Many years ago I picked up a book titled “Make Your Own Groceries” by Daphne Metaxas Hartwig. I think the book is now out of print, but I’m sure there are several others similar to it that you can find. I also have “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes” by Todd Wilbur, and “Once-A-Month Cooking” by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg. I have had these books for so long, their tattered pages and stains show that they have been used a lot. I was at one time a collector of cookbooks. I have long since gotten rid of most of those cookbooks, but every time I clean out the cabinet, these books are still keepers. I can’t say that I have tried every recipe in these books and I probably don’t even want to, but I can say that they are filled with good recipes to help you get into making your own homemade items, which are less expensive and better for you. Whether your goal is ecology or economy, you will be able to save money and have healthier food in your house just by making a few of your own commonly used items.
You can start with something small such as salad dressings. These are easy to make and store, they last a long time, and you save quite a bit of money by making your own.
No more running to the store to get salad dressing at the last-minute.
Keep any empty glass jars you have, they are great for storing your homemade items in, and helps you get away from so many plastics.
Make your own — Thousand Island Salad Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup ketchup and add a little chili powder to it (or chili sauce if you have it on hand)
- a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
- a few shakes of garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
Mix this up and store it in an empty jar in your refrigerator. This will be good for weeks if it stays around that long.
Make Your Own — French Salad Dressing
- 3/4 cup Mayo
- 1/4 cup oil (use a light oil such as Sunflower or Sesame)
- 3 Tablespoons vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Combine and blend all of the dry ingredients together, and set aside Beat the mayo and oil until smooth, then add the dry ingredients to the oil and mayo, mix well Store in a glass jar in your refrigerator
Make your own — Olive Garden Salad Dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian spices
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2/3 cups water
- 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
Combine all ingredients in a blender on high until combined, about 30 seconds. Store in an empty glass jar Shake before serving
There are dozens of other homemade salad dressings, these are just to get you started. You can share your own recipes with us as well.