As certain items get more difficult to find, I'm noticing a lot more depression era recipes being put out there. The fact that they used fewer eggs, or less oil, etc. made them handy.
Do you have any tips on making dishes with less of something?
For example, I say that, if you can get them, buy some cake, brownie, and cookie mixes from Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, etc. The reason being...you won't need to use your precious flour to make your own batter. Even cornbread mix. And, if you can manage, get quite a few, since they are individually packaged.
My rule of thumb is to think ahead for 1 year. Now, ask yourself how often you would make dessert for you, or family/friends. Once a week, once every other week, or once a month. Now x's that by 12, and double it if you can. So, if you think that cake/brownies/cookies are something that you would like once a month, that's 12. If you choose to double it, then that's 24. Get your favorites, but try to get a variety.
You don't have to find shelf room for them. You can pack them into a tote somewhere. No bugs, etc.
Just remember, depending what happens, favorite storebought cookies off the shelf, and other baked goods, may not be available. It depends on the status of flour and so on.
Also, another tip that I have is: don't worry about milk when making a cake, batch of brownies, etc., either from scratch, or from a mix. Using water still makes the batter delicious, and, in fact, makes chocolate more chocolate-y!
As for oil, if you can get a few jars of applesauce...especially unsweetened, which fewer people want...you can replace most, or all, of your oil with it in baked goods. My rule of thumb is this:
If a recipe calls for 3/4 Cup of oil, I replace that with 3/4 Cup of plain, unsweetened applesauce, + 2 Tablespoons of oil. But, if you want to skip the oil altogether, you can. I like a little oil in batters, but it's not necessary. Plus, putting just a little oil into a cake makes it lower in fat and calories. The fruit addition makes it a bit healthier.
If you can't get bread, but are having something that you'd like bread with, biscuits (how about cornbread?) are not a bad alternative. They don't use yeast, are quick to make, and you can cut back the recipe so that you only make what you want. Then, you can make a few whenever you like, to go with soup/stew, on the side of pasta, with meat/chicken and vegetable only dishes, like chicken and stewed tomatoes, as the carb, etc.
Biscuits are also good to make little sandwiches out of, as dessert with jam, honey, etc., or flavored. I have added Italian herbs to them, some cheese, etc. I have found, though, that they don't rise quite as much when you put things like herbs and cheese in them. (I pre-soak the dry herbs, and use that liquid as part of the biscuit liquid.
Also, you can split biscuits in 1/2, and reheat them, cut side up, with something on them. (A toaster oven is perfect for this.) You can top them with cheese, or garlic bread spread of your choice, and so forth. Imagine garlic-spread biscuits with potato soup!
Because a good basic biscuit is a baking powder biscuit, getting a couple of fresh containers of baking powder at this point, isn't a bad idea. Or, however much you'd need. Look at your favorite recipe, and see how much 1 batch uses. Let's say that it uses 2 T. for a 1/2 batch that you'd make. Figure out how many T. are in a container, think about making them once a week, or however often you might, if you couldn't get bread, and you will know how many containers that you need.
And, finally, to save eggs when baking, just cut them back. I remember that my mom's box mix called for either 2 or 3 eggs, and she only had 1 for some reason. I suggested that she try it anyway, and her cake...or maybe brownies?...came out fine. So, sometimes, if things call for 2, you can get by with just one.
If you have any ideas to share, please do! Maybe we can think on this, and do a few more next week, also!