Mom would send for a variety of information from the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Missouri. This later became the Extension Division. I think she was a farmer at heart. Missouri Mix is “an all-purpose baking mix that you can make up to be ready for easy baking. It can be used to bake many good foods.” The table of contents includes cookies, fried pies, muffins, pancakes and waffles, cakes, coffee cake, swirls, gingerbread,and pizza. Mom would make a batch of Missouri Mix and it would be in a large tub along side the other baking supplies in the kitchen cabinet. She made this up with vegetable shortening although it can be made with lard. The storage instruction for lard is that the mix must then be refrigerated.
Mom also has a “Basic Receipt For…”a mix developed at Purdue University. These mixes were substitutes for the expensive Bisquick in the grocery stores. Both cost out the ingredients. The cost of 5 pounds of flour at the time was 53 cents! Apparently in 1967 2 ½ pounds of Bisquick cost 55 cents and 4 ½ pounds of Missouri Mix cost about 70 cents.
I have two booklets for Missouri Mix. The one with Mom’s notations is from April 1960. This is the one she gave me when I moved away from home. The newer one that I found in her recipe clippings notebook is from July 1976 but is the revision from 1971. My sister raised her family on Missouri Mix. I would make half a recipe since I did not make biscuits and muffins and the like often for my children when they were growing up. What I remember most and did make for my young family was the Fudge Pudding. This was a dessert that baked a cake on top and its own pudding underneath. Very yummy!
At one point in my family life I found “The New Missouri Mix” on line. I printed this out in 1997. This booklet has a “large batch”
- 5 pound bag of flour or 20 cups
- 3/4 cup baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- 2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
- 3 3/4 cups shortening
and a “smaller batch” recipe.
- 8 cups flour
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup dry milk powder
- 1 1/2 cups shortening
It still calls for shortening! There is a hint for using whole wheat flour and that would require storage in the refrigerator. This booklet does not have the “Fudge Pudding” recipe. But what to do about the shortening? You know, trans fats and all that!
But first let’s cost it out. I am using Walmart prices since I tend to shop at discount grocery stores. When I first calculated this formula I used the entire can of shortening and there was no cost savings at 2016 prices. Both the homemade and the store bought baking mix cost about $0.45 per cup. So why bother? But when I redid the calculation it came out with a cost savings. The home made mix cost about $0.36 per cup.
Several years ago while waiting for an appointment of some kind I was browsing through a magazine and happened upon a recipe for a homemade Bisquick using butter! This was intriguing because that would answer the trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils problem found in shortenings. I have made a half batch of this and here are the ingredients:
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups all purpose flour
- 2 sticks frozen butter, unsalted, grated
This would make about a third of a recipe of Missouri Mix. The cost of butter would be more than the equivalent of shortening, but not that much more. Hmmm?
Lard has no trans fats. The mix could be stored in the refrigerator. But butter adds such nice flavor to baked goods. What to do?
I like home made. It is about making a home, making a meal, and living the legacy of my mother and grandmother. If I were to make this mix, I could make the Fudge Pudding at the drop of a hat! I could use half whole wheat flour and it would be “healthier”. I would also give in to the urge to make biscuits or muffins or other goodies more often.
So much for reducing carbs in my diet!