Have you ever been to one of those parties where the hostess is actually a shill for some product you don't really want or need? Well, I certainly have, and really I shouldn't bitch about it too much, as my great-grandfather actually invented the home-product party. So all of my family money, of which I personally have none, came from the home-party business. But all of that aside, I have been to the ones where they pitch beer bread mixes and assorted dip mixes. And yeah, after about four glasses of wine I coughed up fifty bucks for assorted seasoning mixes, marinades, and no-work pound cakes.
Of course after I sobered up I felt really stupid. Those mixes are a complete rip-off! Most of the products can be reproduced at home for one-tenth the cost and not much more work.
Take the beer bread mix, for instance. For around $7.00 a box you get a mix to which you have to add one 12 ounce bottle of beer and 3 T of butter. Guess what? To make it at home the only other things you need are: 3 C of flour, 1 T of baking powder, 1 tsp salt, and 3 T of brown sugar. And the homemade one comes out with a nice crisp crust and a more robust, fuller flavor. For exactly one minute thirty seconds more work. Try it this fall, and save your money for something you need. Like an organic flour baguette at Wegmans with some really expensive cheese. Or smoked Maldon sea salt.
3 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
3 T brown sugar
12 ounces of beer
4 T melted butter
Mix the dry ingredients. Pour in beer and stir to combine. Pour into prepared(that means greased) loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.