan, we had a half-acre lot and a huge garden (it took Mark three hours to just mow the lawn). On both sides of the backyard, we planted strawberry plants, one side with June-bearing and one side with everbearing plants.

The girls loved to see “their” strawberry plants bloom, grow, and then bear fruit. During the summer they’d go out and pick enough to enjoy some with dinner. At the peak of the season, we’d pick enough to make a few pints of jam. Some we’d cook up as a “preserve,” others we’d make as a freezer variety. I look back at those days with real fondness. Give it a try, you’ll love it!

Powdered Eggs

These are great for baking only, it’s nice to have a can of powdered eggs in the pantry if you run out of eggs. Of course, fresh eggs are better, but if you have an ice storm you can still make cookies or other recipes and stay off the icy roads if your egg cartons are empty. My favorite shelf-stable egg product is: OvaEasy

If you think about it, I high percentage of recipes call for eggs as one of the key ingredients. I always have powdered eggs on the shelf, just in case.

Instant Milk

This is a bonus for every family. I store my opened #10 can of instant milk in the refrigerator so it’s ready in a flash if I run out of milk. It’s good for two years after it’s opened. Check the “best if used by” date on the instant milk you buy because every manufacturer is different.

As I think about it, the use-by dates should be checked on all your “cook from scratch” pantry products. It goes back to what I mentioned above about bread, if you want a successful result from your cooking efforts, be sure to use fresh ingredients.


Popcorn is a great tummy filler and comfort food in a bad storm. Add some melted butter to popped corn with a smidge of salt and you have a great treat for everyone! You can add other spices as well and flavor the popcorn to your preference.

Mark’s mom made the best caramel corn. She’d bring some to the family get-togethers and it was always a favorite. Be creative and try to make some for your family, you’ll be glad you did.

Dehydrated Onions

I personally rarely buy fresh onions, except maybe in the summer if my garden hasn’t produced enough yet. I love knowing I can add a scoop of dehydrated onions to taco meat, soups, chili, casseroles, omelets, and other recipes and not have to peel, cut, or chop them. I also love stocking 10-12 bags of frozen chopped onions in the freezer, no waste ever.

If you have a dehydrator, consider making dehydrated onions one of your annual projects. Onions of all kinds tend to be fairly inexpensive, and dehydrating them is a breeze. One of the biggest challenges is cutting them up, and trying to keep a dry eye at the same time. A hint, if you have a plug outside your home, consider using the dehydrator outside so your home isn’t filled with the pungent smell of onions for the next few days.

Lemon Juice

I do buy lemon juice for the refrigerator, but I also buy these packets I use every day and for emergencies: True Lemon Bulk Pack


Can you smell the chocolate cake baking or relish the taste of hot chocolate right now? Cocoa is a great addition to meal planning in the cold winter months when you want a warm drink or a tasty cake or brownies. Always stock some cocoa for that “just in time” treat the whole family with enjoy.


Now you can buy a HUGE jar like my daughter, Heidi, and store it in the refrigerator or buy some fresh garlic. I have to be careful how much garlic I add to recipes. For some reason, Mark tends to get an upset stomach if he eats too much. What’s interesting, he loves the flavor garlic gives foods like pizza.


These are great for snacks, muffins, bread pudding, etc. Mark’s mom used to add raisins to so many of her desserts. She had a big container in the kitchen, so raisins were available for cooking and snacking.


Be sure and keep your pantry full of your favorite spices. I can’t get by without vanilla, chili powder, cinnamon, and many others. You know the ones you need, right?


I can make my flour tortillas with the stuff on this list, except my corn tortillas. Keep a few tortillas on your pantry shelves (check the expiration dates) and a few in the freezer. If you feel so inclined, learn to make tortillas. They taste yummy and fresh!

Read More of My Articles  The Best Chicken And Broccoli Casserole

Chicken Broth

If I have some leftover broth from cooking a chicken I will freeze it, but I prefer to use: Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base 8 oz. Of course, you will need water. If I see a good buy on canned or boxed chicken broth, I will pick up a few for the pantry.

Olive oil/Coconut Oil

We can make so many things with oil. I just added it to the list because we know we need some. Again, be sure to check the expiration dates since some oils can go bad, possibly putting your cooking plans on hold.

Dehydrated or Fresh Potatoes

We can mash, fry, or bake potatoes. I love dehydrated potatoes to add to soups and chowders. No peeling, chopping, or dicing. I can add them right from the can to my soups.


Who loves spaghetti? Oh, and mac and cheese. Everyone needs pasta in a pantry, right? I really appreciate the fact that pasta lasts so long on your shelf. It is one of the foods I don’t worry as much about when I buy it in volume.

Tomato Paste, Flakes or Diced

You can make soups, spaghetti, chili, stews, etc. Tomatoes are such a versatile food item. They can be used in hundreds of recipes, you just need to make sure you have some on the shelf, ready to go. Having a variety of tomato offerings available makes meal planning easier since you’ll have many options at your disposal.


It’s all about flavor. I know we are cautioned to watch how much sodium (salt) we consume each day, but if you add it in moderation without smothering your food with it, you should be ok.


I have to have sugar to make my bread, cookies, cakes and to put on certain cereals. Just like I mentioned above with salt, try to watch how much you add to recipes and eat. Most items on this list are ok to eat when trying to have healthy meals, just use them in moderation. Keep in mind, these types of ingredients are generally added for flavor and not texture. You can follow the recipe as directed, or make adjustments as per your personal preference.


You can make bread with honey, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, cookies, and all kinds of other baked goods. I only buy honey from Cox’s Honey because it’s pure, raw honey. Honey is a natural food and is so good for you. Give it a try in place of sugar next time.

Baking soda

I need it for baking muffins, cookies, etc. This is one of the key ingredients in most baked goods recipes, just like our next item, baking powder. Having a FRESH supply of both is vital if you plan to bake when cooking from scratch.

I quote Wikipedia, “In cooking, baking soda is primarily used in baking as a leavening agent. When it reacts with the acid, carbon dioxide is released, which causes expansion of the batter and forms the characteristic texture and grain in cakes, quick bread, soda bread, and other baked and fried foods.”

Baking powder

I need it for baking, muffins, biscuits, etc. I quote Wikipedia, “Baking powder is used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods. It works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus leavening the mixture.”

Cream of Tartar

I know this is a spice, but I need to make my biscuits and play dough for kids with this pantry item. Not a real common item found in recipes, but often enough to keep a supply on hand.

Canned Meats

If you pressure can your own, that’s awesome! I buy mine at Costco. I like their chicken and tuna packed in water rather than oil. I stock up big time when they go on sale. Mark and I enjoy the chicken salad as a salad and also in sandwiches. That also goes for the canned tuna.

Mark used to buy sardines and eat them right out of the can. He hasn’t done that for years. Also, there weren’t many recipes calling for them. I wonder why?


If you can grind wheat and make bread, that is awesome. You can also make hot cereal with just wheat and water to make a wholesome meal. Here is how I make hot whole wheat cereal: 1 cup washed whole wheat berries, 3 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional), place all the ingredients in a slow cooker at night for 12 hours and you will have hot cereal in the morning.

Drain off excess water and store unused wheat in the refrigerator. Add a little milk and honey when serving, if desired. You can double or triple the recipe if your slow cooker will hold it. You can add the cooked wheat to many meals, as you do rice or quinoa.

Dehydrated Vegetables

Carrots, onions, and celery are always in my pantry. I can throw them in soups and stews. Over the years, we have dehydrated a wide variety of veggies. I try to buy them in season and make the most of my dehydrating efforts when they cost the least. This past year I took on a different veggie each week and had a blast seeing my pantry shelves fill up as each project was completed. We’ll have veggies available all winter and spring.

Salsa and Green Chilies

I can eat these on everything, just saying.


Store as much as your budget allows. We need water to survive and to make most meals out of our pantry stash.


Cans of fruit, freeze-dried fruit (longer shelf life), or dehydrate your own for one-year shelf life. As mentioned above, fruits of all kinds can be canned, dehydrated, made into jams and jellies, and eaten right out of the bushel box. I love fruit and know when I’m eating them in all their forms and varieties that the meal is healthy. Of course, adding lots of sugar can change that, but the fruit itself is good for you.


Canned, freeze-dried, or dehydrated, studies from all over the world have shown that meals planned around fruits and veggies will extend your life. If we planned more meals with fruits and vegetables as a base, we’d steer clear of meats and the ill effects from eating a high concentration of meats.


Typically lasts about 2-3 years depending, on the type you buy and whether it’s steel-cut, old-fashioned, or instant (quick). Always store these in airtight containers in a cool place.


We can always use a thickener, right? Like baking powder and baking soda, cornstarch is found in many baked goods and sauces.


I have written a few posts about the awesome benefits of vinegar. It’s inexpensive and has so many uses.  35 Reasons Why You Should Store Vinegar 

Final Word

Boy, we’ve covered a lot of material in this post. I hope you’ve stayed with me as we’ve detailed why you should learn to cook from scratch, what items are needed in the pantry to support that effort, and how best to use those items when planning meals. Let me know if you have ideas to bring back cooking from scratch, we need to keep these skills going.

Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. If you have time to teach classes to your neighbors, please do it. In today’s world, we all need to know how to cook from scratch, I promise. May God bless this world. Linda

Please be prepared: “Prepare Your Family For Survival”  by Linda Loosli, thank you!

Copyright Images: Making Bread Depositphotos_204557008_S

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  1. I cook from scratch every day. I quit using boxed & can goods several years ago when I learned about GMO’s and the damage caused by the preservatives in foods.

  2. Hi Linda,

    I have to agree–I think making a roux is critical to cooking more from scratch. What’s even better is being able to make it entirely from long term food storage! And even better than that is having it pre-made in the refrigerator (while we still have electricity, that is)!

    In its original version called Magic Mix, and it’s 1 cup of flour plus 1 cup of butter and 2 1/3 cups of powdered milk. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter in until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Store in the refrigerator.

    In my entirely long term food storage version, coconut oil is substituted for the butter. It doesn’t need refrigeration. In my experience, when stored properly coconut oil has at least a five year shelf life.

    It works perfectly to make all those cream soups–cream of chicken, celery, mushroom–at a fraction of the cost with far less waste and none of the preservative garbage. The banana cream pie–all food storage–was divine. The cheaper dry milk from the Home Storage Center works just as well or better than the expensive dry milks. Oh, and the milk from the HSC is more nutritious than any of the expensive dry milks. It may not be so important for adults, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind for children.

    Lots of recipes posted on PrepSchoolDaily dot blogspot dot com.

    Have a great day!


    1. My husband is allergic to coconut oil. Is there something else that can be used instead?

      Thank you for the great advice!


      1. Hi Audrey,

        That’s a really great question. Unfortunately, I don’t have a great answer for you. Lard or bacon grease might work in some gravies, but would be horrible in banana cream pie. Maybe olive oil would work for making cream of tomato soup, maybe chocolate pudding, but I kind of doubt that. I think even margarine would taste gross.

        But I could also be entirely wrong. I didn’t think coconut oil would work in making cream of chicken soup or gravy. And yet, it was great. I really didn’t think coconut oil would work in making pudding, but I was too curious to not try it. Lo and behold, one of my daughters said that chocolate pudding was even better than before, and she didn’t know I had played around with using coconut oil instead.

        I’m really sorry I couldn’t help you out with this.


      2. My fellow teachers were shocked when they found out that I cook every day. I was raised on a farm and grew up eating what was grown, canned and prepared by my family. We are all much healthier for it.

        1. Hi Pamela, wow, interesting your fellow teachers were shocked to hear you cook every day! You really are much healthier based on your life being raised on a farm, love it! Linda

  3. Hi, Linda ~
    I love cooking from scratch. As a single person, I rarely cook for more than myself. This makes it difficult to say the least! I try to eat protein, veggies and fruit at most of my meals.

    One thing that must say about this list is that if we are truly cooking from scratch, we would make our own soups – as Jennifer mentioned the Magic Mix, there are recipes online for Master Mix for making biscuits, etc. When I was raising my family, I made the Master Mix and used it a lot! Less expensive than Bisquick and much more satisfying. I suppose I could make both Mixes and have on hand, but I try not to eat so many breads and gravies!!! They have both expanded my waistline over the years! Love them both so much.

    I have also made my own crackers in the past and they are so much better than store bought. And so versatile. I have added herbs like crushed rosemary, garlic, onion, and more to make them “go” with whatever I was making.
    I have done the same thing with my homemade noodles. I don’t have nor have I ever used a pasta machine. Sometimes I thought that would have made noodle making much simpler but I read so much about cleaning the machine that I decided years ago when I had my family at home that it would not be worth it. And, there is something about making it all myself. My noodles were always thicker than store bought but that just made them better in my book. When I wanted to make Mac & Cheese, I simply made my noodles and cut them into macaroni sized pieces. My daughter didn’t know that macaroni was supposed to have a hole in the middle until grade school when she had boxed mac & “cheese” at a friend’s house!

    I wish I could say that I currently cook from scratch but I don’t do a lot! That being said, I do know HOW and in an emergency situation I would!

    1. Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, the macaroni story! I love that comment! It reminds me of the time my girls would ask for Wonder Bread. They wanted the bread they could smash up in their hands. They only had homemade bread, such is life. Linda

  4. Cooking from scratch had different meanings. It’s an argument I heard growing up.
    You make biscuits from “scratch” but did you? You grew, bleached and milled that flour?
    I harvest, butcher, grind, slice and cook my own deer. It’s from scratch until I add in hog fat for sausage from one I didn’t raise.
    Just a thought from those who are hard on others in their vocalizing opinions. I’ve seen women make others cry over it when in truth they ain’t no better. They just mixed more ingredients.

    1. Hi Matt, wow, I had no idea people are hard on others cooking from scratch. My husband got a deer once, we skinned it or whatever but took somewhere to have it cut up. You are my hero for all the things you do!! My thoughts are this, I make a really good chocolate cake with a cake mix, a pudding mix, sour cream, etc. It’s partially from scratch but man is it yummy! My sister thinks her husband cooks from scratch by throwing a piece of meat on the grill. I view cooking from scratch by knowing how to butcher a deer like you, packaging it and cooking it. I also think anyone that can grab a bowl with some flour, baking powder, etc. that can make biscuits is cooking from scratch. I feel anything we eat at home is better than eating food at a drive-through. But I will never criticize someone who grills a piece of chicken. But I will admire someone who can make bread, crackers or whatever. Life is good with skills. AND you have many Matt!! Love it! Linda

  5. Again, a great article Linda. I was raised on a farm and cooking from scratch comes natural for me. My wife was a Washington DC girl and never new what cooking from scratch was. She learned very soon how good it was and will never cook any other way. We buy vegetables from a local farm and can and freeze. One would think that she was a farm girl because she loves to put food away and cook the old fashion way. I learned to cook at the old age of 11 years old, my Mom was sick and being the oldest the job of cooking fell into my hands. Dad would carry her down the stairs and sit her in a chair to teach and supervise me. My wife says i make the best fried chicken gravy in the world. It was the best time of my life and i was too young to realize it. We just finished canning 100 quarts of tomatoes, i guess string beans, and cornfield beans are next. If people would just try cooking from scratch they would find how delicious the food is, and how healthy it is.

    1. OH Hearl, I LOVE your comment! I can almost visualize you standing there canning those tomatoes!! What a blessing! I love fried chicken gravy!!! You brought a smile to my face today!! Keep up the good work! Linda

  6. What, no cheese. Life is better with cheddar 🙂

    I like cheese sticks or slices from a bar or brick as part of my snacks with granola bars, bananas, grapes or crackers. And my doctor told me it was okay for me to eat cheese since it provided protein. I’ve also become a fan of Ceasar salad.

    And all those good foods you store (Oatmeal, carrots, peas) are good for feeding the dog. And peanut butter can be used to make doggie treats.

  7. It’ interesting how ‘cooking from scratch’ can be interpreted.
    To me it simply means independence. I no longer have to worry about manufacturers or retailers deleting my favourite meal mixers etc. And provided I keep basics such as you suggest in my pantry I no longer have to say, ‘Oh, I can’t make that, I don’t have the packet mix available.

  8. “I almost always cook from scratch. I eliminated most of the processed foods from our meals, I was taught this in cooking classes, and now I apply these skills almost every day.

    I also wanted to keep my cooking video blog, but realized that I do not know how to mount the video and it caused me great difficulties, so I understand you :)”

  9. We have a woman who’s the girlfriend of one of my group members who can’t cook at all. Nothing nada zip. We all can cook regardless of gender though some are much better than others.
    What I’ve noticed is a trend away from it with younger city people who are using grubhub and all the other services to eat every meal and don’t cook hardly at all if at all. I’ve got a neighbor who’s a single mom that has everything delivered to the kid at home.
    My folks divorced when I was 9. I had my own recipe book made by mom and started cooking then. It’s a skill that I take for granted till I’ve thought about it recently.
    My granddaughter has started cooking with me when they visit and cooks with her dad who’s the primary at home. We’ve got to teach it and pass it along.

    1. Hi Matt, it’s really sad that so many people have food delivered. I realize the other side is the people who are working to make food so it can be delivered. My parents divorced as well. I was about 9 as well. My sisters and I did all the cooking, we took the laundry to a laundromat a few blocks away. In a good way, we were taught to take care of ourselves literally from morning until night. We really do take this skill for granted. Linda

  10. Linda,

    Since I am a committed carnivore, I’d add fresh meat and fish to your cook from scratch list.

    And anything that contains oats, wheat or other grains should be stored with O2 absorbers in your airtight containers to prevent the weevils from hatching.

    1. HI Ray, oh I hear you on the meat, carnivore!! LOL! Mark asked me the other day when I was making vegetarian chili, when are you adding the ground beef? LOL! Great reminder on 02 absorbers, thank you! Linda

  11. We cook from scratch. Larry cooks more than I do now that we’re retired. He makes the best fried chicken. Even my BFF says so.
    I bought the biggest container of Chili powder I’ve ever seen yesterday. I also bought 10 lbs of white rice and 5 lbs of dried pintos. We’ll be having beans and rice soon. I love rice. With gravy or whatever else on top. It’s also a great meal stretcher. I need to make some crackers. I only like wheat crackers though. Larry likes the regular ones.
    My youngest daughter and my son both Cook from scratch. My oldest daughter, not so much.

    1. Hi Deborah, I love chili powder, glad you picked up more rice and beans, we can never have too much. I love rice with butter or gravy as well. I hope people learn how to cook sooner than later. And stock up on food now. Linda

      1. I hope they they learn to cook soon as well. It’s going to be necessary way too soon. I have to admit that I do use my CrockPot and InstantPot a lot. But it’s still scratch cooking. LOL

        1. Hi Deborah, oh that’s cooking from scratch! I had to order another crockpot because mine is in a storage unit. I thought my daughter had one. I’m living with my daughter and her husband while Mark and I wait to build a small home on her property, I thought I mentioned that to you, not sure. LOL! Luckily she has everything else because she cooks from scratch. I totally agree I hope people learn to cook from scratch, yikes! Fingers crossed they do! Linda

          1. Hi Linda. Did you know it takes about 30 minutes to cook dried beans in an InstaPot? And they are just as good as cooking all day. Love me some Pinto beans and cornbread.

          2. InstaPot beans.
            Linda, if they’re older beans, you might want to cook them a little longer. I made them for Christmas with Ham and mashed potatoes. We did turkey and all for Thanksgiving. I grew up eating beans and cornbread and some kind of potatoes, usually mashed or stewed. Sliced sweet onion, and slice tomatoes, in season. It can’t get better than that.

          3. Hi Deborah, it’s actually a blessing we grew up eating potatoes, beans, and cornbread. #1 we know how to cook and we know how to stretch meals. OH, I love onions and tomatoes on everything! Love it, Linda

  12. If you are a chocolate lover then please do not buy Hershey’s cocoa. I know it is easily available at the grocery store and even Costco. If you buy good quality cocoa powder like Ramstadt or cocoa from a restaurant supply (Salt Lake has Orson Gygi’s and Bakers Cash & Carry) it will be a total game changer in your cooking. It is especially wonderful in chocolate cakes and homemade hot cocoa and you’ll never go back. Once you’ve made homemade cocoa you won’t be able to stand the instant store bought stuff. The price from the local stores is not bad. carries good quality cooking supplies.

  13. Linda, it’s always a joy to read your articles and all the comments. But, please, do you think you will do your FB page again? Or could one of your admins start one? I’ve very much missed this!

    1. Hi Wendy, you are so nice. I was spending about 4 hours a day on the FB group and my blog takes about 8 hours a day. It was frustrating to see the same questions asked over and over again in the FB group. You and a handful made the group great but I allowed some into the group that made my day overwhelming. I wonder how I could cut back the ones that do not take the time to look at previous answers? I would love any advice. Linda

      1. I agree with the same questions issue. I wonder if people don’t know how to look backward at previous posts? I still love this blog and learn something Everytime I read it and the comments. Thank you for continuing this. Peace, girlfriend.

  14. Linda,

    I saw on here you liked Delish dehydrated vegetable mix , and I went and bought it but I don’t know what to do with it, I have a hard time figuring the amounts of dehydrated veggies to use. Do you have a recipe to make soup using this vegetable mix? Would you put some in the soup?


    1. Hi Ramona, I love the Delish dehydrated vegetables. I would start with a little and add more after you have used it a few times. I’m still unboxing my “stuff” from moving. I add them to omelets, soups, lasagna, or anything I want a little extra “veggies” in. Start with a little, next time you can add more if you like more. They are just dehydrated vegetables that need water to hydrate them. I add them to sour cream for dips, I love them. Linda P.S. I wrote this post on Soup in a Jar:

  15. I won’t add to my former comment!! But I did read some of the other comments and someone mentioned cheese. I watch a YouTube channel called Homesteading Family. She has one video on making all her dairy in 2 hours. I don’t recall if she and her family milk their own cows but she had something like 6 gallons of raw milk and in a 2 hour process she made yogurt (well that takes overnight in the instant pot), butter, soft (cream cheese like) cheese, sour cream, cultured buttermilk and a harder cheese – she called cheddar. I know that cheddaring takes a lot longer than 2 hours but she had all the initial processing done in 2 hours. Yogurt takes overnight and aging the “cheddar” cheese are not included in that 2 hours. It might be a good video to watch if you have your own cows to milk or have access to raw milk.

    1. Hi Leanne, great tips on making cheese or yogurt if you have a cow. It’s amazing the skills we can learn from YouTube. I get nervous with the canning YouTubes, so many are not canning safely. But, I know what’s safe and what is not. I remember the first time I saw raw milk and it had all that cream on top, I was probably 10 at the time. The milk had a blue tinge as I remember. What a blessing it would be to have even a mini farm. Life is good! Linda

  16. Great post Linda! My mom couldn’t boil water so I decided at a very young age that I would learn to cook. Watched my grandmother’s and great grandmother and learned to cook from them. They were wonderful cooks. My sister can’t cook, never was interested in learning, so when I visit her, my brother-in-law knows I’ll be cooking up a storm. Plus I always bring some hot salsa and cowboy candy for him that I’ve canned.

    1. Hi Paula, thank you for your kind words, my sweet friend! Cooking from scratch is a great skill! I love hearing you will be cooking up a storm! Your family will love it! Linda

  17. Hello Everyone
    I wanted say I started cooking at age 10. Mom to died un expectable so dad work and I had a younger brother to feed. There was not a lot of boxed food available, so it was up to me to make the meals. and I did with what we had, I caught by reading on reading the betty crock recipe book. Made some changes and never had any complaints Still have the book and Now can and dehydrate. about 75% of what the wife and me.

    1. Hi Mike, wow, I’m so sorry you lost your mom at such a young age, my friend. You are right back in the day there was very little boxed foods. We all had to cook from scratch and they didn’t call it that back then I don’t think. LOL! We just cooked and baked with what we had in the house. Oh the famous Betty Crocker cookbook!! Oh my gosh, we all still have ours, right???? Now you can and dehydrate food, blessings to you and your wife! Good job, Linda

  18. Great post. I opened my email today and saw this.I 99.5% of the time cook “from scratch”. there are a few things no one in the family(DH included) will not eat so I get to have a treat as the Hubs will take me out to our local restaurant that carries the food I like. Had to laugh as last night I made quick homemade chicken noodle soup for DH and I for dinner. I took the rest of the rotisserie chicken we had, stripped it(put the bones in the freezer for later). Use a 32 oz box of vegetable broth, added the chicken, carrots, onion and celery that I chopped up in a big pot and set it to simmer with herbs along with some chicken bouillon I had.I cook the noodles till just done separately then added them to the soup after it had simmered awhile.Only problem is I always make too much LOL. The rest of the soup is now in my half gallon jar in the fridge. The weather is pretty cold now so a good bowl of hot soup usually goes down great.
    Oh Linda, wanted to ask you, master canner, can I put the half gallon jars in my pressure canner and can in them or are they too big? I mean the jars will fit in the canner but I was wondering about the volume and whether or not they would be safe?I was primarily asking because I thought they would do good for juice or broths.

    1. Hi Kathy, oh my gosh, I love your story today!! You are like me, I start cooking and the pot gets bigger! LOL! I’m glad you asked abut the 1/2 gallons mason jars, they ARE NOT SAFE to can for a few reasons, the biggest reason, is the heat cannot pressure the inners (the food) inside the jars to the temperatures it needs to be safe to can. Please use them for storing dry goods, etc. Stay safe, Linda

      1. Thanks Linda, I will continue to use them for my dry goods(beans,pasta,etc).As always I have learned so much from you and everyone here.

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