Foods that are easy, but a pain in the butt to make?

Hannaford has started selling their own freshly made, preservative-free mashed potatoes, and I buy them. Not because I can’t make mashed potatoes - of course I can, they’re very easy - but because they’re a pain in the behind to make.

First you have to peel the potatoes, and it seems that no matter how long I wash my hands, they still have a starchy film on them. Then you have to cut them, and they’re both very firm and awkwardly shaped, so they’re an element of danger there, at least if you’re as clumsy as I am. Then they need to boil, forever.

So, $1.87 for a meal’s worth of mashed potatoes I don’t need to make is pretty tempting.

What do you loath making, even though it isn’t hard? And do you give in and buy someone else’s?

Hamburger patties. Nothing to it: grab a fistful, make a ball, squish to a patty.

But the hamburger is cold, you get a fatty covering on your hands after a few, it’s boring to make enough for more than a couple people.

I started paying an extra $1/lb. for the fresh preformed patties at my supermarket.

Mashed potatoes:
Microwave them.
Mash them. Don’t worry about the peels.
Add milk and butter.
Done.

Dandelion salad. It takes maybe an hour to gather the greens, and it’s kind of fun anyway. Assembling the other dry ingredients, maybe ten minutes. And the work for the dressing is mostly just frying up bacon. But cleaning the greens, that takes literally all day, with your hands in cold water for most of it.

Can’t. Do. It. Mashed potatoes DO NOT have peals.

Now I’m not beyond ‘baking’ a potato in the microwave for a quick snack with butter, but true mashed potatoes are a whole nother thing. And they must be made from scratch.

Real mashed tators are a pain, and take time.

So does stir fry. Five minute prep time my ass. NO NINJA is that good with a knife.

Exactly. If you leave the peals on, it’s smashed potatoes, and I’m not eating those.

Cookies. I must not have the special touch, because no matter what consistency they’re supposed to be, mine end up like sweetened crackers.

Peals? As in tintinnabulation?

I still can’t master stove-top recipes that don’t allow for seasoning at the end. You know, recipes wherein one dumps pre-measured amounts of ingredients, fire it at the correct temperature, and cook at the correct amount of time. Supposed to be easy but never comes out perfect.

I’ve never considered mashed potatoes to be a chore. They’re a part of several of my “easy dinners,” especially bangers and mash, where the chore part is carmelizing onions and making the onion gravy.

I’ve always hated peeling and deveining shrimp, especially for a crowd.

A couple years ago my older sister gave me her 1960s professional wooden-handled shrimp knife. You just slide the blade under the shell, and it also slices the vein out. Zip zap easy.

Shrimp knives are usually on sale at every fishmonger, although they all now have red plastic handles. If you eat shrimp at all, BUY ONE. Change your freakin’ life, I swear.

Well, if you think mashed potatoes are a pain, then surely french fries are worse - you still have the peeling and the cutting, but a bunch of messy oil to deal with and dispose of rather than a pot of water you can just pour down the drain.

Tamales. For good ones, you have to slow cook the filling meat, shred or chop it, and season it to taste. The masa’s not too hard, but it takes time, too. Assembling and wrapping them is a hassle and time consuming, but not really difficult. Then you have to steam them. Eating them is the reward.

Along the same lines…enchiladas.

I occasionally make a scrumptious “tortilla casserole” of layered grilled chicken, cheese, corn tortillas, salsa verde, and homemade chile sauce. Essentially a pan of enchiladas, without having to roll all the damn enchiladas.

I used to work with a lovely first generation young Mexican American lady, whose parents ran a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. I described this casserole to her.

“That sounds DELICIOUS!”

“Would your mother ever make it?”

“Oh, HELL, no.”

I was making ice cream one time. Pistachio ice cream. I foolishly decided to save some money by buying pistachios that were still in their shells. I had to shell six cups of pistachios by hand. Never again.

I tried making my own milkshake rather late in life (actually for my daughter.) Instructions are easy-peasy: 1/4 cup milk for every three scoops of vanilla ice cream. If the ice cream you bought is hard, let it stand on the counter for one hour to soften. Chill the glasses for 30 minutes in the fridge. Use stiff straws, not too big or you’ll get brain freeze. Well, the part where you stir it with a long teaspoon was tedious. Almost too tedious for the whole trouble of it. And only then did I realize that you basically slurp down at least 6 scoops of ice cream. I got sleepy in 15 minutes after downing a glass.

But it was really enjoyable when taken with fries. Will do it again. :smiley:

Chiles relleno. Stuff some chiles, coat them with batter, and fry them.

Only you need to roast the chiles first. And before you stuff them, you need to remove the seeds and membranes without tearing them. It takes a few minutes to whip the egg whites, and then you have to add the yolks back in. They’re easy, but they’re a bit of work to make. (And worth it!)

Fried fish. Its a real pain in the ass. Messy, hot and potentially dangerous. We do it a few times a year. It’s a major ordeal. But, it’s so good. We have an outdoor fryer. So that helps with the mess. It’s so nice to go out and eat it in a cool restaurant. We rarely do it because Mr.Wrekker always has fish he’s caught that need to be eaten. Story of my life.

Maybe that’s because you live almost in the Great White North. Down here making them yourself just isn’t worth it. I can get stellar rellenos within walking distance. Ditto tamales. Why make your own when the school band will be selling them by the dozen before Christmas?

You can peel them when they are cooked, the peel will just peel off, without a peeler. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbHeddAnrZs
Alternatively, if you have a Kenwood Chef, they have a potato peeling attachment/bowl thing that grinds the skins off.
Also from Kenwood, they have this thingie called a tri-blade, which comes with a mashing attachment (saves the elbow grease required to manually mash).