March 23, 2023

It's Hard To Make Everything From Scratch... But It's Fun Trying

Preparing to make vegetarian sushi.

"Cooking (from scratch) is the single most important thing we could do as a family to improve our health and general well-being."

- Michael Pollan

Linda and I have a long term goal in the kitchen - make everything we eat from scratch. 

What we have found that we can't make everything from scratch, but it is fun to see how much we can make ourselves.

Pizza - we make the dough, the sauce, and cut the toppings, but buy the mozzarella. We don't make cheese... yet.

We have learned that most foods are easy to make. Time and labour intensive, maybe, but not complicated.

Cooking this way is challenging, but also very satisfying. We like to be as self-sufficient as we can be in the kitchen, and everywhere else. 

Fresh garden veggies can be used in a variety of dishes.

We also like saving money, and with food prices inflating at levels not seen for decades, now is a good time to know how to do stuff for yourself instead of relying on corporations padding their bottom line.

For us cooking from scratch is ultimately an investment in good health.

Growing and processing food and preparing meals is often the most fulfilling part of our days.

Greek lunch - we make the hummus, pita bread, za' star spice, and tzatzki. We didn't grow the olives.

Food can be poison, or it can be medicine. 

That is why are taking control of what we eat.

For us, doing as much as we can ourselves is the best way to do that.

Our latest made from scratch foods? Vegan mayonnaise and peanut butter. 

Next on our list? Mustard, and other nut butters (almond and cashew). After that we will take on pirogies, and we have always wanted to try making pasta.

We have been making our own skim milk yogurt for years.

Fun. Rewarding. And very, very yummy.

Best of all, it is one of the most powerful preventive health measures one can take at home on your own.

We figure we either have to make time to cook wholesome healthy foods, or make time for a doctor appointment. 

Eww. Does anyone like having to do that?


  1. Wow! You and Linda are doing an amazing job making all that delicious food! MUCH better for you and cheaper than buying it. We love pita bread and hummus. I make both and they are incredible. I often make mine with steamed or boiled kumara/pumpkin (which we grow), flour and a bit of salt. Done. I also make fermented mustard and more recently, fermented mayo. We do use whey for that (from home made cream cheese) and eggs from our super spoiled chooks. It's such a freeing feeling having the knowledge on how to do these things ourselves and being able to pass on that knowledge to our children. It saves huge amounts of $$$ and just makes us slightly less reliant on the industrial system.
    Imagine if we could have a Not Buying Anything pot luck picnic sometime? I bet the food on offer would be incredible :)

    1. Anonymous3/23/2023

      We love the idea of a Not Buying Anything pot luck, and would love to share your fermented condiments. We have never heard of either of those and am intrigued and drooling a bit. Also cream cheese. Yum.

      - Gregg

  2. Hi Greg, the cream cheese is simply yoghurt strained through a cheesecloth & sieve over a bowl in a fridge over night (collect the whey and use it in the fermented mustard etc). The next day I bring it out, line a small glass lidded container with a new cheesecloth, squish the thickened 'yoghurt' into it and smooth it down, fold the cheesecloth back over the top and pop the lid on and place back into fridge. Leave for as long as possible- about a week but we open after 4 days or so lol. The new dry cheesecloth soaks up any excess water/whey and you're left with cream cheese :) You can add herbs and salt if you wish but I don't bother.
    With the fermented mustard, I follow Mary's Nest's recipe- she ferments EVERYTHING and it's really fun going down the rabbit hole. I've done beans and tomatoes as well! She's on youtube and has a great website as well. I'm like you and Linda- I love trying new ways of doing things in the kitchen and I believe it definitely keeps me and my family healthier :)

  3. Anonymous3/24/2023

    You might look into making vegan cheeses from scratch. The ones I've tried are not hard and taste good. There are a lot of recipes out there on the internet, and one website I recommend is It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken. She's very inventive.

    1. Ooops - I didn't mean to leave that comment as anonymous without leaving my name.

  4. Once or twice a year I cruise the inner aisles of the supermarket up the road - it's like visiting a foreign country; the ingredient lists read like an alien language. Growing up, a bowl of white macaroni (does anyone else remember five pound boxes of Splendor brand elbow macaroni?) tossed with margarine, salt and pepper, with maybe a couple hotdogs thrown in to make a Sunday dinner, was standard fare. I love finding and cooking real food - it's been a challenge this winter finding things like cabbage and carrots that aren't imported from Mexico or Guatemala so, maddeningly, I've been comprising "can be grown locally" for "locally grown." Le sigh.

  5. Anonymous6/14/2023

    Random place for a comment but here it is. Thank you SO much for being who and what you are and know that I am grateful to call you friends....fellow travelers, the real deal. Love you. Mike


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