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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
I am a Food Snob

It's true. I have to confess it. Not only that, but I'm a *failed* one. Because I do use some "convenience" foods - I buy canned tomato paste and boxed crushed tomatoes and premade noodles and pasta, and frozen veggies. I also buy frozen foods for myself - I've never really outgrown my love of potpies and bagel pizzas. And I'm not making my own mayonaise, although given the small amount I use, maybe I should. For that matter, the few times I serve gefilte fish, I use the frozen logs.. And I buy mostly bagged salads. So, I'm not pure by any means. But I don't cook with canned soups, or instant soups, and if the meat I use has been frozen, it's because I froze it myself, and I don't do that as often now that I have kosher meat less than two blocks away from my house.

But. I'm watching QVC, and they're selling something called "The Semi-Homemade Cookbook." Which has the revolutionary concept that one takes convenience foods as 75% of the dish and doctors them up and then claims them as homemade. It's the 75% that boggles me - that's not "semi". That's hemi-demi. Semi = "half."

That and she insists that those who cook from her book use only the name brands she prescribed because..."If you substitute your own stuff, you might use a sweet mustard and Miracle Whip in your potato salad when only French's and Hellman's or Best Foods will work."
And *that* got me badly. See, she's telling her readers they don't know how to cook. And they don't know what tastes good to them. And that they don't dare be creative or use subsitutes they have in their houses. Now, I don't like my potato salads sweet, and I've never had Miracle Whip, so I don't know if it's good or not, but if someone does know the tastes and how they combine, there's no reason why *they* might not think that that would be yummy on cold potatoes.

But it's also true that there have been canned and frozen foods cookbooks since there have been canned and frozen foods. I happen to have a collection of pamphlets put out by various food manufacturers to use their own products, and they date back to the twenties. I've seen current cookbooks designed to use such items. My mom used to get a magazine that published only reader recipes, and most of them used cans and frozen stuff because it *is* how a lot of people cook. There is nothing new there. And people have been creative in their use of canned and frozen foods because people *are* creative and resourceful and know how things taste.

Comments

Even serious foodies will agree that there are some dishes for which dried non-egg pasta works better than fresh egg pasta, and it's prohibitively complicated to make pasta with just semolina flour and water in one's kitchen, while it's cheap and easy to buy it in a zillion shapes at your local market. Also, frozen veggies are handy for seasonal things like peas and corn. But "semi-homemade" sounds... uh, stupid. ;)

(Anonymous)

"she insists that those who cook from her book use only the name brands she prescribed"

Is this chick getting some kickbacks from the companies she recommends? Sounds like it.

Regina