Yesterday for my post on how to make a “homemade” pumpkin pie the question of what makes something homemade came up. If you asked that question over a hundred years ago, pretty much everything was made from scratch and probably grown where you live. But what does it mean today?
Seven years ago my husband did not think that my apple pie made in a store-bought frozen pie crust was homemade since it was the crust that mattered to him. I could have grown the apples in our backyard and extract the sugar from sugar cane, it would not have mattered. The crust of a pie was what defined homemade for him.
If I make baklava with store-bought phyllo dough, is it not homemade? Or do I have to make and stretch out the dough on my living room floor for it to be considered made from scratch? If you use canned tomatoes for your spaghetti sauce that you season yourself and reduce on the stove for hours, does that make it not homemade? Do you have to make your own mozzarella for your lasagna to be homemade?
Is homemade always better? On the episode of Sugar where I watched Anna Olson make her pumpkin pie she stated that it was better to use canned pumpkin than roasting it yourself and as someone who has actually roasted a whole pumpkin myself, I agree with her. She said that getting the right consistency and making sure all the water is removed is just one of those steps the modern kitchen can do without. Canned pumpkin is truly just cooked pumpkin in a can, you add the flavourings, you make the filling.
Personally, I figure that if you make one component of the meal by hand and it means that you are eating less out of a cardboard box then you are one step closer to better health and tastier food. Homemade for me means I realistically do what I can for my love to get from my kitchen into my food.
What does homemade mean to you?