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Help Me Start A Movement: Retake Homemade

June 25, 2010

I have been a lousy excuse for a food blogger lately.  I fully admit it.  Life has gotten away from me and I’ve been doing good to post one or two new recipes a week for you.  I promise I’m going to strive to be better about that.  Hubby is working on learning to walk again, so I’m being freed up some from the additional responsibilities that have fallen to me since he broke his leg.  Word to the wise, don’t break a leg.  Recovery sucks.  But that’s not actually what I wanted to talk about today.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, starting initially when I ran across a commercial for one of those convenience meals in a box that they sell at the grocery stores.  It had the slogan “Today’s homemade.”

Holy puff pastry, y’all, I cannot tell you how absolutely horrified I am by that concept.  That there are people out there who a) think that  that constitutes homemade, b) who eat nothing but convenience foods because they think that they are easier, cheaper, and possibly healthier (what ARE they smoking?) and c) who have no concept how incredibly full of preservatives, sodium, and other not-good-for-you-things such “convenience” meals are.

People think that cooking is hard, period.  And they think cooking from scratch is harder than opening these packages and cans.  What, do they think we foodies chain ourselves to the stove and sweat over our meals every night?  Do they think we don’t have jobs and families and other responsibilities?  Please.  I don’t have time to slave.  My hubby will tell you I don’t do it more than once a week, if that.  Yet I put a real, homemade, from scratch meal on the table almost every night of the week (we’re human, we order pizza and chinese and deli takeout from time to time too).

Am I proposing that we turn all those non-cooking people into foodies?  No.  Am I proposing we teach them how to make fois gras and boeuf wellington?  No.

I am proposing that we start a movement, people!  To teach people that good food does not have to be complicated or come from a box.  That you can put a meal using fresh, healthy ingredients on the table in the same amount or less time than it takes to open those boxes and cans and microwave dinners :shudder:  To show them that it doesn’t have to be complicated or creepy or topped with freaking potato chips (seriously y’all, someone recently suggested to me a casserole topped with Cheetos, ugh!).  I want to start a movement wherein we RETAKE THE TERM HOMEMADE!

How do I propose we do this?  Well, I have a few ideas.

1) I propose we foodies all adopt a Twitter hashtag of #retakehomemade for any time we are talking about easy, simple recipes.

2) I propose we challenge ourselves to come up with recipes in 140 characters or less (yeah I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s a thought).  Something along the lines of “burrito filling: chicken breasts, jar of salsa, pack of taco seasoning, crock pot 6 hours low  #retakehomemade”.  That comes out to about 110 characters.

3) I propose that I host a weekly roundup (maybe on Saturdays) here at Pots and Plots, similar to Ruth’s Presto Pasta Nights.  Y’all would send me the link to your post and the image for that week.  If it catches on then we could do a rotating host, again like PPN.  The focus here is on everyday meals that even the most harried housewife could throw together after a long day at work (or in the crock pot before work), using simple ingredients that would be found in  your local small-town Walmart or grocery store.

Are you with me? :imagines roaring, enthusiastic crowd:

Comment if you’re in!  And if you’re really in, share this post with others via Twitter, Facebook, and those other things I never remember to use.  Actually even if you’re not in, pass it on anyway.  A movement needs PEOPLE.  Pass it on to all your friends who cook.  If you’re a food blogger, feel free to COPY THIS POST to inform people (with attribution and links back here, of course).  I have already copied this post into a permanent page (see up there–Retake Homemade on the menu bar).  Please link back to: I will refine and update it once details are formalized, but the link won’t change.

C’mon y’all, let’s get cooking!

28 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2010 3:27 pm

    As you know, I’m not much of one to write things down and I don’t like to cook–but even I know that boxed dinner is gross and that cooking from scratch is neither rocket science hard or ship in a bottle tedious. Sheesh. Count on me for some retweets and definitely for some reaping of the benefits of that come out of this. Easy recipes that don’t start with Open a box of… Woohoo!

  2. Lauralynn Elliott permalink
    June 25, 2010 3:38 pm

    Yum! Homemade food!

  3. June 25, 2010 4:20 pm

    I am totally in!!! I have been on this soap box for several years now! I will be linking back to this from my blog and sropping on both my personal and fan page of FB. I don’t twitter, so that lets me out there, but keep me in the loop I am very into taking it all back! I have a great new mini washable cookbook in my etsy shop as well ( – that IS a Great fit for this project! Thanks for raising this topic!

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      June 25, 2010 4:28 pm

      Oh great, cause I hate Facebook and we need somebody to represent and stuff 😀

  4. June 25, 2010 4:40 pm

    I love the whole idea of Retaking Homemade. I think that if people actually paused for a moment to actually think about what they are eating, what they are spending on ‘convenience’ food they would be shocked and given the sodium, sugar and fat in processed food they’d have heart attacks shortly thereafter.

    Alice Waters is one of my favorite Chefs – the idea of simple, healthy, seasonal (cheap) cooking really is one worth being evangelical about.

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      June 25, 2010 4:42 pm

      OH I’ll have to check her out. I love seasonal cooking!

  5. June 25, 2010 5:34 pm

    I’m in! Though I probably won’t remember to post every week. I’m trying really hard to menu plan and cook more basic things at home that kids will enjoy.

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      June 25, 2010 6:35 pm

      You absolutely don’t have to post every week, just whenever you’ve got something to share!

  6. June 25, 2010 7:07 pm

    I have been on board with this idea for years now. Teaching people to cook is my mission. Can you do a recipe in a tweet? If you understand technique you sure can.

    Bechamel Sauce, add cheese.
    fold in cooked pasta.

    There it’s mac n cheese in under 40 characters. Now just make it, easy. All you need to know is how to make that one mother sauce and you have dinner. You don’t need a recipe for that.

  7. June 25, 2010 7:10 pm

    Woot woot! Everything I ingest is homemade! I’m so in.

  8. June 25, 2010 8:15 pm

    I soo agree with you. But I’m not on Twitter! Let me think of a recipe…
    Salmon, olive oil, lemon, dill in a pan in the toaster oven for 35 minutes at 250.

    The next tweet would be – add rice, salad of diced cucumber and tomato and onion with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

    Yum yum!

  9. June 25, 2010 10:38 pm

    I’ll hop on board Kait. I usually post a recipe on Fridays. You may also want to check out Her goal is to feed her family of 4 for $5 per dinner.

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      June 25, 2010 10:43 pm

      I am familiar with her, actually. 🙂

  10. June 25, 2010 11:22 pm

    I thought that Stauffers commercial was disturbing as well. I am trying to do more homemade stuff too. Although occasionally I give into the boxed pizzas for my 12 year old son. He seems to eat too much these days. And he can eat a whole one of those for a snack. But I do try and get a homemade dinner on the table most nights. I will twitter and paste the post onto my food blog.

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      June 26, 2010 1:38 am

      Teenaged (or nearly so) boys and their appetites are mysterious things which probably involve stomachs and black holes.

  11. June 26, 2010 7:22 am

    Good for you! I have been doing a “Make Your Own Monday” on my blog since January of this year. It’s been a great success (especially my homemade poptarts – I got 1300 hits in one day for that – I almost fell over!!!). There are a lot of people who want to give up the convenience habit, but don’t know where to start! I’d love to help host if you decide to start up a meme.

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      June 26, 2010 8:49 am

      I’m a bit on the fence about whether to do a rotating host or just pick a day, say “this is the day” and then have like a Mr. Linky meme thing everybody can copy so people could stumble on it from all over the place. That might get more visibility.

  12. June 27, 2010 7:45 pm

    Oh wow, I’m so in! I found my way here from Pantry Eats, and I’m glad I found you! And I love that this soapbox is apparently big enough for lots of us to climb on in our own corners of the blogosphere.

    I don’t Tweet, but I’d love to get into this via ordinary posts…WONDERFUL idea! Go you!

  13. June 28, 2010 6:04 pm

    Found you via twitter. I’m totally in!

  14. June 28, 2010 7:22 pm

    I tried a few recipes (even tweeted one) in 140 chars or less. It’s easier than I thought. The one I tweeted was:

    Pesto #retakehomemade 6 clves garlic+2c.fresh basil+1c.walnuts+6tb.parmesan+1/3c. olive oil. Cuisinart, mix with hot spag. Yum!

  15. Leana permalink
    June 28, 2010 10:42 pm

    You’re channeling Jamie Oliver, Girl. I’m in, not much comes from a box at my place (so where does all the garbage materialise from?). Forget the slow cooker & get a pressure cooker. They’re super fast or turn on for minutes then let it cook in retained heat and more vitamins retained

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      June 29, 2010 6:28 am

      I am under your tutelage on that one, lady. I confess that a pressure cooker is the one kitchen appliance I have been afraid of and never tried (not like I have room for one more single piece of cooking equipment that isn’t a spoon or something in my kitchen).

  16. Leana permalink
    June 29, 2010 5:55 pm

    laughs, yes I’ve given myself permanent dishwasher unpacking duty as no one else would be able to fit what I’ve got back in, if they dont have a copy of the dish stacking for origami masters manual.

  17. June 30, 2010 8:25 am

    I thought of Jamie Oliver and his food revolution too – but hey, the more of us the merrier!
    I was always scared of pressure cookers after my mom told me she blew the lid off one once and sprayed soup all over the ceiling. Yet she kept on using them, and in an effort to cook like her – and because we got one as a wedding gift – I’m trying to use mine as often as I can. It’s great not only for soups but for olive oil drenched Mediterranean dishes like this one
    Forget simmering for an hour! It only takes 15 minutes or so in the pressure cooker!
    Now if only I’d unwrap our slow cooker and start learning how to use that…

  18. July 2, 2010 9:12 pm

    I’m not sure how I wound up following you on Twitter, but glad I did. I’m not in charge of the kitchen here, but I’m going to send your link to my daughter. Goodness gracious, I’d so love to go back to simplicity, thrift, reduced garbage/recyclables, and recognizable food in this house!

    Is there anything worse than jarred Alfredo sauce? I just can’t think of anything. Oy.

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      July 2, 2010 9:13 pm

      Oh :shudder: JARRED ALFREDO…. UGH

  19. August 28, 2010 3:37 pm

    I just have to tell you that I love this idea. It’s basically what I’ve been getting at, and what I want to teach people. Homemade is SO much better, in so many ways. Real homemade that is. And that doesn’t have to mean slaving over a stove for 5 hours to make a dish that no one can pronounce, let alone want to eat!!

    And I also have to say that I like that it’s okay to use “cream of __” soups. It really is a Southern thing… 🙂

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