Bye, Cake Mix

Sometimes you do something for the last time, but don’t know it while you’re doing it. This is me. And cake mix.

I think I’m done using it. Pancake mix, too.

We’ve been having these talks with the kids about eating foods that include real ingredients. We had a big transition on the macaroni and cheese front. Getting everyone on board with that one, especially the boys, felt a little bit like moving mountains.

But the kicker was listing the ingredients on the white board. And to make it extra cheesy, no pun intended, we added “love” as one of the ingredients for the homemade version. At least it made them laugh, but it also made them recognize that they knew exactly what they were eating.

The same can’t be said for the kind that comes in the blue box. The kind that is definitely cheaper and easier to make. But also the kind that doesn’t taste as good and probably has very little nutritional value.

Besides, the homemade version tastes better with green chiles. The blue box couldn’t handle that, I don’t think.

So I’m pretty sure the unicorn cake I made for Riley a couple weeks ago was my last from a box.

Waaaaay easier than it looks. Way.

And this weekend, we used this monolith of a cookbook to guide us to homemade pancakes instead of using one of the mixes we have. (We have a few, because at one time, protein pancakes sounded like a good idea. It wasn’t.)

cook 1
It’s been passed down. And it only has real ingredients. For, like, everything.


Guess how much longer it took us to make the pancakes from scratch? About four minutes longer. That’s it. Who doesn’t have time for that? Like, if you have time in the morning to make pancakes, you have time to make them from scratch. If you think you don’t, then you don’t have time for pancakes at all. Really.

I’m thinking the same will be true for cake mix. I haven’t had the chance to make one since making this decision, but something tells me it won’t be a huge investment. And that makes me wonder what the housewives of the 1940s were doing that made cake mix life changing? I remember seeing news reports flashing back to the year it was introduced and hearing how housewives everywhere rejoiced at how much time it would save them.

I don’t want to say we’re busier now than we were then, because there are a number of conveniences that have come online to make our lives easier than they were decades ago. But more of us are working, by a long shot, than we were then, too.

We’re not saving life-changing time by using “the mix.” We’re not. I’m thinking we’re not saving anything. But if we get back to real ingredients, we might be saving our health.

I’m not a scientist. Or a doctor. But I’m thinking eggs, milk and flour are better for you than polyunsaturatedsoybenatedryoxide. Or whatever the hell the weird-o ingredients are on cake and pancake mix.

And I do see the irony in saying – in the same sentence – that we might be saving our health by making pancakes and cakes from scratch. I know, I’m talking about treats, essentially. But it applies across the board.

So, bye cake mix. And pancake mix. We’re gonna keep it real.

cook 2
Bullseye. Ron’s cake-from-a-box for his big 4-0.