I Support Pre-made Mixes
In case you’ve been living in an arctic cave and haven’t noticed, it’s pumpkin season. Everywhere I look there’s a new recipe for another way to use pumpkin. I attempted to join in the baking craze with some pumpkin brownies last week, but they were quite unsuccessful and my confidence was a bit shot. Even though I had a few cups of pumpkin puree sitting in my fridge, I just couldn’t set myself up for another baking failure.
But as I was elbowing my way through the masses at Trader Joe’s yesterday, I found an enormous display of Pumpkin Bread mixes. It’s not a new display, it’s actually been up for about a month, but I usually scoff past thinking, “Why would anyone buy a mix? Just pick a recipe and do it yourself!” Well, yesterday my bruised ego was mighty attracted to that pumpkin bread mix and the idea of doing very little work to produce something yummy was too appealing to pass up.
I know that for some people the idea of using a mix is no big deal, even commonplace, but I come from a bake-it-from-scratch kind of family who frowns at “break and bake” cookies and for whom the idea of using a mix is - gasp – unthinkable. Now I know why. Once you use the mix, it’s hard to justify working twice as hard for a similar – if not worse – outcome. Granted, I understand that excellent bakers can clearly make a better cake than could ever come from a box, but for a beginner like myself, the mix is a sure-thing.
The directions are simple: fold eggs, oil and water into mix, pour into loaf pan (or muffin tin) and bake. I added chocolate chips for good measure as well and I must say it was a genius call on my part. I had to keep from eating the whole loaf when it came out of the oven. So you can consider this my official stamp of approval on baking mixes. I have a feeling I’ll still make most things from scratch, but when you want something that’s home-baked and you don’t have a ton of time, a mix is certainly acceptable in my book!