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May 14, 2009

In a Pinch

We've all been in the situation. We're moving right along with our recipe, cooking or baking a culinary delight (hopefully) and we reach for that one ingredient we didn't check because we always have it on hand -- except this time the cupboard is bare.

Next time this happens to you, before you run to the neighbor with measuring cup in hand or dash off to the grocery store, take a deep breath and check to see if there's a quick fix substitution.

I found this great list of substitutions in the back of a cookbook published by Good Shepherd Parish of Martha's Vineyard. My aunt, who spends a good portion of the year on the Vineyard, gave me this book last year, and it has already saved me several unnecessary jaunts to the grocery store. Thanks AB!!

FOR ................... YOU CAN USE

1 T. cornstarch -- 2 T. flour OR 1 ½ T quick cooking tapioca

1 C. cake flour -- 1 C. less 2 T. all-purpose flour

1 C. all purpose flour -- 1 C. plus 2 T. cake flour

1 square unsweetened chocolate -- 3 T. cocoa and 1 T. shortening

1 C. melted shortening -- 1 C. salad oil (may not be substituted for solid shortening)

1 C. milk -- ½ C. evaporated milk and ½ C water

1 C. Sour milk or buttermilk -- 1 T lemon juice or vinegar and enough fresh milk to measure 1 C. (let stand 5 minutes before using)

1 C. heavy cream -- 2/3 C. milk and 1/3 C. butter

1 C. heavy cream, whipped -- 2/3 C. well-chilled evaporated milk, whipped

1 tsp. baking powder -- 1/4 tsp. baking soda plus 1 tsp. cream of tartar

Sugar -- Equal amount of brown sugar (it will result in a slight molasses flavor)

Superfine sugar -- Process regular granulated sugar in your blender

1 C. Honey -- 1 ¼ C. sugar and ¼ C. water

Catsup -- 1 C. tomato sauce, plus 1 ¼ C. brown sugar, 2 T. vinegar, ¼ tsp cinnamon and a dash of ground cloves and allspice

Bread Crumbs -- Use crushed corn or wheat flakes, or other dry cereal

1 C. butter -- 7/8 C. solid shortening plus ½ tsp. salt

1 C. corn syrup -- ¼ C. of water plus 1 C. sugar

One egg shy in a recipe that calls for many? Use 1 tsp. cornstarch for the last egg

No fresh herbs or spices? Use 1/3 the amount of dried herbs or spices

It's pretty easy to see how a substitution list like this could come in handy. The good news is, as of today, there are still copies available of the Favorite Recipes of Good Shepherd Parish of Martha's Vineyard Cookbook. For $15 plus shipping, it's a great buy -- jam packed with recipes as well as a ton of helpful household hints like these substitutions, tips for staying organized, food fun kid's crafts and more. You can secure your copy by calling the parish center at 508.693.0342.

Now if only I had checked this out before the great Whipped Cream Form Cake blunder!


Chow and Chatter said...

fab post thanks for sharing

Shirley said...

These are good things to know. I'm always wanting to bake something only to discover I'm missing an ingredient.

Shannon said...

Oh, this is definitely handy... it seems I always have one ingredient I'm lacking when it's time to make something!

BTW, I found the Table Topics game at my local Hallmark store!