When an ingredient is purchased it has a certain value. When an ingredient is grown, created, developed, or made by you, it has a different value. We find ourselves being reckless and free wheeling with ingredients we buy, using them in recipes without a thought because we know we can go out and buy more. When we make them we have a tendency to hang onto them. We have a tendency to put the homemade onto a pedestal. Is it the time involved? Is it the bond we form with the ingredient during the cooking process? Is it knowing how long it will take to make more?
Oh, you want some examples. Pepperoni is a great place to begin. I'll do everything and anything to pepperoni that I buy. When I make my own I feel a need to either look at it adoringly and then, perhaps, find the best way to use it. And as I wait, ponder, contemplate, I miss windows of delicious opportunity.
Today we started marshmallow development. We use a fair amount of marshmallows in our Doughnut World. I figured that if I could make time, I should be making them. And then as I finished our first batch of Molasses Marshmallows, I stared at the precious creation wondering how to best highlight them in our kitchen. But that is not the point of marshmallows in our world at the moment. We use them as background players. So tomorrow we will cut out a few to place in the center of our S'mores and the rest will be pureed into pie and melted into cracklings. It was important for me to realize that I need to be equally free handed with home made ingredients. In making my own I just gain a bit more control in the process. I get a better marshmallow and then it's my next job to make sure that I use it.