Stumbling On Undiscovered Treasures

IN THE KITCHEN

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I have this green box of pre-printed recipe cards. I have carried it around longer than I can remember, always giving it a prominent spot in my collection of recipe books -- mostly because it makes a really good bookend.

The thing is, I don't know where it came from or if I have ever actually used one of the recipes. The collection is called "Betty Crocker's Step-by-Step Recipes."

I am pretty sure I have at least looked at the recipes from time to time and found them worth saving. And because there are non-Betty Crocker recipe cards in the box, I know I have added to it over the years. Why else would I still be carting them around?

There are 24 topic cards, ranging from such things as "The Meat Stretchers" and "Double Feature Meats" to "Your Kitchen Boutique" and "Make Your Own Mixes."

Since I am always looking for something to make things easier in the kitchen, the "Mixes" topic seems intriguing.

The cards include not only the recipes for making several different mixes, but recipes using the mixes.

The mix recipes include: Pie Crust Mix, Cake Mix, Corn Bread Mix, Nut Bread Mix, Cookie Mix, Biscuit Mix and Granola.

Pie Crust Mix

3 cups shortening

6 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons salt

Cut shortening into the flour and salt until you have a mix that looks like small peas. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Keeps up to one month. Makes 9 cups mix and a single crust pie will use 1 1/2 cups of it.

Cake Mix

9 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups shortening

Combine dry ingredients, then cut shortening into mix until it has texture of coarse cornmeal. Put in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one month. Makes 13 cups of mix and a 13x9x2-inch pan will use 3 cups of it.

Corn Bread Mix

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 cups cornmeal

1 3/4 cups nonfat dry milk

1/3 cup baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 3/4 cups shortening

Mix dry ingredients and cut in shortening, combining fully. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. The 12 cups of mix will keep for up to one month. To make 9 servings of cornbread combine 4 cups of the mix with 1 1/3 cups water, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 egg. Bake at 425 degrees in a 9x9x2-inch pan for 20 to 25 minutes.

Nut Bread Mix

9 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup baking powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup shortening

Combine dry ingredients then cut in shortening to make a mix that resembles coarse cornmeal. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Makes 10 cups that will keep up to one month.

To make Nut Bread, use 3 cups of the mix with 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 cup of chopped nuts. Combine ingredients and pour into a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with greased bottom. Bake for 55 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees until tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from pan, cool, then wrap in plastic or foil for at least 8 hours.

Cookie Mix

8 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 cups shortening

Mix dry ingredients together then cut in shortening until pieces look like coarse cornmeal and brown sugar is fully blended. Put mix in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one month. Makes 16 cups, with 4 cups needed to make approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Biscuit Mix

9 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup nonfat dry milk

1/4 cup baking powder

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shortening

Mix dry ingredients together, then cut in shortening until particles are size of coarse cornmeal. Refrigerate, using an airtight container. Will make 12 cups of mix that keeps for one month. About 2 cups of the mix is needed to make a dozen biscuits. Just add 1/2 cup cold water for rolled biscuits and 2/3 cup for drop biscuits.

Granola

4 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup chopped, salted peanuts

1 cup dry roasted sunflower seeds

1 cup flaked coconut

2/3 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups golden raisins

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together, except raisins; then mix syrup and oil and pour over dry mix, stir until all is fully coated. Grease a jelly roll pan and spread mix in pan. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Stir in raisins and allow to cool. Makes 8 cups.

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