I love to cook from scratch. I'm passionate about cooking as scratchy as I can. For many reasons. Because it's fun. Because it tastes better. Because it's a challenge.
I like to cook with authentic ingredients, so I grow what I can. Lemongrass, Thai basil, Thai eggplants, Thai peppers, Chinese chives, tomatillos, Kaffir Limes, Meyer Lemons, and on and on. Every year I try something new. Last year it was sweet sorghum. This year it's Chinese Water Chestnuts.
I no longer trust processed food sold in grocery stores. The lists of ingredients are too long and I don't want "natural and artificial flavorings" or GRAS (generally recognized as safe) or stabilizers or anything else that prolongs shelf life. I am trying to either grow everything I eat or know the source personally. I have bees for honey.. I gather acorns for flour. I've grown dent corn and oats. I forage cherries and autumn olives for pies and sweeteners for kefir. I've grown peanuts for oil. I've dehydrated sea water for salt,...and on and on. There's always a new project.
Pesticides, fungicides and other chemicals sprayed on food worry me. I don't spray. I pick bugs off by hand. I compost. I plant to attract beneficial insects and birds. I grow lingonberries, red raspberries, black raspberries, blackberries, red currants, champagne currants, black currants, Asian pears, Bartlett pears, figs, peaches and blueberries. I'm still waiting to get a decent harvest of kiwis, huckleberries, cherries, mulberries, elderberries, gooseberries, serviceberries, crabapples, and almonds. It will take a couple of years but I'm not in a hurry.
I also grow tomatoes, peppers, potatoes,, onions, garlic, Long Island cheese pumpkins, and watermelons. I like growing things. And I like saving seeds. I haven't even mentioned the herbs and flowers I grow. Or the weeds that I let grow because I eat them (purslane and lambsquarters are two) or that have flowers that the pollinators like. I almost forgot hops. Some day I'll make beer.
I've been making raw milk cheeses for the last year. I missed the flavorful raw milk cheeses from Europe. Since you can't buy young raw milk cheeses in the USA, I decided to make them.
I only started growing from seed in the last few years. Before that, I grew everything in containers from plants I bought. It's never too late to start gardening or cooking. And you never stop learning.