April 20, 2009

When will I be a "proper" cook?

I don't know about you, but there are some things that although you can buy it in the shops, if you can also make your own home-made version, you feel like a "proper" cook.... there are some such things I'd like to make, they include the following:
  • Jam - I really want to try and make apricot jam, and I think it'd be cool to try pear jam as well. I don't know why I want to make these when they are readily available at the shops (ok, I have only seen one brand that makes pear jam). Can anyone recommend a recipe?
  • Passionfruit curd - no idea what I'll use it for yet, but I want to give it a go
  • Yogurt - Just so I can make up my own flavours like pear and coconut.
  • Preserved lemons - I don't know why & I don't know what I'll use it for!
  • Home-made ravioli and pasta - Just so I can say I have made it and see if it really tastes any better than the store-bought version
Such things would also probably include making your own butter and cheese, but I think I'll pass on these and keep buying them in the shops (not so exciting...)
What about you? Is there anything you want to make that would make you feel like a "proper" cook?
I have more things to blog, but no time at the moment, so I will leave you here for now. I made pear pikelets the other day, they were so good! I will blog the recipe next time....


Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Homemade pasta is worth the effort - it's nicer than any shop-bought. Making homemade bread was one of my "proper" cook things, so was ice cream and homemade jelly, and I've made them all now. But there are lots of things I'm yet to attempt - proper macarons for one thing and I'd love to have a go at jam one day! :)

Sumara said...

I'd like to master pastry. At the moment I'm even hopeless at biscuit crusts.

I think my main problem though is that I just don't have enough concentrated time. My kitchen time is constantly interrupted so while I can cook pretty much anything, I can't do it all that well. That's my excuse anyway!

I don't so much aim to be a "proper cook" as a "provider". Making homemeade stuff like bread and muffins etc for my kids is very satisfying. And a big reason for that is because the results are so much fresher and healtheir than shop-bought ones. No preservatives or random crazy additives. I've been meaning to get back into baking bread. Fresh, preservative-free bread from a baker is starting to get stupidly expensive.

HayleyB said...

Laura - thanks for the info on homemade pasta. I definitely have to try it. Ooh, yes, bread was a "proper" cook thing for me too. I have made homemade icecream once (the Margarita one from Nigella Express - yum!). What counts as a proper macaroon? I haven't made them yet, but it's on my list! :)

Sumara - Pastry, that's a good one... I suppose with lots of interruptions it'd be easier to make things that you could break down into little bits, like bread: knead dough, rise (which doesn't require your attention), knead again, rise again, bake. It just feels like it takes all day, but it's worth it in the end right? It's very true that homemade stuff is so much better (and satisfying!), no random additives etc, and the taste is better of course! For the record, I think you do a fantastic job at being a "provider" for your family.