Cheap Eat Challenege Count Down: 26 days
We've been eating a lot of pancakes around here lately. Why? Because one morning we were out of breakfast cereal and my son, who considers breakfast cereal the only true food, pitched a fit. He pitched a fit even though his dear mother made him pancakes WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS. That's right. And I didn't have time to go to the store that day either, so the next day the same thing happened again. Same fit over being forced to consume homemade chocolate chip pancakes slathered in syrup. Do we live in privileged times? I think we do. (I'll just blame that and not my parenting skills, if that's okay with you). There's only so much non-appreciation a mother can take. So I told him we wouldn't be having cereal until he could learn to be grateful for what he has AND to ask me nicely if he ever wanted me to buy cereal again.
I know. I should have fed him runny mush. And then I should have made him say, "Please, sir, can I have some more?" And then I should have made him sing a song about not being loved. But I didn't. We've just had a lot of pancakes.
And--for the record--it only took a few days for him to eat his delicious pancakes cheerfully and then, yesterday, to sweetly ask that I buy some cereal at the store. Hmphf.
But that was actually a tangent. I know; you're shocked.
The point is that pancake mix is really easy to make and really easy to use. If you've got a batch on hand, you can make pancakes in 4 or 5 minutes, which even gives the mighty breakfast cereal a run for its money (though not if you ask my son).
Because of this, pancake mix is also nice to give. And--although I realize it's tacky to discuss such things with regard to gifts--it's also really really cheap. A 28-oz box of pancake mix will run you approximately $2.00. The equivalent of homemade mix is less than $.50, and about $.75 if you add the optional powdered milk. And then there's the bonus of missing out on delicious ingredients such as soy lecithin (yum--does this sound to anyone else like it should have tentacles), soy flour, soybean oil, and dextrose--to name just a few.
Want your mix to look pretty? Add some chocolate chips or nuts or dried blueberries. Or--if you're not one to fear creepy ingredients--some green or red chips.
To prepare it as a gift. You can give it in a Ziploc bag with a bow, which is what I would do if I wasn't trying to get a picture for this site. But if you like to give cute stuff, put it in a mason jar, ala cookie mix in a jar. This will also allow you to add a layer of chocolate chips or something in the middle to give it some color, should you not be lazy like me.
Basic Pancake Mix
each cup of mix will make about 6 pancakes after it's prepared
Note on flour: You can go nuts with the flours here. I use half white and half wheat. All whole wheat is fine as is all white. You can even get snazzy and add oat or buckwheat or whatever suits your gift-giving fancy.
2 C all purpose flour
2 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 C powdered milk (Optional. If you use this you'll add water to the pancake mix. If not, you'll add milk.)
Mix it all up. I put it in a big Ziploc bag and give it a few good shakes. I just store it in the bag in my pantry. If you're adding powdered milk, you'll probably want to put the mix in a blender or food processor to get the powdered milk as fine as possible.
To Mix It Up: (Don't forget to put the instruction on your jar or bag if you're giving as a gift).
Makes 6 pancakes
1 C mix
1 C milk
OR if you make it with powdered milk
1 C mix
1 C water