Those sneaky food companies know that the buying public, in their heart of hearts, believes that homemade is better. They’ve admitted it by their actions as explained in this article I read today that describe how hard companies work to make food look natural. From irregular cuts of packaged lunch meat, to irregularly shaped pizzas, they’re working hard at creating imperfection. Just look at the photo of last night’s chicken and ravioli dinner. My chicken pieces are uneven, the chopped herbs (from my container gardens!) are of many different sizes, as are the mushroom chunks. I used natural shortcuts, of course, like purchased baby raviolis from Trader Joe’s and canned tomatoes instead of fresh (to cut Annie a break from the texture of fresh tomatoes), but I think you can see this is a homemade recipe. And big food companies are jealous! Eat your hearts out!
But if people prefer homemade, why don’t more people cook?
This was my lunch today. I used to purchased these frozen macaroni and cheese meals for convenience sake and portion control. I think I’ve mentioned on this blog that I have a thing for macaroni and cheese. Of all the frozen meals, this was the one that I could eat and not really detect the artificial ingredients. Because macaroni and cheese has a way of hypnotizing me into a happy coma. But I haven’t purchased one of these frozen meals in a while, and guess what’s happened? I’ve become more sensitive to the artificial ingredients. The creaminess isn’t really creamy – it’s some kind of factory ingredient that gives the pseudo mouth feel of creaminess. The cheese isn’t cheesy – I’m sure it’s a combo of cheese-tasting artificial flavors. The macaroni is so perfectly cooked that you know it’s not homemade. I don’t think I’ll be buying this again. If I want macaroni and cheese, I’m going to have to put in the effort to make and freeze my own.
Although food companies want to persuade the buying public that their products are close to homemade, I think this is an unnecessary effort on their part. They’ve already done the hard work of convincing us over the years that their products are convenient, and we’ve bought them, and consumed them and in the process it’s easy to lose the ability to discern the real thing from the fake. It’s only once you’ve parted ways from it that your natural tastebuds take over again. And you realize that real homemade is really better.
If you’re looking for more information on how cleverly food companies fool us into believing their food is fresh, visit this post on Fake Food Watch.
Louisa made her Confirmation this weekend. It was a beautiful day with a great service followed by a yummy meal shared with the family members who were able to join us for the occasion. We went to an excellent local steak house, and it was so good I kept forgetting to take pictures until the food had already been massacred. Here are the leftovers which I now share with you. These are the leftovers from the Salmon Nachos with the Sriracha Aioli. Louisa selected this appetizer – good taste kiddo!
Joe and I decided to order this bowl of fried calamari, or what you can see is left of it. While Louisa refused to eat the tentacles, Nana requested them since they were her favorite part of the squid. Proving that looks can be deceiving, as Louisa looks just like her Nana, but her tastes are clearly different!
Finally, Louisa and I shared two entrees, a crab cake and piece of filet mignon. If I had thought about it first, this picture would have been arranged much more carefully. As I said, I was too busy eating.
I hope your weekend was as tasty as our’s was.
This seems to be the week of embarrassing confessions. The other day I confessed to my struggle with cooking orecchiette pasta. Then last night, my never one to hold back a criticism 14-year-old reminded me of another cooking problem I have. This criticism, however, came disguised as a compliment. She’s becoming slick, isn’t she? Louisa took a bite of the marinated pork tenderloin and commented how it was good – she didn’t even have to de-salt it. De-salt it? Really?
Okay, my name is Donna, and I’m a salt-a-holic. I love salty things, and sometimes I just dump salt into my dishes without a care in the world. Now before you health scolds start on me, salt is an important part of the diet, and unless you have high blood pressure, there’s no reason to worry about consuming it. I love salty popcorn and salt rubbed meat, and salted vegetables. Don’t forget salted butter. Lately I’ve taken to preparing my morning oatmeal like grits with a little butter and salt. That sweet oatmeal becomes tiresome at times.
There was an episode a few weeks ago where I salted some kale I was preparing, and I wasn’t paying much attention as I did so. I was either talking with someone in the kitchen or watching my favorite cooking show, “Big Bang Theory”. No, they don’t teach me how to cook, just keep me company as I stand and slave over that hot stove. Back to the kale, I admit that there was even a little too much salt in it for my taste preference. The rest of the family declared it inedible. Will they ever learn to just suck it up without complaining? Joe often does, but even he couldn’t resist commenting this time.
So, readers, do I really need to be reminded of that slip? I’ve been much more careful since then, but Louisa’s compliment/criticism made it seem like the food has been over salted every night since the kale incident.
By the way, the pork tenderloins were marinated in an even blend of olive oil and lemon juice and seasoned with minced garlic cloves (another ingredient I overdo, so for you wussies, use one clove, the rest of you garlic lovers I used about four), minced fresh thyme and rosemary, salt and pepper. It was marinated in the refrigerator for about an hour because I got a late start cooking, but more hours would have been even better. It would have been even better if I could have grilled it as the recipe suggested, but the weather isn’t cooperating this week, so it was roasted in a high oven for about 45 minutes. Next, it rested for 5 minutes, and sliced and served with roasted turnips and butter sautéed asparagus that were so good, even Louisa ate them. And that’s a compliment that disguised nothing.