The Strange Case of the Box Mix


This morning, I was looking for something in my pantry and moved this apple crisp mix out of the way then thought, for the umpteenth time, Why do I still have this mix? Because I’ve had this mix for about five years. I bought it sometime near the end of my suburban existence, at a grocery store in North Carolina. When I moved to the old farmhouse in West Virginia, this box mix was among the groceries I took with me.

When I moved from the old farmhouse to our new farmhouse, I moved the box mix along.

Two and a half years after moving in here, the box mix was still in my pantry. Why? Why did this box mix come into my life? I never bake box mix desserts anymore, haven’t in years. Which is why it’s still in my pantry–but why haven’t I gotten rid of it? I purged my pantry a few months ago and got it all organized, getting rid of excess junk. You’d think I’d have gotten rid of the box mix then. It’s actually a quite bulky box and takes up space in my neatly ordered pantry where space is at a premium.

It says it just takes two minutes to put it together! But I just couldn’t see myself using it.

I took the box mix out of the pantry and came very, very close to dropping it in the trash can.

Then I put it back in the pantry. And I thought, I’m going to have this box mix for the rest of my life.

A few hours later, I got a phone call and discovered some unexpected company was on the way. I ran around the house and spiffed up a bit then, yes then, I went to the pantry and took out that box.

I OPENED THE BOX MIX!! And it really did just take two minutes to put together.

And I hoped I wasn’t about to kill us all because the box was so old, but then I figured there had to be a lot of preservatives in there. After all, it’s a box mix. I whipped up some ice tea and when company arrived, I served them ice tea and warm apple crisp with whipped cream on the pie porch. (Served in my grandmother’s dishes–in the little shallow bowls.) And I have to admit, it was delicious.

And that is why the box mix came into my life.

The End.


The visitors were the two daughters of my Great-Aunt Oshial (who was the sister of my Great-Aunt Ruby and my grandfather Romeo). One of the nice things about living in the middle of my family’s history is that everyone comes around eventually to tour the family historical landmarks.

My dear Georgia came along with them.

Just an afternoon on the farm!


  1. CATRAY44 says:

    If this were Facebook, I would hit “like”! You have the same eyes as the lady with the the short hair and floral shirt. Pretty neat!

  2. marymac says:

    Yep, I agree with CATRAY44. I see the resemblance. I think it’s always so nice to touch base with family members you rarely see. Looks like you all had a lovely afternoon.

  3. Ange says:

    😀 Ms. Georgia is just so beautiful. I smile every time I see her. 😀

  4. Michelle Jamieson says:

    Too cute… yes, sometimes the box mix takes the cake (pun intended)!

    Michelle / Michelle Jamieson Interiors

  5. Patrice says:

    You must feel like you’ve “accomplished something” by using it. The boxed mix that was meant to be! I’m with everyone. I like Georgia. She looks sweet!

  6. Kent Island Red says:

    I have to tell you that when I read you actually opened the box and made the apple crisp for your guests (Eeek!) I put my hands up to my face and said “OH.MY.GOD! She DIDN’T!” I thought the last sentence would be “and everyone ate the box apple crisp mix…and died shortly thereafter. The End.” Glad it didn’t end like that tho. In any event, great story:-) :woof: I really enjoy your site.

  7. Leah says:

    What a nice afternoon visit with the ladies. Sounds like the box mix came in handy after all!

  8. Grammie Earth says:

    Miss Georgia must be sooo proud of you and your respect for country livin’! Yes, the family resemblance is obvious…you are both beautiful women. It’s not (merely!)a visual thing…love of life just oozes through the words and photos in CITR! I feel privileged to be able to read and watch!

  9. Carmen C. says:

    LOL…it’s good to know box mixes last that long, I have a few here too:)

  10. Nancy in Iowa says:

    And you even found a use for the shallow dishes! A good time as always on your front porch.

  11. Cindy in Kansas says:

    I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in weeks. What great luck you didn’t pitch it out.

  12. ClassyChassy says:

    I was just reading about mixes the other day – – Some of these mixes are fine, even after the expiration date, but if certain fats and other ingredients go bad after while and someone could get sick….be careful!

  13. Jeannie says:

    I love your hamburger helper mix recipes….have you thought of doing rice-a-roni?

    Love your blog! Thanks for helping a young mama like me learn so many great things about keeping my home and family. 🙂

  14. whaledancer says:

    I think you could have used that mix 100 years from now and it would still have been okay. Like those Twinkies that will outlast all of us. But…do you realize they don’t make that anymore? You probably just consumed the last box of Duncan Hines apple crisp ANYWHERE, the last on the planet.

    It looks delicious, too. But I suspect that the big dollop of rich whipped cream may have something to do with it.

    So, did you tell your guests the story of the box mix? And if so, was it before or after they ate it?

  15. whaledancer says:

    Jeannie, I just posted my Rice-a-Roni mix substitute recipe on Farm Bell Recipes. It’s called “Chicken-Flavored Brown Rice Mix.”

  16. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    Oh, you lucky, lucky girl to have such ladies of the family visit you!!!!!

  17. rowellsl says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your Box Mix post! My brother and sister-in-law had a running joke about a can of yams they bought a few months after they married. For the next 2 to 3 years, whenever my sister-in-law would say that they’d have to go eat out because there’s nothing to eat in the house, my brother would just smile and say “What about that can of yams?” I’m sure that can of yams served it’s true purpose in their life and marriage – even though I don’t think they ever got around to eating it.

  18. Andrea the Kitchen Witch says:

    that was a great story! I’ve had a box mix that I finally threw out after 10 years. I wasn’t brave enough to make it LOL

    How wonderful that you have so much family close by!

  19. Barbee' says:

    You have a “pie porch”! I am so green with envy :yes:

  20. Miss Becky says:

    what a lovely story with such beautiful women as the main characters. The only thing missing was…ME!

  21. Liz in Wis says:

    Ice tea, with the gals, on a summer’s day; it does a body good to just sit and relax a bit.

  22. lavenderblue says:

    You are,like, so lucky on a couple of levels. First, visiting with family. I remember many summer days when my mom would get a phone call, hang up and start yelling, “Quick, get the junk picked up. Aunt Whoever just called and they are on their way over. You girls clean, I gotta bake.” That was if we were lucky. Sometimes it was “Aunt Whoever just pulled in the driveway…” Good times, good times.

    Then, if I’d a-opened that box, it’d have meal worms or some darn thing in it. I’ve been battling those darn things all summer. Just threw out all my pasta, today I tossed out my beans. I’d frozen the darn things,too. Thought that was supposed to help. It didn’t.

  23. Grandmatotwochicks says:

    Love Love the post!!! Miss Georgia is so Beautiful! I smile to when I see her pictures, she reminds me of my Granny!!!!! :snoopy:

  24. Miss Judy says:

    Porches and family, you can’t get any better than that! The apple crisp…now you knoiw why you didn’t throw that box mix away. By the way…why don’t you make up a make up a recipe for a crisp mix that only takes 2 minutes to put together. I would use it and I know my visitors would enjoy it too!

  25. Jan Alexander says:

    Ok, so when are you gonna come up with the “homemade mix” version of this? LOL

  26. David says:

    It’s karma – the mix was just waiting for such an event.

  27. Rita says:

    This was such a cute story! I could almost feel myself sittin on the porch with my Mamaw and Great Aunt Winnie! Brings back lots of memories! The apple crisp sounds yummy too!

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