Real Recipes for Real People: Homemade Mixes - A Unique Gift

by Kaylin Cherry

With Christmas on our horizon, many folks are looking for food storage ideas as well as inexpensive gift ideas to make ahead. By making this mix, or others, you will not only be giving a unique gift, but will also be saving money, and even helping the recipient to have a small bit of food stored ahead for when it may be needed. My favorite container to make these mixes in is of course quart jars- but you can also use large zip baggies or other containers that hold 4 cups. Decorative tins, colorful covered plastic containers and even inexpensive cookie jars also make great containers to use for mixes when giving them as gifts.

Remember that you can store mixes such as this one (not containing any shortening) for 6-9 months unrefrigerated, or for longer than a year in the refrigerator or freezer. One last tip for great storage of homemade mixes is to freeze your flour for 24-48 hours before using to prevent weevils from spoiling your fun.

I have recently learned that you may also purchase shortening powder for your food storage and mix making needs. This powder can be stored for as long as 5 years without going rancid, and also gives a longer shelf life to any home made mixes which you plan to store. You should be able to find shortening powder where dehydrated foods are sold in your area. By making your own mixes to store or to give, you control the ingredients and the quality of the mixes and you know how fresh they are. Enjoy!

Gift Sized Jubilee Jumbles Cookie Mix

2 3/4 cups Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Walnuts, Coconut, Dates, Raisins or Chocolate Chips

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Layer ingredients in jar in order given, in a 1 quart canning jar. It is helpful to tap jar lightly on a padded surface (towel on counter) as you layer ingredients to make all ingredients fit neatly. Use scissors to cut a nine-inch diameter circle from fabric of your choice. Center fabric circle over lid and secure with a rubber band. Tie on raffia or ribbon bow to cover the rubber band. Attach a card with the following directions:

Jubilee Jumbles

Remove nuts or other 'add-ins' from top of jar with a large spoon. Empty cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Stir mix with a large wooden spoon to evenly distribute ingredients. Add 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix until completely blended. Stir in nuts or 'add-ins'. Mixture will be thick, so you may need to use a wooden spoon to finish mixing. Refrigerate for one hour. Shape into walnut sized balls, then roll in sugar and place onto a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet and then place cookies on baking racks to finish cooling.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

If you are interested in more information or more recipes such as this one, you can find them on the Real Food for Real People website at OR you can subscribe to receive free daily recipes, such as this one, by sending an realfood- and place the word 'subscribe' in the Body (not subject line) of the email.
copyright 1999, Kaylin Cherry/Real Food for Real People All Rights Reserved.

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