Vanilla - the magic bean

Marti’s Corner – 93

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,


*  You can easily make your own baking powder.  According to an article I read, MYO: Double Acting Baking Powder | Make Your Own, commercial baking powder contains small amounts of aluminum.  Double-action baking powder helps make baked goods light and fluffy (biscuits, etc.).  Baking powder contains both an acid and a base.  Baking soda is the base, and cream of tartar is the acid.  Corn starch is added to prevent premature activity and absorb moisture.  All recipes made with baking powder are meant to be baked immediately, within 5 minutes of mixing.  

To make 1/2 c. of Homemade Baking Powder to keep on hand: 2 TB baking soda 4 TB cream of tartar 2 TB cornstarch

Plastic bags have a tendency to “sweat,” which can have undesirable consequences on your homemade baking powder.  Better to use a clean, dry glass jar.

Best Baking Powder for Best Results VeganYou CAN purchase aluminum-free baking powder such as Rumford.  

Rumford Baking Powder, 8.1 Ounce : Grocery & Gourmet Food

To test your baking powder, put 1/2 tsp into half a cup of hot water.  If it bubbles heavily, it is still good.

40 Knots every prepper should know
Click image for printable 40 knots PDF

*  We had a fireman in our ward who could gather in a rope, hand over hand, and coil it in such a way that he could throw it out again, and it would simply uncoil as it sailed through the air.  It was the coolest thing!  I think of him every time I see a chart like this – 40KnotsBSA.

Don’t you wish you knew all these knots and how to use them?  I do.


*  My cherry tomatoes that finally began to blossom AFTER the hot summer months are finally ripening!  Oh, they taste so delicious.  I have large green Roma tomatoes on a few plants, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed they will ripen.  Carrots are up; broccoli is up.  Just waiting for the “winter” vegetables to grow. 

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: baking soda & baking powder: 1 box each Unless you are going to make your own baking powder, you will want to store some.  Each of these only has a shelf life of about 1 year, so every year, about this time i.e., baking time, I try to remember to get a fresh box. 

MISC PURCHASE: yeast, vanilla VanillaEven if you do NOT bake bread, get the yeast.  Think of it as a “just in case” item.  Just in case you need to make your own bread.  Try to keep it in a cool place (the freezer works too).  And get some imitation vanilla.  You can get REAL vanilla — I did for years.  But suddenly, it’s like $25 a bottle!!!  And…. according to the internet, you cannot taste a difference in baked goods. 


The Best Mashed Potatoes from The Prairie Homestead

The Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe • The Prairie Homestead

Who doesn’t LOVE mashed potatoes?  Potatoes are so inexpensive if you buy them in a 5 or 10-pound bag.  It’s just using up all those potatoes before they spoil that is the trick.  

I like to bake 5-6 at a time.  We have 2 for dinner. Then I can slice up 1-2 and fry them for breakfast.  You can also have twice-baked potatoes on another night.

With a few ingredients, you can have DELICIOUS potatoes.

3 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered. 2 cloves garlic, peeled (not chopped) 1 TB fine sea salt 1 bay leaf         Add to a pot and cover with water.  Boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes and immediately place them back into the hot pot.  Discard the bay leaf, and stir the potatoes for 1-2 min over low heat until the water cooks away and the potatoes are dry.

3/4 c. sour cream 6 TB unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp salt OR       6 TB salted butter, no extra salt needed 1/4 c. whole milk 1/4 c. black pepper     Mash until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Cheddar Biscuits (Red Lobster copycat)

I make a very small batch (6-7 biscuits).  If you want more, just double or triple.  These are SOOO good!

1 c. flour 1 TB sugar 1/2 TB baking powder 1/2 tsp garlic powder scant 1/2 tsp salt     Mix together In a measuring cup, melt 1/4 c. butter (1/2 stick) and then add 1/2 c. whole milk

Add all at once and mixt just until blended

1 c. grated cheese

Drop by 1/4 c. on parchment. Bake 450˚ for 10-12 min. While they are baking Melt 1/4 c. butter and add 1/4 tsp garlic salt.

Brush on immediately!

Frosting for Gingerbread Houses

When my kids were young, we made gingerbread houses every year.  Of course, I didn’t use gingerbread!!!  I used graham crackers instead.  The object was to build a house, get messy, and eat candy……. so there you go.

BUT, you need the frosting that will dry hard as a rock.  Here it is:

2 eggs whites, at room temperature (Just let the whole eggs sit in a cup of hot water for a few minutes) 1/2 tsp cream of tartar      Mix egg white until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar 3 c. powdered sugar.  Add a little at a time.  Beat 3-5 minutes until thick and holds it shape. Spoon a bunch into a baggie.  Seal the bag, snip off a corner and voilá, instant piping bag.


5 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Angela Fowler
Angela Fowler
11 months ago

Thank you, Martin, for these wonderful recipes.


Subscribe our newsletter

Sign up for exclusive, behind the scenes content and updates.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x