Julie Lyles Carr: On the Cheap

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On the Cheap

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You do know I'm cheap, right?

Not a cheap date.

Just cheap.

As in, I think Super WalMart and Costco and Target are some of the marvels of the modern age.

And I appreciate convenience items.

They seem tailor-made for moms of an uber-tribe.

But then comes in the cheap thing.

And the convenience thing and the cheap thing have a rasslin' match.

Because the convenience thing comes at a price. And sometimes that's a price I'm not willing to pay.

Hence my B..quik Boycott.

It dawned on me one morning that I was adding milk and eggs and oil to the B..quik dry ingredients, as instructed. But surely the greater bulk of the B..quik dry ingredients had to be...flour.

White flour.

Which I could purchase in a 20 pound bag for under seven dollars.

While the small B..quik box was getting more and more expensive and was no where near seven pounds.

So I did a little configuring and came up with an option.

A cheap option.

Now I'm not claiming that this little recipe will replace B..quik in every application. I haven't yet determined if this will make a great pot pie topping. I don't know if it will replace B..quik in a shortcake recipe.

But it will make fabulous pancakes.

For cheap.

You ready?

Start with 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.

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Then mix in 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

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Dump in 4 teaspoons of baking powder.

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And drop in a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

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I blend all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then place them in a glass container with a tight lid.

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Ta-da.

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Cheap Octa-quik.

When the morning dawns for Pancake Time, it's as convenient as the store-bought box stuff.

I add 2 beaten eggs, 2 cups of milk (buttermilk if I'm feeling super sassy) and 2 tablespoons of oil.

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I whisk it all together and ladle it onto a pipping hot griddle.

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Topped with butter and maple syrup, it's happiness in a circle.

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I adapted this recipe from the basic one found in the old classic Better Homes and Gardens cook book. I can't give you any field stats on how long the dry mix will keep; I usually mix up a few batches of the dry ingredients and we consume it all within a few weeks. My concoction feeds most of us; 2 of 8 is on a gluten-free diet, 1 of 8's work and school schedule often has her out of the house. 3 of 8 is on the crazy-amazing-I'm-13-years-old-and-I-can-eat-27-tacos-in-one-sitting diet, but generally, this mix makes enough to fill his empty tank. So, in my math, this will make about 18 nice size pancakes.

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And, yes, I know this isn't the quiche recipe you've been begging for. I really am going to post it. I really am.

I just haven't made it again yet and I have no pictures for you.

Maybe I could just draw some pictures.

That would be entertaining...

Quiche will come. You'll see...

Octa-Quik Pancake Recipe

2 1/2 cups flour
4 TB granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all dry ingredients and store in air-tight container.

When ready for pancakes, blend into dry mix~
2 beaten eggs
2 cups of milk
2 TB vegetable oil

Pour by 1/4 cup onto hot griddle. Flip when bubbles form on top. Slather on REAL butter and REAL maple syrup and enjoy!

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