Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Here’s the deal. A few days ago I got a coupon in the mail for one dollar off my purchase of –

milk-2

 

I have no idea what a2 milk is. I’ve never heard of it before. Then again, the dairy case at my grocery store gets more confusing every day. The choice used to be: whole, 2%, 1% or skim. And, to be honest, I didn’t even fully understand these choices. 2% of what? Or is it 2% milk…and, in that case, what’s the other 98%? Generally these choices were color coded and I typically made my decision based on which hue I found most appealing.

Now, of course, there’s almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, rice milk, and many, many more. I don’t have the faintest notion as to how one gets milk from an almond – but this stuff is increasingly popular, so I can only suppose that someone out there is sitting on the world’s tiniest stool and placing the world’s tiniest bucket under an almond and milking it.

Every day I hear a report that one of the above is healthiest for me, followed by a report the following day that reveals that the previous day’s report was entirely incorrect and I should, in fact, drink something else entirely. Meanwhile, all I want is for my cereal not to be dry.

Remember those simple days when the milkman would drop off a bottle every Sunday? Me either. But I’ve seen it in movies. The milkman dressed from head to toe in white with a cool milkman hat and a smile that is borderline creepy in its excessive joy. Regardless, it was certainly a simpler time. The milkman never asked if you wanted unsweetened vanilla flavored soy coconut milk. He never asked anything. He just kept smiling and incessantly bringing you bottles of milk…come to think of it, I don’t recall ever having asked him to brink milk. What’s with that guy?

I’m way off track. The point is, there are too many milk options. I don’t need this many choices. And now, I’ve got an inexplicable coupon for a2 milk.

My coupon informs me that this particular milk comes from “cows that naturally produce only the pure A2 protein.” As if that is at all helpful.

It further offers the following diagram –

milk

So, apparently, regular milk comes from half gray, half purple bovines, whilst this new and improved product comes from the special all-purple cows. What kind of madness is this? I’m supposed to go buy something I’ve never heard of based on a barnyard coloring book? This is the least informative graphic ever.

You know, I don’t care if the milkman was psychotic, I just want someone to bring me a refreshing liquid to pour on my cereal tomorrow morning. I don’t want to have to search through the dairy case like it’s a Where’s Waldo book. I don’t want to have to compare and contrast the most recently milked nut. And I don’t want to have to figure out the difference between purple and multi-colored cows.

Screw it. I’ll just have oatmeal.

Here’s the deal. Candy is a hot button topic this time of year. All the celebrity parents are dishing: What treat are you handing out this year? Full size or fun size? Healthy or decadent? Are Kit Kats in or out? But whatever your opinion on candy dispersal, we can all agree on one thing. White chocolate is ridiculous.

Let’s clear up one point first – everyone likes chocolate. To not like chocolate is not a valid opinion. It doesn’t have to be your favorite food, you can enjoy it in moderation, but you have to enjoy the taste of chocolate. It’s what separates us from the lawless apes. And that brings up a number of questions. Why would anyone go and invent white chocolate? Why are we still producing white chocolate? And, what the hell is white chocolate?

220px-Chocolate02

I don’t know about you, but I go to the Huffington Post for all of my chocolate news, and they report that, “White chocolate doesn’t qualify as genuine chocolate because it doesn’t contain chocolate solids. White chocolate is typically made from a blend of cocoa butter, milk solids, sugar, milk fat, and lecithin – a fatty emulsifier that holds it all together.” Sounds like Frankenstein’s monster confection to me. Cooked up in some lab by a mad scientist with a half eaten Snickers on a slab connected to electrodes that run first to a corpse brain and then to a lightening rod on the roof. No thank you.

And, frankly, it sounds racist. Of course, you run the risk of anything sounding racist when you pop the word white in front of it. White supremacy. White power. White Christmas. (“Why can’t I invite my friend, Jose, to the Christmas party, Dad, it’s just not fair!”) I imagine a bunch of honkey lawyers and doctors sitting around their country club saying, “Yes, this Hershey’s bar is tasty, but it’s just so darn dark. Isn’t there any way to make it both delicious and whiter?” The answer is no. There isn’t a way to do that. When you make it whiter it tastes like crap.

Chocolate is so damn good. Why are we messing with it? No one’s trying to market a purple banana or a silver watermelon. Let’s just leave it alone alright?

It’s just wrong to serve people this impostor food. Telling someone you’ve got chocolate for dessert and then offering them white chocolate is like telling people you’re going to take them out to see a comedian and then taking them to see Tom Green. A cruel, cruel joke.

And let’s not forget that it’s not even chocolate. Why not call kale green chocolate? Why not call aluminum foil metal chocolate? Why not call Bernie Sanders socialist chocolate? You can’t just run around adding chocolate to your name to make you look better. Chocolate has a long, important history of tasting delicious and it shall not be sullied by these misnomers. So join me, friends, let us toast with a Twix and never give into this little white lie.

Here’s the deal. Have you seen the infomercial for the Rapid Ramen Cooker? If not, go youtube that sucker real swift like. Here, I’ll do it for you, THIS is the link. I’ll wait…

Okay. Now that we’re all on the same page, what the hell is up with the Rapid Ramen Cooker? Let’s be perfectly clear, this is a small, plastic container for cooking ramen noodles in your microwave. Which is very close to the definition of something no one needs.

The main selling point is that it cooks the noodles faster. Am I missing something? Weren’t instant noodles already the absolute easiest thing to cook in the universe? They’re called instant noodles. How can instant not be fast enough for you? Do you want the noodles to appear, fully cooked, before you even know that you’re hungry? What is happening to the world?!?

Nobody needs a way to get this “food” into your body faster. These pre-cooked blocks of dried noodles have a shelf life of three to four centuries. We’re not in a hurry.

It’s a miracle!

But let’s break down the infomercial beat by beat to see just what makes Rapid Ramen so revolutionary. Here are a series of actual quotes from the Rapid Ramen infomercial and website with my thoughts…

“You know you love Ramen noodles.”     Are you a college student… we’re hoping you’re a college student.

“But it takes too long to cook in a pot.”     It does not take too long to cook Ramen noodles in a pot.

“Rapid Ramen makes perfect noodles in half the time.”     If you want perfect noodles, you should probably be willing to spend more than fourteen cents on your dinner. And if your time is so valuable that the difference between a six minute meal and a three minute meal is a deal breaker, chances are you’re not eating this stuff in the first place.

“Heat resistant handles.”     It has handles.

“Engineered in the same dimension as a block of Ramen noodles.”     It’s a rectangle.

“The patented reservoir design circulates just the right amount of water for ideal heat distribution.”     If you put water in a plastic container in the microwave, the water will boil.

“Reusable.”    Of course it’s freaking reusable, it’s a small, plastic container.

“Easy to remove from microwave.”     As opposed to what? That time you tried to microwave a greased up bowling ball?

“Never use pots or pans again.”     Sure, if the only thing you’re ever going to eat for the rest of your life is microwaved Ramen noodles.

“Clever cooking design”     Seriously?

“We are not responsible if information made available on this site is not accurate, complete, or current. Any reliance on the material on this site is at your own risk.”     At last, we agree.

Here’s the deal. I love cereal. Here’s how I shop for cereal – I buy whatever is on sale. That’s how much I like cereal. That is to say, I like so many different types of cereal that I am content with whichever brand is currently discounted. That being said, there are definitely some cereals that are better than others…

BONUS LIST – TOP TEN CEREALS

(11) Honey Graham Oh’s

(10) Cinnamon Toast Crunch

(9) Fruity Pebbles

(8) Captain Crunch

(7) Rice Krispies

(6) Krave

(5) Grape Nuts

(4) Special K Chocolatey Delight

(3) Cinnamon Life

(2) Honey Bunches of Oats

(1) Crackin’ Oat Bran

I must, however, take a moment to say that I do have my issues with Fruity Pebbles, namely – Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble. Did you know that these two used to star in a commercial for Winston cigarettes and a promotional short for Anheuser Busch? What kind of role models are they for children? As animated characters, they should know better. And, as I recall, in their cereal commercials, Barney was always finding ways to steal Fred’s Fruity Pebbles. Theft, underage drinking, and tobacco usage…any other messages for the kiddies watching at home, you pre-historic brutes?

Dude, she REALLY likes corn.

Then again, cereal advertising has always been weird. There was that criminally insane bird who fixated on Cocoa Puffs. There was that sad, unfortunate rabbit that only ever wanted a bowl of Trix, but was tormented by the cruel children who refused to give him even a bite. There was that wildly mistaken leprechaun who insisted that we’d never get his Lucky Charms, even though they were widely available at grocery stores everywhere for a few bucks. There was Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch who…okay, that guy’s actually pretty cool. And, according to the world wide webs, in 1965, Honey Smacks experimented with a mascot called the Smackin’ Bandit, a half mule, half kangaroo creature that would try and kiss everyone in sight. Yikes.

What the hell is going on in cereal commercials? Our product will drive your children to steal. Our cereal could lead to mental instability and hallucinations. Eat ours, and never share again. Ours is part of a complete, balanced breakfast…and could result in molestation from an ungodly abomination of a creature.

I also don’t particularly like how low they set the bar for new cereals. There is no other item in the grocery store that will introduce new brands so flippantly. Have a television show? We’ll turn it into a cereal. (Addams Family, Scooby Doo, Sesame Street, The Smurfs, SpongeBob Square Pants, etc.) Made a movie? Now it’s a cereal. (Star Wars, Kung-Fu Panda, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, E.T., Gremlins, Pirates of the Caribbean and others). Is your toy popular? Why not churn out yet another cheap, soon to be discontinued brand of breakfast delight? (Rainbow Brite, G.I. Joe, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Cabbage Patch Kids, Nintendo, and Monopoly have all been cereals).

Was there a Mr. T Cereal? Of course. Did someone produce Urkel-O’s? Amazingly, yes. Is there a Richard Petty themed cereal? Why not? Bill and Ted’s Excellent Cereal. Somehow it happened.

This is the dark side of my beloved breakfast treat. The fact that cereal companies will use any flavor of the week to create a flavor of the week. They probably have a huge vat of generic, sugary crunchy stuff. Dump in some blue marshmallows and they’ve got Smurfs cereal. Next week, they toss in a Johnny Depp trading card and call it Pirates of the Caribbean Flakes. After that they simply add some cabbage flavoring and – bazam – Cabbage Patch Kids cereal.

Please, just stop it. These are not good cereals. No one, and I mean no one ever in the history of the world, should have to eat an Urkel-O.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post…isn’t it annoying how long it takes for the cereal companies to update the back of their cereal boxes. You know how they put the games and puzzles on the back so you can have some wholesome family entertainment along with the most important meal of the day. Well, last week Honey Nut Cheerios were on sale, and imagine my disappointment when I got home, turned the box around, and was instructed to, “Help Buzz out of a Sticky Situation.” Son of a bitch. That’s the same damn sticky situation Buzz was in last time I bought this cereal about a year and a half ago. Has no one helped him out in all this time? It’s not that difficult to deduce which is the actual mayor and solve the code. And, frankly, I don’t want to do it again. It was just barely fun the first time. So, cereal companies, new games on the back of the boxes please.

And, dear God, no more Urkel-O’s.

 

Here’s the deal. As something of a clean freak, I like to straighten up my kitchen every chance I get. And, as I was doing my quinquennial sanitizing, I came across a number of food items what had been sitting around longer than I’d expected. Sadly, I am not jesting when I tell you that I found some canned fruit with expiration dates from 2004. And just because those peaches were packed around the same time that Janet Jackson’s peaches were unpacked in front of a live Super Bowl audience, I had to throw them out.

Or did I?

Desperate for information (and thoroughly craving peaches), I dashed back to the pantry and began to sort through my various food stuffs. I found a variety of cryptic warnings: Best By, Sell By, Best Before, Enjoy By, Best If Used By, and Best Before Date. It was all so overwhelming. (The issue is only further complicated if you happen to pick up some snacks on your way out of your local electronics superstore and end up with a Best Buy Best By date). And, to top it all off, some items merely have a date stamped on them with no indication as to whether this is the packaging date, the suggested consumption date, or the don’t you dare take a bite if you cherish your sweet life date.

English: A tag sealing a bag of hot dog buns d...

But I’m fed up with not being fed up because some company has declared my groceries goners. I don’t need some box or jar to tell me my rye is dry, my kale is stale or my jelly is smelly. Expiration dates are like ticking time bombs in my cabinets. Eat…or else.

I’ve got enough stress in my life without these pesky dates pressuring me to consume. Stop making our fast food culture even faster, little, black Sell By stamps. Stop threatening me with spoilage, expiration dates! Stop yelling at me! Get out of my head!

Sorry. It’s been a long, peach-free week.

Sure, the food mega-producers want us to eat or toss our snacks post haste so that we can buy some more. But I say enough is enough. (Then again, what else could enough be?)

And, as 2012 is set to expire itself, it occurs to me that the grocery stores aren’t the only ones getting it wrong. In this time of deep contemplation and reflective reflection, I ponder how the Mayans predicted that our collective expiration date was earlier this month.

I now suspect that their estimation was more of a Best By date.

Part of me sees a lot of nastiness in the world and fears that they may yet be correct.

But wouldn’t it be something if we weren’t quite as spoiled as we suspect? Wouldn’t it be something if we were to go ahead and eat those peaches? Wouldn’t it be something if we proved them wrong?

Here’s the deal. I started this blog back in 1977, and in the many decades I’ve been erupting truth on to the internet like an infallible Old Faithful, never have I met as much resistance as with my last blog post. How is it that everyone I know and everyone who reads this blog only eats crunchy peanut butter? How is that possible?

I’ve received hate mail. My phone rings and when I answer I only hear a crunching sound and then they hang up. The chunk cartel has threatened numerous lawsuits. My senator has appealed to me to retract my statements.

In the comments section, jefferree said, “Why would you take the crunch out of anything?” For the same reason I’d take the extra letters out of my name, it’s unwanted and unneeded. His crunchy peanut butter induced rant continued, “Everything’s better with nuts in it.” Really? Really jjjjjjeff? What about your shoes? Would you be more comfortable walking around with a sneaker full of almonds? How about a swimming pool? How would filling our swimming pools with hazelnuts help anybody? Would Phelps have ever made the record if he’d tried to learn to swim in that nutty mess? I think not, my unpatriotic friend, I think not.

And I will not retract my statements.

I’ve never been one to cave to peer pressure (except for that one time my friend pressured me into spelunking…get it? “Cave” to peer pressure. I’m freakin’ hilarious). I remember back in high school I was sent to the principal’s office for refusing to do a maze in government class.

Allow me to explain.

Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's T...

You’re getting very sleepy…

We had a teacher whose name I’ve long since forgotten. He looked like an elderly Bilbo Baggins and he “taught” government. On this day, he took out some broccoli shaped mazes and handed them out, then pulled his pillow out of his desk (I am not making this up, the man kept a pillow in his desk drawer so he could nap during class time) and prepared for slumber. I took my maze up to him and asked why we were doing such a pointless exercise. He told me to return to my seat and complete said pointless exercise without questioning the pointlessness of it all. I pointed out that he could of, at the least, found a government-themed maze (help the freshman senator find his way to the special interest lobbyist bribes). He pointed me in the direction of the principal’s office.Even after I informed our fearless leader about the nap-prone instructor, he asked me to apologize to him. I, being a teenager of great principle when it came to facing principals regarding vegetable related mazes, politely declined.

And I find myself, today, once again, politely declining.

I politely decline to go along with this crunchy peanut butter mob mentality. Nuts, in fact, make very few things better. You know the only way walnuts could taste any better? If they didn’t have any walnuts in them. I don’t want nuts in my cookies or brownies or on my ice cream, all they do is get in the way of my dessert. And nothing…nothing…gets in the way of my dessert.

All of you who are nutty for nuts can keep your crunch to yourselves. At the end of the day, a man’s gotta stand for something. And, in this day and age, I can think of absolutely nothing more important than advocating a traditional, smooth, creamy spread.

I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, “We know better than you as to what constitutes peanut butter.”

Here’s the deal. Forget about the fact that the world is going to end in less than six months, there are far more important issues to be discussed today…like, who the hell buys crunchy peanut butter?

Look, if I wanted chunks of peanuts I’d buy…peanuts. I want a smooth creamy spread that glides on to my bread like an elegant, bedazzled ice skater. Crunchy peanut butter will tear through your toast like an angry golfer hacking up divots.

Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefor...

Chunks need not apply.

And it ain’t pretty. Do a Google image search for “peanut butter” and you’ll see picture after picture of pure, creamy goodness. Crunchy peanut butter does not photograph well. No one wants to look at that stuff and no one should be eating it.

Just check out peanutbutterlovers.com, a fantastic website that states, “What kind of world do we live in? Does anybody need a website dedicated to loving peanut butter?” Actually, it probably doesn’t say that. I’m willing to do some research, but I just couldn’t click on that site because the answer is no, nobody needs a website dedicated to loving peanut butter. I mean, come on, how much can you really explore that topic?

“Hey, do you love peanut butter?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty tasty.”

“Cool, I agree.”

That’s it. End of conversation. Unless, of course, we’re talking about the downside of crunchy peanut butter – now that’s a topic with legs. Or, as Skippy calls it – Super Chunk Peanut Butter. Who were the marketing geniuses behind that name? I don’t want to eat anything called Super Chunk. I don’t even want to be in the same room as something called Super Chunk. Unless it’s the name of the world’s first overweight superhero. Now that I could get behind. Us fatties need role models too.

So, Skippy calls it Super Chunk, but Jif and Peter Pan call it Crunchy. And it’s just this simple, one’s butter should not be crunchy. If you bite down on butter and there’s a crunch, we’ve got a serious problem. And, by the way, what’s up with Peter Pan Peanut Butter? Sure, it’s delicious, but why the name? Oh, I remember now…Peter Pan was the mythical character who lived with Lost Boys, fairies, mermaids and pirates, he could fly and he never grew old due to this magical ability to convert dry, roasted peanuts into a paste…no, that’s not how the story went at all. Peter Pan has nothing to do with peanut butter. In fact, if I recall correctly, Wendy had a peanut allergy, so it’s really not cool.

Anyway, I think I’ve made my point. Intelligent people can disagree on things like politics, religion, world affairs, but no one could possibly think that crunchy peanut butter is superior to creamy.

And don’t get me started on jelly.