Cooking from scratch is an obsession for me. I am not sure when I began to have the mind set that things must be from scratch. It just seems that I have always been that way. Perhaps I am genetically predispositioned to be obsessive about food, considering I come from a long line of women who knew what they were doing in the kitchen!
Growing and producing our own food is not only a more healthy way of living, but has also provided me with the quality ingredients that I would not be able to find if we did not have it all right here on the farm. For instance, I never bought real butter from the grocery store as we consumed the cheapest margarine spread that I could find on sale. Now because of the dairy cows we own, I make my own butter. The milk also provides me the means to have real whipped cream on a whim, or cottage cheese as much as I please! I also love experimenting with making hard cheese, sour cream, yogurt and icecream.
I would say that cooking from scratch is probably one of the most basic homestead skills. My obsession with getting back to the basics is even deeper than just producing food from scratch. I tend to have a deep desire to know and understsand how to live life as it was lived in simpler times. I guess that is why living in Alaska and experiencing first hand life without running water or automatic heat was such an adventure for me. I wanted to truly understand not only HOW individuals lived life with fewer frills, but I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.
Whether it's learning to make soap, sewing a quilt, braiding a rug, preserving food or a host of other homestead skills, I have the need to know and conquer. The intensity of this need is as undaunted as the spirit of one who successfully climbs Mt. Everest. Where this desire originated, I have not a clue.
I must admit, there are times now that I am no longer in my twenties, that I wish it would subside just long enough for me to grab a frozen dinner and pop it in the microwave and take a break from all the work! Ah, but then instead of enjoying the luxury of not standing over the stove for hours, I would be fixating on how I could make my own pre-packaged frozen dinners from scratch!
(Note: Picture of rolls and cinnamon buns made from my own cultured buttermilk, butter, blueberry jam and deviled eggs from my free range hens.)