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Alyssa & John 9: It’s All About Dressing Up and Looking Perfect on Instagram


nelliebelle1197

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Yeah, I’m not going to snark on the muffin mix. I don’t really eat or make baked goods, so I don’t tend to keep the ingredients on hand. My teens like baking, and started out with package mixes, premade cookie dough, etc. If they decide it’s worth the effort to make from scratch, they are more than welcome to... however, if they are anything like me, they will question whether an hour of baking was worth it when their dad inhales the entire batch of cookies in 3 seconds flat. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2021 at 1:59 PM, indianabones said:

My mom was not a baker when I was growing up. The only things she ever baked were brownies, and those came from a box of Ghirardelli mix. I taught myself to bake as a kid (though she showed me how to use teaspoons and measuring cups. I took it from there, with the help of cookbooks.) There was one memorable incident where I tried to make blondies in a muffin tin with olive oil instead of canola or butter... baking can have quite a learning curve!

When I grew up, I became a professional baker for a few years and almost enrolled in pastry school, until I had a back injury. But despite everything I've learned about baking in the past 20-odd years, I've still never made brownies from scratch- I always use the Ghirardelli mix. Nothing else tastes as good.

Anyways, perhaps Alyssa uses baking mixes for the same reason? 

I learned to bake very young and baked my first batch of chocolate chip cookies with Mom's supervision only and no help when I was 5. When I was 10 I made my first pie. I took breads two years in 4-H and my second year was selected to be my county's breads representative at the State fair. I still am very comfortable baking a pie from scratch and taking it whenever I have to bring food in public. I'm also the first one to volunteer to bring homemade bread when appropriate. I draw the line at brownies. I have not found any that have the same qualities that I like in the Ghirardelli and that is the one mix that I buy and I am not ashamed.

Edited by Audrey2
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2 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

If I ever made a rainbow cake, I’m positive it would be made with box mix! 
 

My favorite cake recipe from scratch is a depression era cake my great grandma always made. She was married in 1932 when certain items were not always available during the depression. It’s a delicious moist chocolate cake that doesn’t use butter or eggs. It was a favorite when I was growing up because grandma would make peanut butter icing to go on top and it was amazing. If I’m going to make a cake from scratch, it’s a “Wacky Cake.”

I remember making Wacky Cake in Jackrabbits Ski Club. We skied from house to house and collected a different ingredient from each house. So much fun and no eggs was key for kids skiing while carrying ingredients. 

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1 hour ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I guess I figured she would do it for the socialization. I could see her doing the organizing of all the classes and scheduling but not any of the teaching. 

Even that would be too much. That would take away time from her hair and make up. Plus it would also allow the kids to socialize with kids that aren’t family. 

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I love box mixes for gluten-free or vegan options (our family is neither) We bake a lot from scratch but don’t have potato starch or brown rice flour or egg replacer on hand for the one time every 3 years or so we need gf or vegan cupcakes. 

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9 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

If I ever made a rainbow cake, I’m positive it would be made with box mix! 
 

My favorite cake recipe from scratch is a depression era cake my great grandma always made. She was married in 1932 when certain items were not always available during the depression. It’s a delicious moist chocolate cake that doesn’t use butter or eggs. It was a favorite when I was growing up because grandma would make peanut butter icing to go on top and it was amazing. If I’m going to make a cake from scratch, it’s a “Wacky Cake.”

One of my friends from Uni is vegan. Whenever we have had dinner as a group, I've made a vegan chocolate cake for dessert that is so easy to make that it even inspired some of my non-baking friends to try it at home. Literally less than five minutes to mix: only flour, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, water, salt and baking soda, a little vanilla extract if you want to be fancy. Dump it all in a bowl, mix and bake. We always serve it with some sorbet as that's vegan or some soy cherry yogurt one the side (not a fan of soy products myself but the others love it). Will have to try a peanut butter icing next time, that sounds lovely!

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3 hours ago, The butcher's wife said:

One of my friends from Uni is vegan. Whenever we have had dinner as a group, I've made a vegan chocolate cake for dessert that is so easy to make that it even inspired some of my non-baking friends to try it at home. Literally less than five minutes to mix: only flour, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, water, salt and baking soda, a little vanilla extract if you want to be fancy. Dump it all in a bowl, mix and bake. We always serve it with some sorbet as that's vegan or some soy cherry yogurt one the side (not a fan of soy products myself but the others love it). Will have to try a peanut butter icing next time, that sounds lovely!

Yes, the depression era cake is vegan since it doesn’t take butter or eggs! It’s such a great cake. 

8 hours ago, Lgirlrocks said:

Even that would be too much. That would take away time from her hair and make up. Plus it would also allow the kids to socialize with kids that aren’t family. 

Thankfully she allows them to do AWANAS at their church. But Alyssa doesn’t have to do anything but drop them off. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2021 at 2:02 AM, Green bean satan said:

Ok, I used to grow up eating mashed potatoes from a mix and when I moved out, I did the same. One of my friends told me to just peel potatoes, mash them (with milk or pot liquor) and it tasted a million times better. Never went back. Only thing I never gave up is whipped cream from a canister? I think you call it. Still don’t bake bread (but that bc the bakery 50 yards away is sooooo good) but cakes, muffins etc I do. 

Whipped cream in a can is gross but in an I cannot stop with just one squirt straight into my mouth sort of way. I also like it on cocoa- real cream on cocoa just ain’t right.

9 hours ago, Lgirlrocks said:

Even that would be too much. That would take away time from her hair and make up. Plus it would also allow the kids to socialize with kids that aren’t family. 

It is the Maxwells who  have that rule. The Bates have never done the “siblings as BFFs” thing. They have plenty of friends.

11 hours ago, Denim Jumper said:

Yeah, I’m not going to snark on the muffin mix. I don’t really eat or make baked goods, so I don’t tend to keep the ingredients on hand. My teens like baking, and started out with package mixes, premade cookie dough, etc. If they decide it’s worth the effort to make from scratch, they are more than welcome to... however, if they are anything like me, they will question whether an hour of baking was worth it when their dad inhales the entire batch of cookies in 3 seconds flat. 

Uh, it is totally worth it... to dad. My husband is one of those people who eats whatever is in front of him even it belongs to someone else (example, my 10 year old has an adventurous palate. She gets a fancy meal and saves part of it for later but invariably dad eats it). Your kids ought to just start hiding the cookies and then they can inhale them in front of HIM! That’ll teach him! We totally hide the good stuff from Vacuum Mouth Dad around here!

Edited by nelliebelle1197
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I believe the following 2 sentiments can be true at the same time and not mutually exclusive:

- Alyssa is overall a lazy cook and mostly feeds her kids and herself over-processed food. This is mostly due to how she grew up and learned to cook which was more utilitarian - feed as many mouths as quickly, efficiently, and cheaply as possible, quality not a priority.

- Pre-packaged baking mixes are not the worst shortcut and better that than nothing, especially if she (hopefully) involves the girls in baking sometimes, as we saw at least once with the chicken pot pie. I have 1/almost 2 kids and mostly cook from scratch with organic ingredients but I like to have baking mixes on hand too, they can be a quick activity with my toddler son who loves to help out.

Also, it does not seem John has any involvement nor interest in the nutrition of his family which is typical of fundies, though among non-fundie hetero families I know many where the woman doesnt like to cook and the man does the majority, and that's okay. Unfortunately their culture does not allow that, and we also end up giving John a pass.

This is all to say that it remains true that Alyssa remains a vapid, vain twit, but the muffin baking mix is certainly not the worst of her habits to be highlighted the way it is in the intro post to this thread.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2021 at 12:56 AM, AliceInFundyland said:

I'm not sure wishing for abuse as a mod is a good thing ?

I can take and give it too! I don't mind if people pick on me or disagree unless the are being mean to someone else!

1 hour ago, freethemall said:

This is all to say that it remains true that Alyssa remains a vapid, vain twit, but the muffin baking mix is certainly not the worst of her habits to be highlighted the way it is in the intro post to this thread.

I will say it for the last time - it is not about the mix itself. It is about the fact Alyssa is more concerned with her organized pantry and the pics than what is in it. It's just a symbol, like the school room where the teacher isn't mom but a video, but the room is perfect. The mix stuck out to me as a something that perfectly encapsulated the hypocrisy of the Instagramming fundie SAHMs - and frankly some of the non-religious ones too. The mix stood out because of the terrible diets we all know the Bateseses gave their kids - I think they served pasta with ketchup and called it spaghetti at one point - and the fact that posters have repeatedly seen Alyssa, perfectly coiffed, feeding girls, perfectly coiffed, nothing but processed foods.

Again, it is a symbol and I judge her for it not because it is a short cut (and mixes are good ways for nonbakers to learn to bake tbh) but because I saw it as symbolic of the shallowness beneath these perfect fundie family instagrams and blogs.  I may not have been artful when I was trying to be short and snappy in the first post, but I have explained this over and over.

The rest of your post is spot on.

Edited by nelliebelle1197
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1 hour ago, nelliebelle1197 said:

I can take and give it too! I don't mind if people pick on me or disagree unless the are being mean to someone else!

I will say it for the last time - it is not about the mix itself. It is about the fact Alyssa is more concerned with her organized pantry and the pics than what is in it. It's just a symbol, like the school room where the teacher isn't mom but a video, but the room is perfect. The mix stuck out to me as a something that perfectly encapsulated the hypocrisy of the Instagramming fundie SAHMs - and frankly some of the non-religious ones too. The mix stood out because of the terrible diets we all know the Bateseses gave their kids - I think they served pasta with ketchup and called it spaghetti at one point - and the fact that posters have repeatedly seen Alyssa, perfectly coiffed, feeding girls, perfectly coiffed, nothing but processed foods.

Again, it is a symbol and I judge her for it not because it is a short cut (and mixes are good ways for nonbakers to learn to bake tbh) but because I saw it as symbolic of the shallowness beneath these perfect fundie family instagrams and blogs.  I may not have been artful when I was trying to be short and snappy in the first post, but I have explained this over and over.

The rest of your post is spot on.

While I fully agree with you and see your point, the only part i disagree with that is that the muffin mix encapsulates and symbolizes all the other food and homemaking issues in that household, there have been better ones that maybe wouldn't have caused a 3 page FJ thread argument! I think for instance her video where she hands them all packaged muffins for breakfast then goes to chick fila for lunch really summed it up.

Maybe the only way to put this to rest is a FJ muffin baking contest where we all guess which are homemade which are not.

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5 hours ago, nelliebelle1197 said:

Whipped cream in a can is gross but in an I cannot stop with just one squirt straight into my mouth sort of way. I also like it on cocoa- real cream on cocoa just ain’t right.

It is the Maxwells who  have that rule. The Bates have never done the “siblings as BFFs” thing. They have plenty of friends.

Uh, it is totally worth it... to dad. My husband is one of those people who eats whatever is in front of him even it belongs to someone else (example, my 10 year old has an adventurous palate. She gets a fancy meal and saves part of it for later but invariably dad eats it). Your kids ought to just start hiding the cookies and then they can inhale them in front of HIM! That’ll teach him! We totally hide the good stuff from Vacuum Mouth Dad around here!

Back to dishwasher stories: When my mother finally got a dishwasher installed in the kitchen, she never wanted to use it because she never thought there were enough dishes to justify using it. The dishwasher became our best hiding place for the cookies my sister and I made because we had a Vacuum Mouth Brother.

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10 minutes ago, freethemall said:

While I fully agree with you and see your point, the only part i disagree with that is that the muffin mix encapsulates and symbolizes all the other food and homemaking issues in that household, there have been better ones that maybe wouldn't have caused a 3 page FJ thread argument! I think for instance her video where she hands them all packaged muffins for breakfast then goes to chick fila for lunch really summed it up.

Maybe the only way to put this to rest is a FJ muffin baking contest where we all guess which are homemade which are not.

It was in the picture that autofilled which is why I noted it. BUT anytime there is a homemade/mix/bakery/cooking/can/packet /etc. it goes to pages because people get defensive - with reason - about this sort of thing because it a universal staple of the mommy wars. No stay at home mom is good enough and no working mom is good enough because society pressures us and defines us and EXPECTS so so much we cannot be. Of course we argue and get defensive over muffin mix and canned soup and take out. Western culture lets us do nothing less. I am guilty too of course.

That is a perfect example and I wish that had been the pic! But alas...

I make delicious wonderful homemade baked goods. I love doing it and it is my outlet. But they are not pretty baked goods because I am just not one who make things uniform and perfect. So I would lose that contest!

 

 

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In today’s IG AW films the girls showing off their swimming skills. I can’t tell whether the safety fence around the pool is still in place. As Allie makes her way across the pool dog paddling style, AW makes the comment that she’s surprised that Allie can swim at all. I wonder if AW knows how to swim? I’m frightened for a family with all those little kids having a pool that might not be 100% secure and a primary caregiver who might not know how to swim. Recently, AW was filming her grape vines while the kids swam with floaties unattended. It does interest me that kids who live FL and who are 6 and 4 in the case of the older girls, have so few swimming skills. 

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Posted (edited)

Eating processed food is not necessarily for convenience / out of laziness. It's an eating style that mostly comes from lack of nutritional knowledge, and is common among middle-class American families. Most of my friends ate that way growing up, it was the norm.

As a teacher, I see how parents pack lunches. The parent who packed spaghetti-o's, a bag of doritos and some animal crackers put as much work into it as the parent who sent pita, hummus and strawberries. The first meal is really unhealthy, but still requires effort and money to buy those name-brand items and heat the canned pasta in a little thermos. 

I admit that I go a little overboard with the healthy eating so I cringe at the Webster kids licking off all the icing from a store-bought cupcake and their parents thinking it's cute. But I'm not convinced it's because Alyssa is lazy or a hypocrite who doesn't enjoy being a homemaker. I think it's because she has the culinary tastes of a toddler and has never been interested in educating herself about nutrition. 

Edited by usedbicycle
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There is some kind of white fence in the background, so I assume the fence is back up. How deep is the pool? My BIL can't swim well but their pool is only 5 feet at it's deepest so he can stand anywhere in it and could get the kids out. If it's not too deep, Alyssa doesn't have to be the strongest swimmer. She may also just be impressed by Allie"s skills because it is 't something she got to learn as a child.

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My niece refuses to eat real mashed potatoes so I keep a box of Betty Crocker Roasted Garlic on hand for her. I also lazy out when making shepherd’s pie; Beyond Beef, frozen veg, ketchup, veggie broth and top it off with potatoes out of a box. This tends to be my rushed dinner or too exhausted to care dinner. Not the healthiest but not the worst either. My daughter’s daycare criticized the fact that I let her eat organic, no sugar, no salt baby food rather than making it from scratch. I do make her dinner homemade but lunches are just easier to use PC Organics. My lunch is salad out of a bag. Total mommy fail on some fronts but single parenting, working full time and finishing my Masters is hard. Masters was done as of May. There will be a break before my doctorate. 

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I nominate "The Muffin Mix is a Symbol" as a future thread title.

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1 hour ago, usedbicycle said:

Eating processed food is not necessarily for convenience / out of laziness. It's an eating style that mostly comes from lack of nutritional knowledge, and is common among middle-class American families. Most of my friends ate that way growing up, it was the norm.

As a teacher, I see how parents pack lunches. The parent who packed spaghetti-o's, a bag of doritos and some animal crackers put as much work into it as the parent who sent pita, hummus and strawberries. The first meal is really unhealthy, but still requires effort and money to buy those name-brand items and heat the canned pasta in a little thermos. 

I admit that I go a little overboard with the healthy eating so I cringe at the Webster kids licking off all the icing from a store-bought cupcake and their parents thinking it's cute. But I'm not convinced it's because Alyssa is lazy or a hypocrite who doesn't enjoy being a homemaker. I think it's because she has the culinary tastes of a toddler and has never been interested in educating herself about nutrition. 

You really don't wanna see me with a Publix or Costco cake/cupcake and what I do to the frosting. My 10 year old totally hates frosting and I think it is because of what I do to it! She is also pretty spoiled by my baking so she is missing out on the pleasure of demolishing frosting or eating the middle out of a twinkie! You would totally approve of her self-directed eating. I grow peas and beans and lettuces. The pea pods never make it to dinner because someone sits at vines and gobbles as soon as they plump up! Both my kids were adventurous eaters until school cafeteria food. My daughter retained her palate but my son's went from hot goat curry and bowls of spinach to chicken nuggets by first grade. It was partially on us for not pushing lunch from home but he enjoyed the cafeteria so much as a little one....

54 minutes ago, HereticHick said:

I nominate "The Muffin Mix is a Symbol" as a future thread title.

You want to kill me don't you? I thought you were my FJ spouse!

If I never type those words again I will be the happiest camper ever! I think I felt I had to justify it so much because I did not want anyone to think I was judging THEM!

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Wait, what's wrong with oatmeal packets? I have that every morning with fruit and almond milk! I don't think it's so dubious. 

I also use baking mixes. It's the only way I bake for the most part. I love things from scratch but I certainly don't have time for that and probably never will. ? (And I rarely ever bake. If I need something sweet, I always have...powdered hot chocolate from the tin. lol.) My dad loves beans but even he says "making beans like from back home in my old country seems like a luxury here. It's very simple but takes a very long time." I guess my cuisine is processed food mixed with fresh food. My favorite meal is still frozen packaged ravioli combined with sautéed mushrooms that came fresh from the local farmer's market. I

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40 minutes ago, meep said:

Wait, what's wrong with oatmeal packets? I have that every morning with fruit and almond milk! I don't think it's so dubious. 

I also use baking mixes. It's the only way I bake for the most part. I love things from scratch but I certainly don't have time for that and probably never will. ? (And I rarely ever bake. If I need something sweet, I always have...powdered hot chocolate from the tin. lol.) My dad loves beans but even he says "making beans like from back home in my old country seems like a luxury here. It's very simple but takes a very long time." I guess my cuisine is processed food mixed with fresh food. My favorite meal is still frozen packaged ravioli combined with sautéed mushrooms that came fresh from the local farmer's market. I

My 10 year old is learning bake and we are starting with mixes and with making mug cakes and such. She discovered cake mix cookies - oil and eggs and cake mix,  scoop 'em on a pan after rolling in sugar and bake. They are actually insanely easy and really damn good with the right cake mix. She made some with a double chocolate mix that tasted like really expensive bakery cookies. Pro tip - strawberry cake mix is not a good choice if you are older than say six.

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3 hours ago, SassyPants said:

In today’s IG AW films the girls showing off their swimming skills. I can’t tell whether the safety fence around the pool is still in place. As Allie makes her way across the pool dog paddling style, AW makes the comment that she’s surprised that Allie can swim at all. I wonder if AW knows how to swim? I’m frightened for a family with all those little kids having a pool that might not be 100% secure and a primary caregiver who might not know how to swim. 

I would be surprised if Alyssa reaches the definition of what I define as "knows how to swim." At best I'm thinking she can doggy paddle with her head under. Being a strong swimmer who can do strokes and efficiently tread water takes consistent teaching and practice. I can't see the Bateses doing it. 

Which also means she isn't the best judge of how well her daughters can swim. I've learned over the years that some families think "I can barely grapple for the side of the pool" counts as swimming. I've had multiple friends brag to me about their love of water or tell me they swim laps to workout,  only to find out they can only do a doggy paddle flail with their heads above water. Same for bragging about their kids' swimming abilities. The different cultural outlooks on this have really surprised me. 

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One of Bill Gothard's principles was that all of the siblings were best friends. In his teachings, children weren't supposed to have individual friends, but families could have friends. I know I've read that somewhere, but I can't find a source atm.

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21 hours ago, Audrey2 said:

I learned to bake very young and baked my first batch of chocolate chip cookies with Mom's supervision only and no help when I was 5. When I was 10 I made my first pie. I took breads two years in 4-H and my second year was selected to be my county's breads representative at the State fair. I still am very comfortable baking a pie from scratch and taking it whenever I have to bring food in public. I'm also the first one to volunteer to bring homemade bread when appropriate. I draw the line at brownies. I have not found any that have the same qualities that I like in the Ghirardelli and that is the one mix that I buy and I am not ashamed.

I'm kind of a snob when it comes to baked goods and won't bother eating a cake from a box or even a grocery store bakery (just doesn't taste good enough to justify the calories, especially the frosting), but I only ever make brownies from a box. I've made really good homemade brownies. They still weren't better than the Ghirardelli triple chocolate. 

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3 hours ago, usedbicycle said:

Eating processed food is not necessarily for convenience / out of laziness. It's an eating style that mostly comes from lack of nutritional knowledge, and is common among middle-class American families. Most of my friends ate that way growing up, it was the norm.

As a teacher, I see how parents pack lunches. The parent who packed spaghetti-o's, a bag of doritos and some animal crackers put as much work into it as the parent who sent pita, hummus and strawberries. The first meal is really unhealthy, but still requires effort and money to buy those name-brand items and heat the canned pasta in a little thermos. 

I admit that I go a little overboard with the healthy eating so I cringe at the Webster kids licking off all the icing from a store-bought cupcake and their parents thinking it's cute. But I'm not convinced it's because Alyssa is lazy or a hypocrite who doesn't enjoy being a homemaker. I think it's because she has the culinary tastes of a toddler and has never been interested in educating herself about nutrition. 

I agree but Alyssa knows how to eat healthier. She used to put more effort when Allie was a baby/toddler, she gave her fruits and healthier food; I think at this point is out of laziness or she's just tired and goes for what she thinks it's easier. 

Eating healthy sometimes can be even easier than unhealthy. Steam veggies, eating whole fruits and preparing salads are very easy options, doing some grilled chicken, brown rice and steamed veggies or a salad is way easier than making chicken pot pie. I can make that dinner which is my go-to in like 20 minutes.

I do agree that maybe Alyssa thinks it's not a big deal to eat unhealthy although she knows to some degree than eating healthy is important but it might not be *THAT* important to her.

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