As I dumped the cheapo brownie mix into the mixing bowl, adding just enough water to give it a nice consistency, and started eating straight out of the bowl – after midnight no less, I was thinking that if anyone who reads my articles knew about this, I might lose my credibility. Unfortunately, I’m going to share this dirty little secret because I think it can be an excellent example of how we can develop some very strange dietary habits. Fortunately, my stomach has never really liked much sugar and grumbles until I put away the brownie mix after just a few bites. Unluckily, it will sit in the refrigerator tempting me and creating stomach aches for several days.
Why in the world would I do this to myself with everything I know about nutrition, processed food, and metabolism?!? On the one hand, I was probably craving something sweet as I was trying to get a few more things accomplished before going to bed and starting the next work week. The real reason goes slightly beyond bad habit, unfortunately; it is learned behavior.
When I was very young, my father made my mother promise never to eat her favorite butter and brown sugar sandwiches in front of me because he thought it would be an awful habit for me to pick up. True to her word, I was unaware of this quirk until I was a teenager. I’m pretty sure that she finally divulged when she found out that I was eating Oreos and orange soda as an after school and sports practice snack. I played three sports in high school and often craved quick calories after an intense practice. That was a bad habit, but easily broken.
The brownie mix my mother and I discovered together and shared frequently. It was a fast and easy way to fix a chocolate craving. My mother also taught me how to mix Bisquick with a little water and sugar to create a sweet dough that we would eat without baking. Then there was the version of s’mores I created with the microwave and Quick powder….
I would not suggest any of the above to anyone. They are obviously not healthy options, nor are they really that satisfying. It would take me nearly as long to walk across the street and purchase a made from scratch Ghiradelli brownie, so it isn’t even really about convenience and certainly not about quality. The treats in which we indulged as children often seem more intriguing when we are adults.