a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Make Your Own Just-Add-Water Master Mixes

Making your own master mixes is a great way to save money, prepare quickly, eliminate extraneous ingredients/preservatives, and tailor the mixes to your own likes and dietary needs.

You can:
  • use powdered shortening, butter, margarine, milk and eggs to make "just add water" mixes, similar to their commercial counterparts.
  • reduce the salt in the recipes or substitute equal amounts of powdered flavoring for the salt in the mixes. It is reported that orange flavoring is good in breads and rolls and butterscotch flavoring works well in cookies.
  • reduce the refined sugar in recipes by substituting fructose, using only 1/3 to 1/2 as much sugar as is called for in the mixes, or check out the many other available sugar-substitutes.
  • reduce the oil in recipes by substituting equal amounts of applesauce for the oil---a great calorie reducer with minimal changes in many recipes.
  • substitute flours if you you have an allergy to wheat. It is reported that rice flour works well in muffins and some cookies, but not breads.
  • do a "google" search when you need help finding substitutions for almost anything
There are numerous books and a vast number of Internet sites addressing these mixes. One of my recent favorites is the Mix-a-Meal Cookbook ---- "old fashioned taste...new modern mixes." by Deanna Bean and Lorna Shute.  My old standbys include Make-a-Mix and More Make-a-Mix by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward and Madeline Westover, and Make your own Groceries by Daphne Hartwig.

I favor the internet sites that offer reader ratings, comments and suggestions.

For back-to-basics, down home, and common sense there is much to learn from Amy Dacyczyn's series of three books The Tightwad Gazette I, II, III, ----"the last word in promoting thrift as a viable alternative lifestyle." Zillions of hints and helps from Amy and her followers.


I will be posting items from each of these sources periodically. I usually check out the books from the library before I buy them.  


In Wednesday's post about my handy dishwasher pantry, I mentioned a master biscuit mix as one of my pantry staples. This mix is from the above mentioned Mix-a-Meal cookbook. One of my favorite things about this book is each mix has a mini-recipe so you can try it before making the large quantity.  This mix calls for all dehydrated/powdered items. If you are not already using these, there is some initial expense involved but the overall savings is great --- a #10 (one gallon can)  goes a long way, both the products and the mixes store well increasing your on-hand storage, they mix up simply and quickly, and I usually make several different mixes at once, cutting down on the bother and mess of preparation and washing of measuring utensils!

While, so far, I have only made the biscuits, the authors state the following: "This biscuit mix can be used in any recipe calling for a commercial biscuit mix and it works well with Dutch Oven recipes also." Their book also list recipes, using the biscuit mix, for pot pies, three pizzas: traditional, Mexican and breakfast, six varieties of crackers, tempura and fritter batters, braided dinner roll, breakfast cake and cream puffs.

Biscuit Mini-Mix
Combine:
 2-1/8 cups flour
5 T. dehydrated shortening or margarine
3/4 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup dehydrated whole egg
1/4 cup baking powder
1 T. salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda

Drop Biscuits
Combine 3 cups mix with one cup water. Stir vigorously until blended and drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Make at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Rolled Biscuits
Combine and stir vigorously (about 20 strokes)
2 cups biscuit mix and 1/2 cup water. Lightly flour a board with dry biscuit mix and turn all the mixture onto it. Knead to a ball and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a knife or a cutter dipped in flour. Place 2" apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Biscuit Master Mix
Combine thoroughly and store in covered container.
8-1/2 cups flour
1-1/4 cups dehydrated shortening or margarine
3/4 cups powdered milk
1/2 cup dehydrated whole egg
1/4 cup baking powder
1 T. salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda

I make a label (often just a strip of masking tape) stating the contents, the date made and (for things this simple) the directions for the biscuits.

'til we eat again,
          Simply, Gail

5 comments:

solilsmama said...

Where do you find dehydrated shortening or butter?

Simply, Gail said...

Solilsmama:

Thanks for writing. You find them at stores that offer dehydrated foods in #10 (one gallon) cans. Some stores sell only dehydrated or freeze-dried foods and preparedness items. Some large sporting good stores have dehydrated foods in their camping sections. Since I do not know where you live I cannot give you specific store names but you can Google "powdered shortening" to find more information and places where you can buy it. In our area, Wal-Mart often has a dehydrated food section.

I just bought another can last week from our local preparedness store for $12.50. The brand our store sells is Rainy Day Foods, packaged by Walton Foods, Inc. Their website is waltonfeed.com. The same companies will probably sell butter powder and dehydrated eggs.

I hope this helps. Have a great day.

Norm and Heather said...

Just read your "What if" blog -- great info. My daughter and I were talking about making bread with water etc. so I checked our your just add water mixes! great! You also answered my question of where to get powdered egg -butter etc! Thanks Gail, you are an awesome resorce!! Heather

Norm and Heather said...

Just read your "What if" blog -- great info. My daughter and I were talking about making bread with water etc. so I checked our your just add water mixes! great! You also answered my question of where to get powdered egg -butter etc! Thanks Gail, you are an awesome resorce!! Heather

Leigh Ann said...

Thanks for the recipe Gail! To comment on solilsmama's question, we sell shortening powder #10 cans and smaller pantry cans as well. www.carolinafoodstorage.shelfreliance.com/shortening-powder.html

Leigh Ann
CarolinaFoodStorage.com