First off, for those of you food bloggers who wouldn't dream of using a packaged mix, get over it. I have cracked an egg, performed a minimum of measuring, stirred, and in 46 minutes I will have warm brownies.
Here is the story. When I was sixteen, mom and I were in our kitchen. It was during its "harvest gold" period and I do still wonder if that color will come back. I remember that Mom was reading the paper. She made her "startled" noise.
Me: What's wrong?
Mom: I didn't know this.
Me: Know what?
Mom: Betty Crocker isn't real.
Me: You're kidding, right?
Me: (Rolling sixteen-year-old eyes) How could you not know that?
Mom: Oh, I don't know. I didn't think about it that much.
Although I could have gone into full teenage-jerk mode, after a little mild ribbing ("You do know there isn't an Aunt Jemima, right?") I let it go. She seemed sort of bummed out.
I like 'old Betty. Not only can we make a mean pan of brownies, but she saved my bacon more than once when I was a newlywed. I have her cookbook, use her website (she got tech-y as she matured) and trust her products.
Best of all: Every time we make something together, I think of my mom, and smile.