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Hodgepodge from The Geranium Farm

Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Money-Saving Recipes

Dear Debbie,

This is not my own idea. I read it in an Australian 'grass roots' magazine years ago and found it very handy especially back when we had a house full of children. The contributor was from a dairy farm and suggested using cream instead of butter in baking. Of course, she was using up a surplus of it but for us nowadays, cream is often available very cheaply when it's close to its used by date. It's not so suitable for a Flyaway Sponge, but the great if you want to feed the hungry hoards with good healthy real food. ( God wouldn't have given us cows if he didn't want us to have butter and cream! )

To make cakes, replace the weight of butter with the same volume of cream. I used to multiply a recipe and use the whole 500 ml. The mixture would fill the roasting pan. You may get the chance to freeze some for later. I often used one of the all-in-together cake recipes because, unlike butter, the cream is already 'creamed'. This a good opportunity to throw in those over ripe bananas you have saved in their skins in the freezer. ( Peel them first, of course.) Bananas are sweet so you can reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Ring the changes with spices, dried fruit, cocoa and nuts. A friend told me that her mother used to add some jam to the cake mixture to add interest if she didn't have anything else.

Another suggestion was to add mustard to warmed cream to make Mustard Sauce and so on.

With butter, 500 gm is close enough to a pound, so work from there. (By the way, what does a stick of butter weigh? We are familiar with the term from the little girl going shopping on 'Sesame Street' but nobody ever says in a recipe how much one weighs. Likewise, 'half and half'. Half and half what?)

For people who don't have an electric mixer, using cream instead of butter saves a lot of elbow grease.

Best wishes,

Mary Round
Burnett Heads
Australia 4670

In answer your question about half and half. From the food Network: It is a mixture of equal parts milk and cream, and is 10 to 12 percent milk fat. Neither half-and-half nor light cream can be whipped. (It is sold here usually by the quart or pint, or it is given in little containers for your coffee.)
Substitution: CREAM, HALF-AND-HALF 1 cup = 1 1/2 Tbsp butter plus enough whole milk to equal 1 cup OR 1/2 cup light cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk
Butter is sold by the pound, 4 sticks, so that would be 4 ounces as a pound is 16 ounces.


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