Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It Looks Homemade—Because It Is!

By Christine Clark

Just off the cookie sheet and onto a plate, my oatmeal, cranberry, white chocolate chip cookies looked delicious, but I said to myself, “They look so homemade!” I wished the cookies were more attractive, more appealing, because I was taking them to my sister’s house. “Next time, I’ll shape them better,” I decided, imagining rounded edges and flatter, more even tops. I thought of store-bought and bakery-purchased cookies and how perfect they look, just off the assembly line. In a more complimentary train, I also thought, “I bet cookie companies wish they could duplicate the homemade taste of my cookies.”


       Smack-on-the-forehead moment: “Of course my cookies look homemade—because they are!” Homemade is not something to hide behind a disc-shaped cookie. Homemade is superior, not inferior. At one time in the cultural and culinary history of the United States, homemade cookies—and pretty much homemade anything else—carried the stigma that store-bought was out of reach economically and socially. At that time, new foods that took the muss, the fuss, and often the joy out of cooking constantly appeared on grocery store shelves, so why should anyone strive for less than the advertised best?
Best has been redefined in this even-more-modern age. The time, effort, care, and, yes, even love that go into anything homemade are valued more than any label or social aspect of any purchased consumable item. Homemade benefits go far beyond economic. Taste, superior contents, ingredients that can easily be pronounced (and understood), and those intangibles such as care, concern, time, and effort mean that something containing love comes from your home.

      Is it homemade? If it is set on my table, it often is, and it probably even looks homemade. What is your favorite homemade item? What would you never trade for something in a box, bag, plastic wrap, or wearing a label? And, more important, does that homemade item receive the gratitude it deserves?

(Note: I didn't take a photo of the cookies, and, of course, they are long gone!)


  1. My favorite homemade item is everything that came off my Mama's table. (except that zucchini stuff)

  2. You (anonymous) must mean zucchini frittata!

  3. I like apple cake, pinto beans, potato pizzas, potato leek soup, tofu, apple muffins, lucia bread, and pretty much everything else!

  4. Another "Anonymous" who seems to have eaten at my table.