In recent years, Hubs and I have become more aware of the foods we eat. There is just so much crap in prepackaged foods that have ingredients that are banned in other countries. Artificial food dyes and GMO's are banned here in Austria, but yet are allowed in the States. Crazy isn't it? There's no such thing as high fructose corn syrup here or most of the world. A Coca-Cola made anywhere else, but the US, has real sugar - not HFCS. What's even better is 'Coke' imports their own product from Mexico and sells it in the US (at Costco and Wegmans), because 1) it's in glass, and 2) has real sugar.
When I had a hankering for vodka sauce and didn't feel like making it, I could hop over to the nearest grocery store and grab our favorite Mario Batali sauce. It only has 5 ingredients and made a quick dinner possible. Not so here. They have all kinds of tomato sauces, but vodka and cream sauces are nowhere in sight - at least not in the aisles of several groceries stores that I've wandered into. It's just not pasta sauces either. It can be something as arbitrary as toilet paper. We are nearing the end of our stash from the States and the softest kind I've found here, Hub's has affectionately called prison-grade crap. They have dyed toilet paper here too, which I stay away from. We do miss the Cottonelle and Charmin. Never would have thought those words would ever come out of my mouth.
I used to bake from scratch, a lot, and since being here I haven't tried it once. I've heard horror stories of trials and tribulations about getting used to it here. The ovens are much smaller, the temps are little hard to gauge and the ingredients somehow make things come out differently. With so many bakeries and cake shops, I just haven't found motivation to even try.
So yes, it takes a little more effort to make things here. Hubs and I even caved in and bought a blender that doubles as a food processor. I had rarely used ours back stateside. We've come to a conclusion that if we want some comforts of home done right, we have to take matters into our own hands, buckle down, and make it from scratch.