Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Master Mix

In 1975 while in 8th grade I took my first cooking class. I loved that class, I loved everything about it; the rules, the cleaning, the homework, the teacher and class duties. I loved it all. I had Mrs. Romero, 6th period, 3 quarter and I got an A. A's were not easy for me to achieve and that made me love Mrs. Romero and Home-Eco Cooking class even more. I've kept my cooking notebook all these years. I always find myself going back to it for basic recipes. The pages are mostly printed from a Ditto machine and are fading so bad or have such badly stained pages you can barely read them. One recipe we were taught that seemed to be the mother of all recipes was The Master Mix. At the top of the recipe it says:

 "for biscuits, griddlecakes, muffins, waffles, gingerbread, cookies and cakes" 

Basically any recipe that called for Bisquick you could substitute equal amounts of the master mix and end up with the same results, but save money. It was the middle of the 70's rescission when I had this class and we were all about sitting in line for gas and saving a buck.

Before you make up this recipe you need an air tight container that hold at least 13 cups that fits in you pantry to store the mix. A Tupperware or Rubbermaid type container works great. The trick with using Master Mix in a recipe is to keep the mixing to a minimum. You'll have light biscuits and heavenly coffee cake as long as you don't over mix.  Get creative and experiment and you might find you love the results of Mrs. Romero's Master Mix as much as I do.

Ingredients -
9 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking powder
1 T. salt
2 teas. cream of tartar
4 T. sugar
1 cup nonfat dry milk
2 cups shortening which does not require refrigeration

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar, sugar and dry milk 3 times.
  2. Cut in shorting with pastry blender or two knifes until mixture looks like coarse corn meal.
  3. Store in covered containers at room temperature.

Note: To measure the master mix, pile it lightly into cup and level off with spatula.

Fresh Spinach Salad

     Easter doesn't happen at our house without this salad on the table. Our family has been eating this salad at Easter since 1987. We love the simpleness on a busy family day. It tastes as yummy as it looks. The dressing recipe comes from the Southern Living 1986 Annual Recipes cookbook. Back in the day most of my menus were planned from those cookbooks and the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Every new bride was given the red and white checkered Better Homes and Garden cookbook.
     The recipe was submitted by Edna E. Moore from Hueytown, Alabama and is on page 103 in that edition. The original recipe is a salad with the dressing. We have tweaked them both just ever so slightly to make them our own. The amount of bacon and hard boiled eggs you use is really up to you. I like the dressing made the night before so the bits of bacon can marinate in the dressing.

Salad Ingredients

8 to 10 slices of regular sliced hickory smoked bacon
1 pound fresh baby spinach, washed with the longer stems removed
3 or more hard boiled egg, chopped
1 1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms
3 green onions, thinly sliced


Cook bacon until completely crisp, but not over cooked. Crumble two pieces and set the remaining pieces aside for the dressing. In a large salad bowl combined spinach, mushrooms, onions, and eggs. Shake prepared dressing and apply the desired amount and lightly toss. Top with crumbled bacon before serving

Dressing Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of fresh ground pepper
remaining pieces of cooked bacon

Combined oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a jar. Close lid tightly and shake vigorously; add bacon and mix well. If not using right away cover and store in your refrigerator. bring to room temperature before applying to the salad.
(I use a pint size canning jar with a rim and folded heavy duty foil for the lid.)