Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Thursday, March 08, 2012

What's the cheapest dinner you can think of?

Linked from Four Moms of Many, March 8 2012

That is, that anyone will eat?

The four Moms of Many, including the Deputy Headmistress, have a linky today looking for extremely cheap dinners: that is, 50 cents U.S. per person. For our family of five, that would be $2.50; everything costs a bit more in Canada, so let's make it $3.

Mr. Fixit suggested pancakes and bacon, or pancakes and sausage. We have gotten marked-down bacon and sausage for $2 a pound, which would be enough for our family and would leave a dollar over for the pancake ingredients. Here's a favourite recipe from More Food That Really Schmecks. As written, the five of us go away feeling a bit hungry; doubling it makes lots of leftovers; a one-and-a-half recipe seems about right.

Note: We never have buttermilk here. You could use thinned yogurt as a substitute. I would probably use either fresh or powdered milk, with one tablespoon of vinegar added per cup. Mix that first and let it sit to clabber while you get the other ingredients together.

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups flour (a mix of white and whole wheat if you have it)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 egg, well beaten (or egg substitute)
2 cupfuls buttermilk or sour milk
1 1/2 tbsp. melted shortening, oil, or butter, plus extra for frying
Toppings: homemade sugar syrup, butter, fruit, jam, whatever you have

Into the sifted dry ingredients add the egg beaten into the milk, then the fat or oil. Melt and heat some fat or oil in a frying pan and ladle the batter into it in thin 4- or 6-inch rounds*. Let fry until golden, flip, and brown on the other side.

*We have a skillet with rounded sides that is not ideal for making round pancakes. Rather than hold everybody up while we try to get the perfect shapes, we've discovered that long ovals work better and taste just as good.

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