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Make Your Own Ready-Mixes for Short-Cut Cookery

I am wondering about what was on grocery shelves when this article appeared.  Was Bisquick there?  Well, I researched it online and it looks like it was invented in 1930 and was on grocer shelves in 1931. Cake mixes originated in the 1920’s…..but it was probably not available in Frankfort, KS for some time after that..  I’ve experimented with baking mixes myself.  A biscuit mix comes to mind.  

The caption under the apple pie triggers memories of Mom belonging to the “Sunflower Club”.  What did they do and what was their purpose?  I think the purpose was mainly social, an organized way of the neighbor ladies getting together.  The organizational part of it was that the club had a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  It met monthly, I think even in the summer.  When it was Mom’s time to have club, that meant we were going to re-paper somewhere in the house and we were going to clean like mad to show off a perfect household.  I don’t think this was unique to Mom….all the other ladies did it, too, I’m sure.  

Being the baby in the family, I needed to go with Mom in those early years.  If club was at our house during the summer, we were going to be part of the serving staff.  As I remember, a club meeting always had some sort of game they played after the business meeting.  It might be a series of 10-12 questions after which the person with the most correct questions won the prize.  Mom kept her eyes out for little “contests” she could use when she was in charge of entertainment.  When “lunch” was served it was usually finger sandwiches, some kind of dessert and nut cups. Sunflower club hosted a card party with the spouses and families at least once a year.  I know they had dues and occasionally would contribute to a local charity event.  

When I married, I joined a chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority in the Frankfort community; later when we moved to McPherson I was able to join a chapter there.  Eventually I joined one in Topeka.  Some of my best friends were made through that sorority.  Same premise as Mom’s Sunflower club, I think, but maybe a little more modern by then.

For farm wives at this time, you still had the responsibility of getting supper on the table.  Play if you want to during the afternoon, but you still had your responsibilities at home.  A clear separation of labor in that day.

In case you want a copy of their leaflet about these mixes you could order one by sending three-cents (to cover postage) along with your name and address…..I actually remember when the postage on a letter was three cents.

Make Your Own Ready-Mixes for Short-Cut Cookery

Go to club in the afternoon and still have a fresh, warm pie for supper to serve to the hungry gan trooping in from school and work.  It’s no trick if you have your own ready-mixes on hand.

There are times when all of us like to dawdle in our kitchens and make special dishes with an artist’s loving care.  Then again, we need to whip up something tasty in record time and get on to something important or interesting.

When the hurry-up mood is one, it is so very convenient and economical to have a supply of your own ready-mixes on hand.  Among the mixes you can keep in your kitchen to help you in a pinch are biscuit mix, pastry mix, muffin mix, cornbread mix, gingerbread mix, bran muffin mix and plain cake mis.

If you haven’t used your ready-mixes before, why nt start with a pastry mix that will make four pie shells or two two-curst pies or two dozen tart shells?  See how you like not having to start from scratch every time you want a pie for dessert

Pastry Mix

4 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups shortening

Sift flour once, measure and add salt.  Cut in about three-fourths of the shortening very thoroughly, using light strokes with a pastry blender.  (Mixture should first become fluffy and fine like meal, then start to clump together.)  Add remaining shortening in several pieces and chop in lightly, just until divided into pieces the size of large peas.  Place in a covered container and store at room temperature.

When you are ready to make one of your pies — and if it is a two-crust pie — merely measure three cups of your mix into a bowl and stir in about five tablespoons water.  Mix lightly and roll as usual on a floured board.


It is also possible to make a pie filling mix of tapioca, granulated sugar and brown sugar to use in thickening fruit pies.  The following recipe is for use with fresh peach, blueberry and plum pies.  Cherry and apple pies need a little more sugar and a little less tapioca.

Pie Filling Mix

6 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients, mixing well.  Place in covered container and store at room temperature.  The brown sugar hardens if placed in the refrigerator.  Yields enough for two nine-inch pies.


If you like having your own mixes ready to use, double or triple these recipes.

“Mix Your Own Time-Saving Baking Mixes” is a handy leaflet containing recipes for biscuit, pi, muffin, cornbread, gingerbread and cake mixes. Prepare a mix for as many as eight dozen biscuits or four gingerbreads at once!  We think you’ll like these time-saving methods.  You may have a copy of the leaflet simply by sending your name, address and three cents to Food Service……..


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