There needs to be a book on "What's worth making yourself" so the page on paprika can say "no."

But equally, what is worth making from scratch?

I feel like gnocchi is, but pasta isn't. Most ragus are, same for meatballs, pesto is only worth it for the price, white sauces are, but lasagne isn't.

Croissants are so tough to decide because they're so good freshly made but so much effort. It's like the ultimate in effort reward. Pastry fucking isn't, especially for pies.

It turns out I've got a lot of opinions on this but I would also love a book on it

@Eden Not even for the house smelling of paprika effect?
We still have dried chillies from too many years ago (it was a good harvest and various things turned us off eating so many of them). It might have been a better idea for them. But everytime we come back from Spain it's with pimienton de la vera, mmmmm...

@priryo I mean that is nice. Taking the lid off the grinder I almost died with how nice it smelled.

But for the result, probably not! I think if you have a stockpile it's definitely a good way to reuse them

@Eden there is a book! I saw it at the bookstore and took a photo of the cover so I could look for it at the library!

@Eden god i would be the last person to ask about this, i am so into tedious handmade food where it disappears into someone's stomach way faster than it took to make

@rabbithearth go on, what's the worst make time to eating you've done? :)

@Eden making potstickers once when i couldn't get ground pork, so i bought pork chops and minced them with a knife, and also didn't have pre-made wrappers so i threw down some dough and hand-cut/rolled a bunch, and it was hours of grudging hand work (also including mincing all the vegetables that went into them) for like two servings of food

but, i really like making dumplings, i will gleefully bang out like two hundred of them in an afternoon for a party if i can get pre-made wrappers!!!

@Eden for a while, i was making a batch of arabic-style flatbread from scratch every other day, and once i got it down it was like 20 minutes of prep at one point of the day, letting it rise/rest while i was at work or sleeping, then about 10 minutes of work to cook them off, and it was magical to have fresh puffy soft bread every day, but i couldn't keep up with it after some lifestyle shifts

@rabbithearth @Eden Nice! That bread story makes me want to learn to do the same, even if only for an occasional weekend indulgence.

@eldang @Eden these are the notes i wrote up for myself when i reached the peak of my bread production, after about ten months of work:

@rabbithearth Ooh, that is a good idea. Flatbreads are *gorgeous* - I use them a lot in meatballs and I'll usually make them from scratch because it's just easier, but I can't imagine having them daily.

Although it would be nice with hummus etc in the mornings

@rabbithearth so I immediately thought of the British ones, but you must mean the asian type?

I mean I'd also never heard of potstickers, they look absolutely amazing. I don't think I could ever cut a real amount of minced pork, that's a feat..

@Eden haha yeah, potstickers are just dumplings that pan-fried and then steamed in the pan; dumplings can also get just steamed or boiled, but i think the fried version is the tastiest.

i was inspired to hand-mince pork after seeing my father do it once!

i might be getting roped into an acorn flour making process at some point, so i'll see if individually cracking and cleaning a bucket of acorns is worse than turning a pound of pork chops into ground pork by hand @_@

i love....making food....

@rabbithearth ACORN. Are you just.. a masochist for food?!

I definitely want to make potstickers now though, they look so tasty

@Eden look the acorn thing isn't even my idea, it's my friend's idea, but i have access to some great acorn producers so i'm coming up with the goods, and, will, probably, also, end up, contributing, lots of, labor

yes, i am a masochist for food, the summer i worked in a high velocity hipster takeout kitchen was one of my best summer jobs

@rabbithearth @Eden I've done acorn flour and shelling the acorns is a huge pain in the ass. The result is so tasty though! I don't do it every year, but I've done it more than once & I'll do it again.

@rabbithearth @Eden omg that's so good, my parents have a family friend whose parents make potstickers by hand, especially for like, holiday dinners... i don't have that skill at all but dumplings are so fun to make though

@daffodilian @Eden oh yeah i'm like a dumpling prince in my family, descended from serious dumpling royalty and probably the best successor to the dumpling throne in my generation, it's a lot to live up to but i'm so up for this.

i love when dumpling-making is just a big communal activity even with people who can't make them very well! i was really really bad at them for a long time until i got in enough practice and now i'm the one who cranks them out for my friends and cousins :3

@Eden I got an electric pasta machine off buy nothing, and if you have one of those the equation changes. Somewhat worse results for *vastly* less effort. Still not worth it for plain pasta but it's fun to make flavored noodles.

Also once I figured out how to get good pie crust texture I could never go back to storebought. Worth the effort imo.

@Eden really.. Pie crust is absolutely one of the things I think is most valuable to make

@Eden oh I actually read a book with this premise once! "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter". Don't think it covered paprika though.

I'm sure I'm underestimating the culinary utility of paprika as a result of experience with low-quality stuff... but like, why would I fart around trying to obtain good paprika when I already have a reliable supply of berbere?

@mcmoots I've had that recommendation twice from this status, so I think I must have to get it!

I hadn't heard of berbere, it seems like a spice mix that uses paprika?

But good paprika is fantastic for a lot of barbecue/spanish/mexican dishes by itself, and having both smoked and regular paprika can really help bring out different flavours in a dish/spice rub. I don't know if you can use berbere in that place, or if the other flavours would overpower it?

@Eden Berbere is hotter than paprika, and I'm sure each producer uses their own blend of chiles - not sure how many include actual paprika peppers.

I mean I do also have regular chile powder on hand if I don't want all the berbere flavors, and I'll get chipotle powder if I want smoke. Or smoked salt, there are lots of ways to add smoky flavors. But my in-laws are from New Mexico so they keep us supplied with the good chiles.

@mcmoots @Eden I make heavy use of smoked paprika in dishes that I might otherwise put bacon in as more of a flavouring than a main ingredient, to keep them vegetarian. I find that plus extra fat and salt often fills in what the little bit of preserved pork in a bean dish would have been adding, for example.

@eldang @Eden Oh heyyyyyy I should try making smoked mushroom powder! Given how often I use regular mushroom powder...

@mcmoots @eldang What do you use mushroom powder for? I don't think I've ever tried it!

@Eden @eldang Popcorn, roasted veggies - it adds umami.

I don't think I'd use it if I didn't do my own foraging though - I make it from some species I consider consolation prizes, they have a bad texture and aren't super flavorful when cooked fresh, but they grow in abundance & dehydrating concentrates the flavor.

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