Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Thirteen -- 13 Food Items That Irk Me

This little diatribe has been brewing for awhile. So, why not share my testy thoughts with my readers, and see who's a kindred spirit??? I haven't managed to write a coherent essay without ranting and sounding as though I've lost all sanity and rational thought, so this is the best I can offer.

Okay, here goes -- 13 Food Items That Irk Me to Varying Degrees (in no particular order, with the exception of the grand prize winner at #1):

13. Pre-cut zucchini and summer squash. I will readily pay extra for pre-cut winter squashes -- they're hard as rocks, they wobble like Weebles, and it's truly a miracle attributable to some future saint who's waiting to be canonized that I haven't hacked off part of a finger when I've tried to cut them myself. But the warm weather varieties??? Oh, come on! They're soft, they're thin-skinned, and it takes a whole whoppin' 30 seconds or so to slice one. Do we really need this much convenience??? Oy ....

12. Food that is spicy for the sake of being painful and attracting attention, rather than for the sake of being flavorful.

11. Burgers with 87 different things on them. I want a burger with a patty, lettuce, onion, tomato and ketchup ... pickles can be placed on top, but I'll just pick them off and eat them separately. I might toss on some Swiss and some mayonnaise; or perhaps I might stuff the patty with blue cheese once in awhile. I make a fabulous burger -- that was Jeremy's idea, to his credit! -- with crumbled bacon and grated Swiss cheese mixed into the ground beef. But I don't want ketchup and mustard and mayonnaise and barbecue sauce and chimichurri and wasabi, topped with chili and sprinkles and walnuts, with a 54-ingredient "special sauce" slathered on the bun that's been baked with its own 19-ingredient topping and a birthday cake thrown into the mix for festivity and visual appeal. I just want a burger!!!

10. Is it really too much trouble to boil water these days???

9. Tofu ... bleah! No matter how it's marinated, how long it soaks for, or what method is used for cooking it -- even if the silken variety is pureed into chocolate pudding -- it is not food. I do not like it, Sam I Am! I will use soy milk and/or flour for baking, I encourage the eating of edamame (even though I'm not too keen on them), and I know that there are extraordinary health benefits to eating soy. But tofu is not edible. Period.

8. Trader Joe's instant oatmeal. Not to make this a "Let's beat up on Trader Joe's" post -- I love most of their goodies. (God knows I've eaten enough of 'em!) But the stuff doesn't really become oatmeal; it's just oats sitting in colored/scented creamy liquid. No matter how much or how little water I use or how much I stir, they don't become a happy unified entity. So I just buy 47 other things when I go there, rather than the oatmeal, and eat them for breakfast instead!

7. Kim Chee. When I was in grad school (2 whole semesters that I despised, but I was still there!), one of my neighbors regularly made it in his room. Oh, my God, the stench!!! I have actually never tried it, I admit, because I simply can't get past the horrific memory of that cooking process.

6. Smuckers Uncrustables. If ya can't spread some peanut butter and some jelly on a coupla slices of bread for your kid, then there's really something wrong in your life. Truly.

5. Natural peanut butters, with the significant and notable exception of Koeze's -- which just happens to be made in Grand Rapids, Michigan! -- which is an exceptional product in every possible way. The others are flavorless, first of all. And then there's the layer of grease that you're supposed to stir in to the peanut mass that has hardened at the bottom of the jar. Except that there's no room in the jar for stirring, and when you try to insert a knife into the jar the grease oozes down the sides and onto your knuckles. And it never really smoothes out into peanut butter, which is truly one of the great foods in the universe, but rather remains a grease-laden blob of brown goo ... ick.

4. Carob. No matter how you try to disguise it or how many times you tell me it's a good substitute for chocolate, it's not. Uh uh.

3. Gefilte fish, which looks like little mini brains which could be used for a science fair display. I've often thought I'd like to try making my own -- taking something lovely, perhaps, like salmon to mince with the matzah meal and some seasoning (Tom's favorite, dill, maybe???). But the grey globs found in jars at the grocery store??? Let's have a collective "Ewwww!!!"

2. Frosting that tastes like chemicals instead of like butter and sugar. And cakes with too little frosting. Frosting is the most important part of a cake or a cupcake! It needs to be made with the proper ingredients, and there need to be copious quantities of it.

And ...

drum roll ...

1. Batter Blaster organic spray-on pancake batter. Oh, for God's sake!!! Do I care that it's organic? Nope. It's still pancake batter in a canister, to be sprayed on like hair mousse. Is it really that hard for people to stir flour, baking powder, an egg and some milk together and -- horrors! -- use a scoop to pour it onto the skillet or griddle themselves??? Sheesh! If you're so incapacitated that you can't stand up while mixing your own pancake batter, then you should be sitting back on a chaise while someone brings you chicken soup and hot tea and performs Last Rites over you. And if your life is so chaotic and frazzled that you require this kind of convenience product in order to save time, then you need to re-prioritize and cut back on work hours or extracurricular activities or something else. Every time I see this, the rant starts forming in my brain ... "Slowly I turned ...."

Okay, taking a deep breath now ...!


Angela said...

I hear ya, sister! Particularly the "uncrustables" and the pancake spritzer, both of which are signs of some kind of large-scale social collapse. I DO like Justin's natural peanut butter (especially the maple) and their natural hazelnut-chocolate spread. Boulder products, and super good.

Anonymous said...

a's school has gone completely nut free, so they use Sunbutter...peanut butter made from sunflower seeds. I had the chance to try it at the grocery store recently. It is beyond gross. Be. Yond.

Anonymous said...

oh my god...honestly? There's something like batter in a canister??
I've never seen that in Germany o_O
Not surprising that many children have no idea how eggs or even vegetables look like.
They all know ketchup and what it's made of, but they can't tell you how a fresh tomato looks like.
That's sad AND mostly unhealthy.


Sheila said...

hahahaha Oh, Mary, I'm not laughing at you! I'm laughing at the feelings inside myself that completely agree with you! I recently saw a commercial for the pancake batter and almost fell off my sofa (and I was laying down all snuggled up at the time!). Really? Organic?! In a spray can? WHAT???

And, I'm telling you, I think I'd give my right arm for a natural peanut butter that had good flavor and was smooth. They claim they are creamy and smooth, but they are gritty. I want my Skippy back more than anything. Why, oh why, do they use the palm oil in it? I want a peanut butter without high fructose corn syrup and without palm oil that is smooth and creamy!

*deep breath*

TeacherPatti said...

So much Word. That natural peanut butter crap tastes like ass paste, tofu tastes like ass cubes and forget carob...the hell? I didn't know about the spray on pancake stuff...I am depressed now.

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

I soo agree with you on so many of these!
Give me a plain burger anyday and I will put my own mayo, ketchup and onions on! I am the same if a pickle is there I don't mind but I will eat it off first!!
OMG I never knew that spaghetti that was already boiled even exists! Ridiculous!
I don't have kids but would never bring "uncrustables" or whatever they are called into my home if I did! thing we differ on and you probably will think that I am insane, is that I LOVE gefilte (probably misspelled that!) fish!! I just love it!

Kuppy said...

BAHAHA, I have to agree with all of those! Especially the batter blaster, pasta in a bag, and the uncrustables! I mean really, how hard is it to boil water, make a pb&j, and really? A spray can of pancakes, yuck. No thank you. Oh and by the by, I adore blowing bubbles too! So much fun!

Nicole said...

I agree with all - except maybe the natural PB. I am learning to like it. And I have NEVER heard of pancake batter in a can??!! LOL

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Oh Mary, I love you!! These things drive me batty as well!!! Learn to use a knife people, cutting veggies is not hard nor is it rocket science. I'm a cheese and ketchup burger girl myself so I'm there with you. Don't add 59 other ingredients & charge me $15 for it. Its still just a ground beef patty on a bun for crying out loud!! Pre cooked pasta? really?? REALLY?? WHY!?! and the spray pancake batter...there aren't words to describe that.

Another one that drives me crazy is the hot dog in a bun ready for the microwave. Because putting that dog into the bun was really breaking me. That's hard work!

Unknown said...

I couldn't have said it better myself!!! (though I have eaten kim chee and not minded it, but the smell is miserable!!)

Unknown said...

LOL! I love it all.

That's an amazing, hilarious rant. Thanks for the entertainment on a blah Thursday!

One thing I'd add marginally food related (just for the season):
Instant Sukkahs. One of the joys of Succot is building the sukkah (even if it doesn't seem like it at the time), not to toss a spring-loaded tent and a rollup bamboo sheet out your window along with the pizza pops from the microwave.

I do miss building a sukkah and I might restart the tradition next year.

lindalou said...

Great rant!

Team Chastain said...

Literally, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with each and every entry!

Robin said...

A lot of these were new to me. I knew about carob. My dad has low blood sugar and we discovered carob when I was a kid. Not so impressed with it. I am not a huge pb fan anyway, so the natural pb is okay with me b.c. I just don't eat much of it. I don't like frosting very much. I am all about the cake. I want good cake. I like a thin layer of frosting. You put too much frosting on it and I am scraping it off and putting it on my plate. BTW, if you ever make me a cake. White or yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my favorite. Again, I like frosting, just not a lot. And that crap in the can, never heard of it, but ewwww!

Candace said...

I. Love. This. Post.!

I completely agree....well, except that I've learned to enjoy the taste of natural peanut butter. I do however struggle with the oily goop on top and trying to stir it in and then when you get to the bottom, just try to get it out and spread on anything. Almond Butter doesn't seem to be quite so bad.

I pick my pickles off my burger too. :)

Cranberry Morning said...

Oh, there's so much to say here, I don't know where to begin! #13. Same goes for broccoli and cauliflower. What's so hard about cutting those up?? Then, I cannot BELIEVE the Trader Joe's pasts. You've got to be kidding! Just the other day at the supermarket, I thought it was bad enough that there were stacks of baked potatoes at the deli with all the stuff already on top of them. You just have to microwave it or something! How hard is it to bake a potato?? and get it FRESH!! And why instant oatmeal? Even the old fashioned doesn't take all that long. Can't we just plan ahead a bit?? Old fashioned actually means you can CHEW it, rather than possibly have it in an IV. Uncrustables. I cannot understand the person who can't spread peanut butter on a slice of bread. If they don't want the crust, they give it to the dog. Dogs love peanut butter on crust. The natural peanut butter? I think the oil is just peanut oil, but you need to invent an extra long paddle with which to stir the stuff, cuz yes, it gets all over your hands when you try to use a knife. I always pour off a bit of the oil anyway. And don't even get me started on carob. Some idiot once told me, 'use carob. It's just like chocolate.' NO ITS NOT. Chocolate is chocolate. Carob is carob. It's like telling me, 'use raisins. They're just like chocolate.' Whoever dreamed up that one?? And besides, who wouldn't want chocolate in the first place that they would decide to substitute carob? If I were in a country that didn't have chocolate and had only carob, I would still forego the carob and instead simply remember the days when I ate delicious chocolate.

The frosting that tastes like chemicals - reminds me of today when I stopped at Kwik Trip. They now have decorated cakes available. You can pre-order your garish, ugly icky disgusting 'cake' for your favorite birthday celebrant.

Batter blaster? don't tell my son. He brings home Fruity Pebbles cuz I won't buy them. He'd probably think Batter Blaster is cool. Where have I gone wrong??

Last, but not least, I have never seen those slimey little gray grubs you have pictured. They look horrid.

See? You're not alone. :-)

Cranberry Morning said...

Well guess what! I just spent more time on my comment than I usually do on writing a post! And when I got all done, Google told me it was too long to process. They deleted it!

So, to sum it up, I wholeheartedly agree on all points. And I had SO MUCH MORE to say. Alas, even Google wants me to try to be more concise.

Angela said...

Oh, Sunbutter...horrible, horrible stuff. My sympathies.

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