This morning I had an email from Vince with a link to an article about 8 dips that use the lowest quality ingredients. Last week he sent a link with ice creams that use the lowest quality ingredients. Last week we were in Walmart and Vince picked up a bag of bagels that appeared to be not marked down but the regular price. He said “These are $2 a bag . . you can’t make them for that can you?” I said “No . . put them back . . why would we eat bagels that cost $2 per bag?” Of course, he bought them and was delighted when they rang up at $1.
My grandma made homemade biscuits and homemade bread but my parents bought bread. I don’t know if they had artisan bread in the stores back when I was a kid . . maybe in cities, but for us it was bread that was 29 cents a loaf and it tasted nothing like homemade bread. I know this happened: Someone made all their own bread, then realized they could buy it in the store so they bought it for the first time. What did they think when they tasted it? They had to think . . this isn’t very good compared to homemade but it sure saves time and I don’t have to heat up the kitchen in July to make bread. Maybe they had five hungry boys and couldn’t possibly make enough homemade bread to keep the peanut butter & jelly sandwiches flowing.
I have to believe it was the convenience factor that caused people to go from making their own bread to buying those inexpensive loaves of bread, and not taste or nutrition.
When Vince says “Let’s go out and get pizza today”, I’d be a whole lot more likely to go if we were going somewhere that had homemade crust, sauce, pizza made to order with the ingredients we want and I’d be willing to pay $30 for a pizza because I know how much time and money it takes to make a good quality pizza at home. Vince is happier to go to a $9.99 buffet that has all you can eat pizza, with salad and wings and the drink is included.
Maybe it’s the bullheadedness in me that I can’t say .. the food wasn’t great but I didn’t have to cook it and I don’t have to wash the dishes and be happy with it. I’m pretty happy to go out and get inexpensive Mexican food because I don’t have a benchmark for really great Mexican food. I don’t make it home much and other than beans or fajitas, most inexpensive Mexican food is better than what I can make at home because I’m not so good at cooking Mexican.
So, when Vince is surprised that low cost ingredients are in a jar of salsa at the store, or a carton of refrigerated dip, I want to say “Make it at home!
When I was growing up in the 60’s, we had one little grocery store in our town and it was really small . . not just small but really small. If you wanted a can of green beans, you probably had two choices – the store brand or Del Monte. No French cut. No “no salt added”. No green beans with potatoes. No whole green beans in a can . . just green beans, which until I was well into being adult, I didn’t know anything about green beans other than cut in either a can for the store or in a jar my grandma grew and canned.
My parents never had much extra money so we didn’t buy things that weren’t essential. If we wanted ice cream, several neighbors or friends would come over on the weekend, bring their hand crank ice cream makers and their pitcher of ice cream to be churned; the adults would sit outside – the ladies would chat while the men cranked out the ice cream and the kids were catching turtles in the pond or ride our bikes down the dead end street we lived on. Who makes their own ice cream any more? We don’t even have a real ice cream churn. I don’t even know if they still sell ice cream salt in the stores. Now I want a hand crank ice cream maker! 🙂
We love this bread and I made it this weekend. Vince buys a seeded bread sometimes at Aldi and it’s a good bread but the homemade is much better. It has cracked wheat, suggests einkorn but I used mostly spelt in this batch. It has a lot of seeds – sunflower, flax, sesame seeds. It’s really good and tastes healthy if you can eat that many seeds without problems. It makes a huge loaf. Vince asked me how much I thought it cost to make that bread – more than $5 per loaf. Probably considering all the seeds. The recipe calls for 2 cups of buttermilk. While I try to be somewhat frugal with our meals, cost isn’t the deciding factor . . at least not for me.
I guess my whole point is this: If you’re buying something in the store and it’s going to cost $1 but you know you couldn’t make it at home for less than $6 . . don’t be surprised to learn the ingredients are less than the best.