What's your favorite go to pantry/fridge "home made ingredient"?

I imagine the majority of responses will be about jams and starters, but I was curious what other home made ingredients everyone enjoys on the regular. (i.e. spice mix, pickled vegetable, cured egg yolk, fermented black garlic, preserved lemons, etc..)

  • Posted by: Curbside
  • September 27, 2020


AntoniaJames August 24, 2021
That's a great question. When the herbs in my garden are flourishing, I make several pastes that I freeze in 1.5" cubes, my favorites being a sage, walnut and parmesan pesto, and a marvelous walnut and basil sauce, which I freeze in cubes. The basil paste is great for people who don't consume dairy, and so handy, because it easily can be transformed into a rustic salad dressing - so nice in the dead of winter. We put both on sandwiches, in omelets, etc.

i also toast and grind my own spice and similar blends - especially a warm baking spice blend that's nice in baked desserts, and curry powder, garam masala, dukkah, channa masala, and za'atar.

I make my own yogurt in the Instant Pot, every week. We get excellent local milk delivered by the dairy on a weekly basis - milked on Monday, on my doorstep on Tuesday.

When raspberries are in season here, I make raspberry sauce - so easy - by lightly mashing and cooking for about a minute with a couple tablespoons of sugar per pint of raspberries. I freeze most of that. We put it on our homemade Greek yogurt for dessert, come winter.

AlyssaK24 October 29, 2020
Besides fruit jam, my favoutirites are pesto and tomato sauce
Smalltowngirl October 16, 2020
Def preserved lemons, always have Italian style marinated mushrooms in the fridge as well as dill pickles and pickled red onion. Also, marinara, cause on a busy night it is the easiest grab.
Stephanie G. September 29, 2020
Nancy September 28, 2020
I do lots of things - as you suggest, spice blends, preserves, sauces.
I often do something once, to understand how it's made and decide if it's better to make from scratch.
If not better from home cooking, or I like some of the variety in commercial products, I will buy them. If yes worth it, or that variety not available in stores, I will make from scratch.
Happygoin September 28, 2020
Nancy, people always ask me why I make this or that. I’ve never been able to explain it half as well as you did.
Nancy September 29, 2020
Happygoin -
Glad to hear it!
You're welcome to use my explanation anytime you want....
TNT September 28, 2020
Not sure if this qualifies as an ingredient per se, but since the pandemic, we've started making our own yogurt in the Instant Pot. We eat it as yogurt, but also as a base for creamy salad dressings, in marinades, stirred into creamy soups, etc. We also use the whey that drains off as the liquid in bread recipes and as a sub for buttermilk (like in pancakes or brine for chicken). We mainly started doing this for economic reasons, but it also tastes so much better than store-bought!
Happygoin September 28, 2020
I just finished my second batch of homemade Worcestershire sauce. The difference is amazing when used in recipes where it's the star of the show.

It's a Saveur recipe. Most of the ingredients are surprisingly common. The only odd one is tamarind paste, which is available on Amazon.
Valhalla September 28, 2020
Chile oil, harissa, preserved lemons, kimchi,
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