When my kids were really little I bought a very expensive mop from a vendor at the PNE.  It was supposed to cut floor maintenance time in half.  It didn’t, not even close.  I sent a scathing letter to the manufacturer which I regretted the minute that I slid it into the mail slot.  My gullibility is my own fault.   Back then I was a “marketer’s dream.”

Well, as life has gone on I’ve learned a thing or two about marketing and especially about marketing of so-called “convenience foods.”   I can make cooked pudding from scratch in about the same amount of time that it takes to make cooked pudding from a mix (okay, maybe add two minutes for the scratch version).  Same for pancakes, muffins and salad dressings.  On the other hand there are some things that  are definitely worth purchasing.  For me these items include hard cheeses like cheddar, edam and gouda.  Angel Food cake is also on my “better off made from a mix” list.

Stir-fries can be a godsend when you have an assortment of different vegetables in the crisper and not enough of any one kind to make a side dish.  However, my stir-fries in the past were bland and no one wanted to eat them (including me).  I hesitated to purchase a whole bottle of stir-fry sauce in case I didn’t like it.  I searched the internet for a sauce that I could make myself and was thrilled to find this one on the Northwest Edibles site (https://www.nwedible.com). It uses a minimum of weirdo ingredients which is good because I don’t like having to scour the back alleys of Vancouver’s China Town to find them.  You will see why I call this the Little Black Dress of Stir-fry sauces when you read to the end of the recipe.


Mason Jar Stir-fry Sauce (makes about 4 cups):

1 ¼ cups soy sauce

1 cup oyster sauce

1 cup maple syrup

½ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup Dijon mustard

Put in a mason jar in the fridge. This basic recipe keeps in the fridge for months.

Reduce the maple syrup if you want it less sweet.  You can also add more rice vinegar and mustard to cut the sweetness.

Now…here’s where the fun “Little Black Dress” part comes in.  When you want to make a stir-fry for dinner you can take some of the sauce out of the fridge and dress it up.  Having a dinner party?  Try adding ginger and garlic. Other possible “accessories” include Sriracha, sesame seeds, chili sauce……go wild and see what you can create.