Inside the bag was . . .

cruel defeat for you all.

There were 116 entries, and nobody guessed it!  Are you ready?  Inside the bag was . . .

mix for making homemade vanilla ice cream.   How can I be sure?  After some deep cleaning, we noticed a carton which was split open, from which a stray bag might reasonably have been separated.  The box held most of the pieces of an ice cream maker, as well as other little similar bags holding ice cream-making things, like rock salt.  Also in the box were instructions (for an ICEE machine, but still).  Also a piece of wood, and a blue sweater.

So I was fairly sure that I was dealing with something edible, so I opened the bag and smelled and tasted the contents.  Yep, that’s what it was:  ice cream mix.  We actually went so far as to use the ice cream maker one time, and I remember the powdery, gritty texture of the mix and the odd, buttery smell.  I did a dramatic Geraldo-esque video of myself opening it up, but my newly teenaged daughter just couldn’t resist turning the camera on herself from time to time, and the end result was not especially intelligible.  Also “Panic In New York Detroit” (definitely panic in somewhere!) was playing in the background for some reason, and drowned out most of what I was saying.  (I was saying, “Oh, it’s ice cream mix.”)

So.  Now what?  I may have missed a few, but here are the guesses:

Iocane powder

zombifying neurotoxin powder called Tetrodoxin

instant chai

masa harina

Cocaine (5)

priming sugar for beer


beer bread mix

powdered milk

wheat flour


instant mashed potatoes

cornstarch and water

rice flour

embossing powder for rubber stampers

cake mix (including Easy Bake) (16)

plaster of paris for hand/foot print, stepping stone, or misc. craft (19)

muffin or scone mix (4)

arrowroot (3)

potato starch

pancake mix (5)


tapioca flour or tapioca (2)

cremains (2)

diaper dust

clay powder

gum arabic

reagent powder for chemistry kit

laundry detergent

drink or lemonade mix (2)


grout powder

chickpea flour

onion powder (4)

bubble gum kit mix

bulk vitamin C

pizza dough  mix

brownie mix

muffin streusel


soy flour

Barkeeper’s Friend

flea powder

baby formula

silica powder

xanthan gum

wall paper paste

sand (from craft kit, ant farm, or Sinai Desert, or rock polishing kit) (8)

Moon Sand

magic ecumenical fairy powder

vanilla pudding (5)

ice cream smoothie

I think that last one comes the closest, don’t you?  And so . . .

I’m happy to announce that the winner of our stupid contest is Elaine Miletic!

Congratulations, Elaine!  Please email me with your shipping address, and I will get your two-year subscription to Faith and Family set up!

And to everyone else, you won’t come away empty handed.  To you, I impart this valuable piece of advice:  making homemade ice cream once every thirteen years is about right.

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  • Laura V.

    huh. i was unaware that xanthan gum came in powder form. i wouldn’t have even thought to guess that.

  • Cari

    My husband makes ice cream all the time. He doesn’t use a mix, though. He does it from scratch and comes up with things like vanilla ice cream, dyed yellow, with pieces of chocolate donut in it. Then he calls it “Homer Simpson”.

    He’s very creative. But not as creative as some of those guesses. Iocaine powder!! Did they stake their life on it?

  • Elaine Miletic

    Wow, I rarely win anything! Thanks Simcha! Will send address promptly. (It was the true whiteness that tipped me off to the milky/ice creamy content.)

  • Donna L.

    I’m just impressed that you took the time to type out all of our guesses….and that you put the illegal ones in too!

    Yeah, I have made homemade ice cream many times, but did not know there was a “mix”!

  • Margaret

    Do try homemade sometime– it’s some work, but it is goooood! I can’t even imagine throwing some powdered mix in and hoping for tasty results…

  • sally scrupulous

    Xanthan gum in powder form is very useful to those of you trying to bake things without gluten. It holds things together (as in “gum”). I used it to make some granola bars without any wheat products. Yum. You can get it at Whole Foods or health food stores.

    I am shocked that so many people who lost the contest are accepting the rather dubioius evidence backing up the claim that this is ice cream mix and are not calling for a reputable lab analysis of the powder. It renews my faith in humankind’s capacity for trust, social harmony and the graceful capcity to admit one is wrong. Edifying in the midst of all our woeful disputations.

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    I’d really hate to mix up cremains and powdered milk.

  • Kevin

    I am deeply ashamed.

    Not that I didn’t guess anything related to ice cream–but rather, that I did not have the wit to be the one to guess “iocaine powder”.

  • Maurisa

    Iocaine powder–LOL! Classic!

    I thought it was pudding mix, but never sent in a guess. I didn’t have any idea there were ice cream mixes!

  • Barbara

    Is it odd that the most popular guesses were Cocaine and Vanilla pudding?