Everything is Homemade!
What makes us make our own ice creams, breads and yoghurts?
Are you one of those people who take their bread machine with them on vacation? Have you also taken the sorbet maker with the red cover and the cord which goes past the freezer out of the cupboard? In fact, many of us have surrendered to calls for “homemade” foods in a return to old machines or to the latest new items that allow us to make our own yoghurts, ice creams and fresh pasta.
Perhaps you remember the orange sorbet your mother made using the round sorbet maker with the red cover, with removable blades that turned inside the freezer until the ice cream “held firm”. The electrical cord plugged into the outlet was stuck in the refrigerator joint, and the little recipe book was stained by the passage of time.
Nevertheless, you took it out of its cupboard, even though it hadn't been used for ages. And at yard sales, the old yoghurt maker that no one wanted a few years ago became a hot item!
Do you wonder why now, when we have so little time, we are passionate about “homemade food”?
Let's take the yoghurt maker: into the 6 glass jars, pour whole milk mixed with a good yoghurt made the old-fashioned way or with rennet, then turn it on overnight: Since it takes 12 hours to make 6 yoghurts, saving time is not what we're looking for in our new passion. On the other hand, it is such a pleasure to personalise them by adding your homemade jelly in the bottom, or some powdered cinnamon! If they remain plain, you can be satisfied with the simple fact that you're making an ancestral recipe yourself that even our grandmothers didn't make. We always bought our yoghurts and white cheeses. Making them at home is to “play” at cooking like adults playing with electric trains: It's fun to watch the yoghurts become firm and to eat what you made.
Manufacturers, strengthened by this fascination for homemade foods, have placed their bets on machines that go along with our enthusiasm, even beyond our expectations. Lagrange now offers a yoghurt maker which also works for making white cheeses. We might even see a cheese ripening machine on the market soon that will make it possible to recreate a cellar at home to ripen our rounds of Beaufort.
Bread machines are other machines rising in popularity. Indispensable to fans and heavily criticized by purists, the bread machine makes loaves that are like cubes, they are baked by resistance very closely surrounding the dough. On the other hand, manufacturers have imagined new possibilities: different shapes, weights and browning of the flexible crust, etc.
To prepare your bread, you need to have 3 to 4 hours between the time when the ingredients are in the kneading machine and when they are removed from the pan. In addition, the ingredients (special flour for bread machines) are an investment almost equal to the price of buying bread at a bakery: So, it is faster and not less expensive to buy your bread than it is to make it.
It is also simpler to buy an ice cream at the supermarket than it is to churn it yourself. Magimix or Philips offer ice cream makers for which the vat must be placed in the freezer several hours in advance. Then, you have to make a syrup (for sorbet) or a custard (for ice cream) and churn it in the very cold vat for about 30 minutes. Here again, we can imagine inventive flavours not found in shops, or a sorbet made with verbena from the garden. It is the same for jellies, where we use the neighbour's apricots combined with lavender honey from our friend the beekeeper, or fresh pasta coloured with tomato pulp. So, could it be this freedom in flavouring and personalization that drives us to make everything ourselves?
Above all, it seems our first motivation when we're making homemade foods is to go back to essentials, to recipes we no longer know how to make ourselves: Bread, yoghurt, ice cream… We have always purchased them and it's fun for us to try them.
Or we believe it will be the best if it's homemade, and often that isn't true: We have to admit that the professionals do it better!