Victory is Not Always Homemade

[Pic courtesy Glad to see they're triumph-dumping the Gatorade, rather than drinking it]

My kids tell me up to one-third of their classmates will miss school today to attend the Seahawks victory parade. It's all part of the spirit of oneness (or Twelfthness) and camaraderie that has swept the region these past few weeks. We're all winners! We can wear jerseys that do not embarrass us or excite the the pity or condescension of other sports fans around the country (save that experience for Mariners season)! We all watched that game, we all screamed ourselves silly, we all berated a Broncos fan among our friends and relations, and we all--I'm going out on a limb here--ate the same storebought foods/snacks from Costco.

I'm serious. I'd love to do a region-wide poll. Did you have the pulled pork? Check. The meatballs? Check. The guacamole and seven-layer dip? Check. The spinach-artichoke dip? The tortilla chips. Uh-huh. I made and brought a five-layer dip to the party we attended, but I suspect it was one of just three homemade items on the groaning buffet table.

What would we do without Costco and Trader Joe's?

Don't get me wrong. I just went to TJ's yesterday and loaded up on cereal and the other processed foods that I can't/won't reproduce at home. Yes, I could make my own crackers, but what a pain in the behind! And as for making "Shredded Spoonfuls," forget it.

You remember I checked out this book from the library:

It really got my hopes up, and I've looked through it and tried a few things, and here is my review:

1. If you're the kind of person who likes to READ cookbooks, rather than actually get around to making things out of them, you'll like this one. Practically all the Goodreads reviews are about how the reviewer enjoyed reading it. I am not a cookbook reader. I skip all the things that aren't recipes or pictures. Even the fact that each recipe had a subtitle like "Yellow Cake - or - The Gift" kinda drove me nuts.

2. The children in this family are so lucky. Their mom makes them Pop-Tarts, even (that cover pic!)! I flipped through, especially interested in the dairy products, but I could see that about 90 of the 101 Foods I Can Stop Buying & Start Making were going to stay firmly in the Still Buying & Not Making column. I will do homemade pizza and yogurt and bread and roasted nuts, but there is not world enough or time for me to tackle homemade mozzarella, Pop-Tarts, graham crackers, fruit leather, or Twinkies.

3. I am giving up again on homemade sour cream. I've tried it twice and hoped to do a post on it, but both times it was not good. The yogurt was another matter, and I'm now a homemade convert.

4. We have certainly enjoyed Chernila's recipe for Mixed Roasted Nuts at least as much as Deborah Madison's recipe and very nearly as much as my friend Sarah's recipe.

All of which is to say, there will always be a place for Costco and Trader Joe's in my heart and pocketbook because there will always be those processed foods I can't bring myself (or my family) to give up. I will say proudly that we've stopped with the sport drinks, even the so-called "Vitamin" Waters I was letting the kids have at swim meets. (Tons of sugar in those things--best to reserve them for pouring over people in moments of victory.) Instead we're bringing homemade hot chocolate in a thermos, where I put in only about 2/3 the sugar the recipe on the cocoa tin calls for.

The cold temps today call for just such a thermos, if you plan on turning out for the parade. Go Seahawks!