Cooking from scratch or packet mix?

Tattooed_Mummy and Kykaree have challenged bloggers to play the #revoltingrecipe challenge for fun via Twitter. This was after Tattooed_Mummy blogged about some weird recipes she found on Pinterest. By #revoltingrecipe, they don’t mean we should make something that tastes disgusting.  Instead the challenge is to find a recipe that uses commercial goods then cook and blog it.

Now I do use some packets like bread mix, but I don’t think of them as recipes.  And if I need to make a meal quickly, then I will serve something like cheese and beans on toast – again I don’t think of this as a recipe.

So I had a look online and found a recipe for Toad in the Hole using a batter mix. Batters are something that I usually make from scratch, whether it be for pancakes or Toad in the Hole. Since the only ingredients for a batter are milk, egg, flour and salt, of which the only two that need measuring out are the milk and flour, I’m not convinced that there should be any market requirement for a batter mix.  But obviously there is, otherwise the supermarkets wouldn’t stock it.

And I would like to mention at this point that the original poster does say, she is trying to master making Yorkshire puddings and Toad in the Hole from scratch.  And she plans to post it once she has cracked it.

Batter mix

Batter mix

Anyhow I purchased a Sainsburys Basics batter mix for the purpose of this challenge.  When I read the packet, I found that I needed to add an egg and water.  I had assumed that powdered egg would have been included in the mix, but no. So that meant I was measuring out 200ml of water instead of milk and still adding an egg.  By this stage I was feeling really sceptical about the concept of the convenience of a batter mix, as the only time saving would be the weighing out of flour plus shaking in a pinch of salt.

Making the batter from a mix

Making the batter from a mix

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole

I followed the recipe with one addition. I also included a couple of parsnips left over from Christmas along with the sausages. I served the Toad in the Hole with jacket potato, greens and gravy.  Pure comfort food.  We enjoyed the meal and I couldn’t taste any difference between making a Toad in the Hole from scratch or using a batter mix.

A tasty meal

A tasty meal

And finally an admission.  I did include a meal using instant noodles in a blog post a couple of months ago.  But I’ve re-read it today, and although I included the method, I didn’t call it a recipe. And it certainly doesn’t feature on my Pinterest recipes board. Hope that Tattooed_Mummy and Kykaree let me off for that one.

And I’ll still have to cook quick meals like that sometimes, particularly on days when I’ve left home at 06:15am for work, then gone straight from work to pick the kids up from after-school clubs, arriving home around 5pm.  I then have to get tea on the table asap, as son1 has to wait an hour after eating before he has his chemotherapy drugs each evening.  So unless I’ve been organised enough to prepare a home-cooked meal the previous evening which can just be microwaved, meals which are quick to make are a necessity, as the boys are slow eaters.

Tattooed_Mummy has now posted the linky for the challenge. On reading about Poke Cake, I think my Toad in the Hole is a bit tame in comparison.


6 thoughts on “Cooking from scratch or packet mix?

  1. A S,Edinburgh

    I have to admit, the idea of a batter mix that still needs egg adding made me laugh! That’s a bit of a cheek, imo. I wouldn’t laugh *at* anyone using them; as pointed out above many people clearly aren’t getting the guidance on cooking and probably have little confidence. Great article, thank you.


  2. kykaree

    Your toad in the hole is great! Batter mix is the biggest con there is. I was shocked on Shrove Tuesday one of my friends said she couldn’t have pancakes as she couldn’t get to Asda. I asked if she had egg, milk and flour, which she did. She had no idea what actually went into the production of a pancake.
    I am an old lady, and it worries me what we’re teaching kids at school who are going to leave knowing how to solve a quadratic equation but not how to feed themselves or their families.


    1. mumjd Post author

      Yes pancakes are easy to make, although I can’t toss them. It can’t be all schools. My 5 yr old already loves going to cookery club at school.



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