Some questions on the Hotline have staying power, and for good reason -- they cover the questions we ask ourselves time and time again. Join us as we revisit some of the most popular.
Today: Your favorite convenience foods, revealed.
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Let’s face facts. We don’t always have the time (the will, the energy) to make every last thing from scratch. We wish we did. As mere mortals, however, we often resort to shortcuts, hoping that no one will notice us in the line at the grocery store.
Over on the Hotline, creamtea asked what your favorite semi-prepared convenience foods are, outing us all. She kicked off the discussion with her own list: shredded carrots, baby carrots, frozen pie crust, frozen peas, frozen blueberries, pizza dough, garlic powder, tubes of biscuits/cinnamon roll dough, and pre-washed butter or baby romaine lettuce. You all took a deep breath and shared your favorites, too:
Bottles and cans, clap your hands
Fiveandspice (like so many of you!) admits, “[I keep] jarred or frozen artichoke hearts. I'm an artichoke-peeling disaster show.”
SoupAddict can’t live without Pomi brand boxed tomatoes and canned beans, two staples that seemed to find their way onto nearly everyone’s list.
Sam1148 likes to go camping with SPAM: "Horrible for you health-wise but easy to pack and fry up instead of bacon.”
Garlic&lemon stocks up on corn tortillas from the local tortilleria.
Breakbread loves the Ikea food section for stocking up on rösti, salmon paste in a tube, herring, anchovies, chocolate, and lingonberry jams.
Luvcookbooks says: “At Asian stores I buy rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves to steam at home, dumpling skins, and kimchi.”
At the end of the day, after a very lively discussion about what actually qualifies as “convenience food,” boulangere put it best: “It's all relative. I can easily buy high-quality pasta, or great ice cream, or bread -- so that's where I'm going to take a shortcut when time is short. Things I enjoy making become chores if I feel compelled to do them, regardless. I don't feel at all bad about not making everything from scratch -- I figure it's about choosing my battles.”
What are your favorite semi-prepared convenience foods? Tell us in the comments below.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).