It was homemade radish kimchi that gave me the D.I.Y. bug. Not only was it a cinch, it was better than any kimchi I could buy – better to me because I had made it how I like it: crisp, juicy, not too spicy, with an anchovy tang.
Next came garlic aioli. Once I figured out how to whirl it in the blender in less than five minutes, it became part of my Saturday morning post-farmers’ market ritual. I whip some up with farm-fresh eggs, and then spend the next week dipping, spreading and drizzling to my heart’s content. My aioli is very lemony, with a distinct olive oil flavor. I often add what some may consider too much garlic (not me). That’s the joy of D.I.Y.-ing it: making things exactly as you want to eat them.
If you like to cook, you should consider which things you want to start making from scratch, and build them into the rhythm of your life. Once you get the hang of, say, shaking up your own salad dressing or simmering fresh milky ricotta, they go from “project cooking” into a few minutes shoehorned into the day here and there. You’ll stop noticing the effort but will always appreciate the results.
Or maybe it’s hard to source certain food items where you live. Like whole-wheat English muffins. Or olive oil granola. Or truly amazing blueberry jam. Or any of the 20 other things in this collection, ranging from a loaf of excellent white bread (above, and perfect for tomato sandwiches with some of that aioli) to cultured butter (maybe you like tomato sandwiches with butter?) to great hummus.
The point is, it can be easier, cheaper and far higher in quality to do it yourself. And if you love to cook, it’s a heck of a lot of fun, too. Try it, and let us know how it goes.
If you need help or have a question with a recipe or with our site or apps, or if you just want to say hi, send us a note. You can find us at email@example.com. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. #NYTCooking is our hashtag. See you tomorrow!