I get a certain amount of satisfaction out of making something myself rather than buying it. I don’t mean that I’m going to start wearing all only hand-sewn clothes made out of hand-woven fabric or anything, but within reason I like to figure out how to make things for myself.

Today, for instance, I made my own pumpkin pie spice blend. I love this spice blend, and use it in everything from my faux chai tea that I posted on several months back to fruit compotes to oatmeal. I had used up the last of my jar of purchased spice blend, though, and decided that it would make more sense to make my own blend since I had almost all of the spices that go into it. I think the results smell amazing, and I had fun customizing the blend to include more of the spices I really love. Here’s the blend I came up with:

Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon grated nutmeg (I grated mine fresh)
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Most of the time I like the from-scratch version of things we make at least as much if not more than things we can buy — my knitted dishcloths, for instance, work so much better than most of the dishcloths we bought before since they’re knitted out of cotton kitchen twine so they have lots of good texture for getting food off of plates but the open knit pattern means they come really clean when we wash them. Danny’s breakfast sausage recipe is so much better than any breakfast sausage we’ve bought.

Some things, though, are not necessarily better when made from scratch. One year we had a bunch of pumpkins around and were determined to make pumpkin pie out of them. Maybe if we had owned a really big food processor to blend them smooth enough they would have been better, but I have to say that the results were really not any better than pies made from canned pumpkin. The texture was a little bit odd. We still ate them, but we haven’t repeated the experiment.