Years ago I picked up a book for kindle, Make-Ahead Mix Day: Complete Recipes and Instructions for On-Hand Homemade Quick Mixes, by Mary Ellen Ward. I’m not sure how I came across it. Perhaps a friend suggested it to me or at least the concept. I could see it naturally flowing from my passion to have a completely homemade kitchen. One, because it’s better for the environment to reduce waste not just recycle it and making food from ingredients definitely reduces the amount of packaging materials you bring home. Two, I hate the idea of the chemical ingredients in most commercially packaged foods. They are addictive and if you can’t pronounce it how can it be good for you. I think most everyone would agree that made from scratch food is the gold standard for home kitchens, but who lives that kind of life. Right?
Well, just over a month ago I finally committed to making a full compliment of quick mixes and the results have been simply amazing. Today, in fact, my make-ahead mixes actually saved the day. I wish I had done a better job of tracking the expense involved in putting the mixes up. Perhaps later this month when I restock I’ll capture the data to support the natural conclusion that making your own quick mixes would save you money. I used some of Mary Ellen’s suggestions and then sought out additional recipes online once I understood how the process works. It’s really simple. Combine all your stable dry ingredients in a container with instructions on adding the wet ingredients and cooking the concoction.
I looked for a cross-section of quick breads and desert items with the thought that there would be at least one homemade component to every dinner. My family’s love language is quality time with a serious side of “sweet tooth.” Here’s what I ended up putting up:
There a little bit of a theme. One of every kind of desert the kids crave, a couple muffins as a bridge toward getting them to branch out, and typical table staples with a buttermilk twist for the added nutritional value. I’ve linked all the recipes I printed for you to check out, but the pumpkin muffin recipe is handwritten and I can’t remember where I I got it from at this moment. I’m in transition on which recipe will work best, the last one I used my husband and I ended up eating while the kids turned up their noses. The cornbread was a new recipe as well. Everyone loved it! I’m sure it’s going to be several months of tweaking to get just the right array of mixes and how many I need to put up to achieve my goal – one afternoon each month dedicated to measuring for a month’s worth of homemade baked good at a minimum daily cost.
So far the experiment is a success. We’ve set a more family-friendly table, broadening some perspectives, and made it easier for Dad to step into baking cornbread without adding much stress to the evening dinner routine. And today, the experiment came through for a mom who over-promised in the after-school/girl scout snack department, chocolate chip cookies AND brownies. The only thing I need to figure out now is how to keep up with the dishes…