Dueling Cornbread Mixes

100_8972Why mixes? I have a weird love/hate relationship with mixes. Much like I have a love/hate relationship with ornaments that say, “Merry Christmas from Heaven,” featuring a photo of a dead dearly beloved.Merry_Christmas_From_Heaven_Photo

No. I just hate those. If you Google them, you will see there’s also a part about “hi from Jesus.” I can’t make stuff like that up.

Mixes are mostly bad because you can taste the chemicals, but on occasion I want to taste the guar gum and carrageenan. (See any of my posts on Bisquick.)

7fd2a800-a1f4-44d3-b558-f2514f06a564According to my grandmother (whom I never met), it was only OK to use a mix for bundt cake. There is no shame in bundt mixes. They are complicated.

Also, the Safeway by school didn’t have any bags of cornbread stuffing. Plus, the premier maker of cornbread mix is Krusteaz and I love the name Krusteaz.

For the record, I wanted to make stuffing from actual bread (again) this year but I was vetoed, as usual. I decided at least I could make the cornbread for that part of the stuffing and let it get stale. Which doesn’tcornbread mix take long. At all.

I bought two different mixes so I could compare. The Betty Crocker was yellower out of the packet but that might be yellow coloring. The Krusteaz contains “honey powder” but didn’t taste significantly sweeter. They both baked in 16 minutes, even though I muffined the Betty Crocker and dumped the entire box of Krusteaz in a shallow Pyrex pan lined with parchment. corn muffin

The mixes were identical in every way except color — right down to the ingredients you add to them (egg, milk, oil — though the Krusteaz called for twice the egg). They were both delicious and I don’t care for cornbread as a rule. And they are both, a mere few hours later, totally stale.

Next?  Pie.

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About Emily Polsby

I'm a writer who is always baking! Or a baker who is always writing...No. Other way around.
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4 Responses to Dueling Cornbread Mixes

  1. lindapolsby says:

    For the record, the only mix that your grandmother (a superb baker, by the way) used was actually angelfood cake mix. And that was only because she didn’t like the idea of having all those egg yolks hanging around after she had taken the trouble to separate the eggs and beat only the whites. I do think she would have adored your blog.

    • I wonder where I got the idea to make bundt cake? Didn’t she also make that? Does Angelfood cake mix have powered egg whites? That is sort of brilliant. It’s such a tasteless cake anyway. It’s not worth the trouble of separating the eggs.

  2. I suppose the only way to get beyond mixes is to think from inside a recipe and not about the recipe. How does one do that? Only by practice, practice, practice….. That is what mastery is all about. As someone said, ” If things were easy, word would have got around.”

    Shakti

    • Hmmm…I think mixes are fun. Sort of like beauty products! Not necessary, or particularly good for you, but interesting. I’m interested in all sorts of technology, including food science. I like to read about what they do to achieve various effects for baking and on our palates. That said, I would never use a mix for brownies or cake. For one thing, it’s silly. It’s super easy to do it yourself. For another, those mixes never taste right. You want to taste the ingredients! I guess I don’t actually LIKE corn muffins and corn bread so I was willing to go there because you can’t taste the corn when you do a mix. Funny, because I LOVE Grits which are corn…and polenta.

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