If you’ve never heard of Mary Jane’s Farm, you’re in for a great new discovery. While I was visiting Seattle two years ago, staying over on a nearby island for a few days, there was a box of free recycled magazines in front of the Orchard Supply store, and that’s when I first came across this company. The catalog was full of great ideas, recipes, organic food, photographs, and articles about farm life and rustic living. Seriously amazing. I thought I’d just discovered the new greatest thing on earth. My first question was why someone wouldn’t want to keep such a thing. I was instantly captivated. The upside: great food combinations and meals that I couldn’t wait to try out when I got home. The downside (well, kind of): was that in order for me to use the recipes I had to buy a premade mix.
Most of the recipes required that you buy their basic premade Budget Mix, which ranges from about $6-$60, depending on how many servings you’d like. It basically consists of organic flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Seems simple, right? But they must have some sort of ratio down that they keep secret. I tried thinking of every way possible to getting around that obstacle, but I wasn’t feeling in the mood to experiment too much. Honestly you could probably use something like Bisquick or the buttermilk pancakes box mix from Trader Joes but I have yet to try that. I told my grandmother about the magazine and let her borrow it for a few days. Turned out that she ordered me a package: the BakeOver Sampler. The package included three pouches of mixes–a basic Budget Mix, Corn Bread, and Scones with Walnuts & Orange Peel–and a 9″ Perfect BakeOver Skillet. The skillet is deep and rounded like a wok, perfect for sauteeing the vegetables you want to put in the BakeOver. The idea is that you mix together 4 cups of vegetables (or fruit, meat, whatever you’d like… the idea is to be creative and use whatever you’ve got lying around in the fridge) and saute or cook them with herbs and spices and garlic for about 3 minutes, and then spread out the flour or cornbread mixture on top like a pie crust so it covers it entirely. Then you bake it for about 20 minutes, flip it out over onto a plate, cut it like a pie, and whalah! You have yourself a scrumptiously comforting all in one meal (or dessert). Almost like an everything but the kitchen sink kind of deal. Greatest invention ever.
So being that I had one more package of mix left to make (the cornbread mix), I whipped up a fantastic meal for myself tonight when I got home from school. It took a little time to get everything together, but once I did all of the prepping I was good to go. I improvised on the recipe and kind of made it my own. In the end it turned out delicious. Some of my top favorite foods coming together into one: sweet potatoes, black beans, chard, and cornbread. A little honey on the side and a cold glass of milk. Couldn’t get much better than that.