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About

This is a blog about making food from scratch — really from scratch.

What do you mean when you say “bottom-up” or “from scratch”?

Bottom-up cooking involves factoring recipes down to their lowest common denominators and building food up from there.

In bottom-up cooking, the cook refrains from using ingredients that something that someone else has made.

This means no purchased cans of whipped cream, pre-separated egg whites, frozen pizza dough, dried pasta jarred mustard, store-bought cheese, factory-made mayonnaise, or a prepared seasonings mix.

Bottom-up cooking is about passing on shortcuts and making food as though factories didn’t exist.

What are the pros and cons of bottom-up cooking?

  • Pros: Better taste, greater control over what’s in your food, lower costs (often but not always), and sustenance of vital culinary traditions.
  • Cons: Longer prep, greater skill requirements, and sometimes a bit of research.

Why blog about this?

Three reasons:

  1. To keep track of what I’ve done and how I’ve done it.
  2. To share my lessons learned with others. Some of this stuff is tricky to figure out.
  3. To advocate for bottom up cooking. It’s not that hard, and it is that rewarding. Gotta get that message across.

What kinds of posts will this blog feature?”

Many posts will demonstrate how to prepare something that other people might think of as an ingredient – for example, ricotta cheese, tofu, or mustard.

Other posts will present entire recipes made in a bottom up way.

Some posts will explore the economics of bottom up cooking, evaluating whether it’s cheaper to make or buy.

And some posts won’t fit into any of these buckets at all.

Whose recipes are these?

I’m not a big fan of republishing other people’s recipes – even with appropriate credit.

The recipes you’ll find here are my own recipes, are substantial adaptations of other people’s recipes, or are combinations of several people’s recipes.

In all cases I source recipes and indicate degree of separation from the recipes I’m sharing.

If you’re interested in this topic, check out David Lebovitz’s article on attribution in food blogging.

To what kind of food does this blog apply “bottom up” principles?

The principles applied in this blog apply to any kind of food. But the blog’s author is a vegetarian, so none of the applications discussed here will concern meat or fish.

Who is this blog’s author?

A management consultant based in Cambridge, MA, who likes to get her hands dirty on evenings and weekends.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley L permalink
    December 10, 2011 11:25 pm

    Hey!! After I googled tahini, I stumbled onto your blog. I already found a bunch of awesome looking things to try, so exciting. :) My hubby is vegetarian so at home I am, too. Will def make kale pesto and I think it’d be interesting to try to make tortillas, too. Have you tried to make corn tortillas?
    Thanks for sharing,
    Ashley

    • January 21, 2013 4:18 am

      Hi Ashley, so glad you like the blog! I still haven’t gotten around to trying corn tortillas. You haven’t had any luck with them, have you?

  2. Rebecca permalink
    November 6, 2012 5:08 pm

    I am a vegetarian, too, and I just read through your entire blog… everything looks much easier to make than I would have thought!! Thanks for putting all this together, I’m definitely going to try your recipes! :)

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