January 7, 2011

Homemade Things

Part of January Reflections '11

When I was a kid, I didn’t have a store-bought dress until I was 14. Mom sewed all my dresses, and she was (and is) so talented at sewing clothes. When I was small with my first memories of my homemade dresses, I wasn’t always so thrilled about Mom’s making all of them. But as I got older and Mom encouraged me to help in the design process, I began to love having my own seamstress. We’d spend hours in the fabric store looking at patterns until I found the coolest dress pattern, and then we’d search the store for perfect fabric. Mom lovingly made prom dresses, costumes, and Sunday dresses for me for years. I still love designing and scheming in the fabric store with her, though now we’re usually contemplating curtains or chair coverings.

I don’t sew personally, though not for lack of opportunity to learn or practice. This past year I did make all of Hamilton’s baby food from scratch. I was inspired by this book and other friends who made their babies’ food, so I was determined to do so with Hamilton. I enjoyed making big batches of sweet potatoes, lima beans, broccoli, and turnips. Hamilton ate just about everything as a six-month-old, and I loved using all my CSA veggies for his food. I froze his purees in food trays, thawing a few for supper or popping a few in a to-go container for lunch.

I used to “home-make” pizza crust back when I was on a no-gluten diet, but I was glad to give up that labor of love after eight months. I have aspirations of preparing homemade salad dressings sometimes, but I’ve yet to try.

While I love homemade things, I appreciate well-done, store-bought things, too. My efficient nature must see a decidedly better product in the homemade thing to warrant my making it, especially if it takes more time to produce. With my dresses and curtains, Mom’s skills definitely produce better-looking results than store-bought equivalents--for less money usually, too. With baby food, I knew I was preparing much cheaper, better-tasting, and less-processed food for Hamilton. With my pizza crust, if I wanted to eat pizza (a lifelong favorite food), then I had to make my own gluten-free crust. I think with the salad dressings, I just love this lime vinaigrette so much that I don’t think I could make anything better.


  1. I think this is quite an exaggeration! Fourteen?

  2. I thought that was a conservative estimate! I specifically remember a store-bought dress from when I was 17, but I feel like there was one before that.