Monday, May 04, 2009

There's convenience, and then there's ... dumb.

I have frequently noted here that I am no gourmet cook. I mean, the first time I roasted a chicken all by myself I bragged about it here like I had just earned three Michelin stars. But I have to feed myself and my children every day (my husband, the chef, is never home early enough to make dinner), and I try to make sure that what we eat is reasonably healthy and tasty.

So I am all about convenience foods. I buy bagged salads, Thai Kitchen stir-fry kits, jarred pasta sauce (these are good--no sugar or other junk), premade pizza crusts, and so on. Scrambled eggs, plain cheese quesadillas, and frozen ravioli are in regular rotation at our dinner table.

But there are some things I just don't get. Break-and-bake cookies, for one. I can't believe we need another level of simple below slice-and-bake. And also, Pizza Hut pasta delivery. Seriously? All you have to do to make pasta is boil water. If you have time to wait for the delivery, you have time to boil water and dump some cheese and sauce on top.

Of course, that is how my husband feels about bagged salads. He will pry the Fresh Express packages from my cold, scurvious hands because I'm not giving them up.


Also: Foods That Taste Nothing Like What They Are Supposed to Be, But Are Still Delicious*
  • Pringles
  • Chips Ahoy
  • McDonald's Hamburgers
*Although I can't remember the last time I ate any of these.


Kelly said...

I agree. There's a fine line with convenience. I bought the cut and bake halloween cookies for Hannah last Halloween because she wanted them. Never again.

Part of the pleasure in eating cookies is the process to make them, in my slightly snotty opinion.

I'm with you on the bagged salad, though. Pre-cut, pre-washed, and right into the bowl.

the mama bird diaries said...

I love bagged salad!!

Magpie said...

i think pringles taste exactly like what they're supposed to be: crack

Formerly Gracie said...

For health reasons, I've been trying to cut down on the amount of "packaged foods" we eat, but have found it nearly impossible.

Pasta, soups, sauces, frozen pizzas... bagged salad... I don't have time to make these from scratch!

Leslie said...

What's your take on the pb&j in one squeezy bottle? And the pre-sliced apples with no-spoil solution on them? The individually-wrapped baking potatoes?
Bagged salad is the best. Somehow, my husband and I are both willing to change and wash cloth diapers, but when it comes to tearing up lettuce in to bite-sized pieces, it's "didn't I do it last time?"

Mayberry said...

Ooh, good ones, Leslie. Apples: OK at McDonald's only (and also helpful for my toothless 1st grader who can't eat whole apples at the moment).

PBJ? Scary, because probably contains about 95% corn syrup.

I have never seen the individually wrapped baking potatoes... but that sounds ridiculous. A potato comes with its own wrapper. It's called SKIN!

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I've been going the other direction: I make a lot from scratch. I even made tapioca pudding!

That said my husband's favorite quick comfort food is macaroni and tomato juice. It's really good, actually. Boil macaroni, drain the water, pour tomato juice over it. Viola. Even the kids will eat it.

Heather said...

I have phases where I go for the extremely easy (lazy and expensive) route, then I veer back to making everything the way it should be made. Also, days when the baby is fussy? I don't care how dumb take-out of pasta or whatever might be, I'm doing it so my family will at least have SOMETHING to eat. Thankfully the fussy days are not many with this baby.

Lady M said...

McDonald's hamburgers don't appeal to me much, but the french fries are heaven. Fries and a shake. Mmmmm.

Binkytowne said...

How about the pre-cooked bacon?

Love me some pringles. Have a canister in the pantry right now,

Farmers Wife said...

I am a bagged salad girl! I find I waste lettuce if I buy one separate, so I buy a bag of mixed greens and I use it up within 2 days for lunches and dinners.

JGH said...

When I can find them I really love to buy the frozen, pre-chopped onions and peppers. Am I spoiled or what?!

Julie @ The Mom Slant said...

You are still more ambitious than I. I'm eating dinner right now at 8:23 because I insisted on waiting until Kyle came home to cook for me.