Monday, November 08, 2004

Food for Thought

[This entry may also be found at Rox Populi.]

I have a BIG confession to make.

I am a food snob. A big one.

The reason I bring this up is that Thanksgiving is upon us. It's Thanksgiving that can fill a real food snob, especially one who seldom gets the chance of making the main meal because the mother-in-law just won't have it, with dread.

When say I'm a food snob, I'm not mocking the poor or recent immigrants. I would much prefer to eat tamales, perogies, or home-made mac 'n' cheese than digest the swill many better-heeled Americans place on their holiday table. It's also not to say that I require fancy lettuces for my salads, real champagne from France, wild rice, shitake mushrooms or organic, free-range fowl. These things are all good, but you don't have to use them to please my palate.

What exactly do I mean, then? There are a few dishes and ingredients, concocted and used in the 60s and 70s, that have become mainstays at Thanksgiving at many homes that make me want to wretch. They include canned gravy, ambrosia salad, anything made with Miracle Whip, and (and this is the kicker) that dumbass casserole:

Ingredients:

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup

1 tsp. soy sauce

3 cups French style green beans (can or frozen)

1 can French fried onions

1 dash white pepper


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a 1-quart casserole dish stir in mushroom soup and soy sauce. Add green beans and stir to blend. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Top with french fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes.


Bleech!

I am convinced that a whole generation of people learned to cook from the recipes Kraft used to publish in the centerspread of TV Guide. People -- if a holiday is meant to celebrate the bounty of the harvest, perhaps you should use some fresh ingredients.

What are my other Thanksgiving pet-peeves?
  • Canned Cranberry Sauce - It takes a maximum of 10-minutes to make cranberry sauce and that's if you're using fancy incredients like crystalized ginger. Otherwise, it's about 5-minutes.
  • Too Much Salt - You can always add more, but you can't take it away.
  • When the Cook Acts Like a Martyr - Sit down and eat with the rest of us, for God's sake. We don't want to eat those shitty, frozen rolls anyway.
  • Too Many Dishes - As a good guest, I make myself try a little of each thing that's made, but you make it very complicated when you make 20 different things.
  • Mushy Stuffing/Dressing - Making stuffing or dressing correctly takes a talent. If you're not up to the task, leave it off the menu.


Well, those are just a few of my pet-peeves. I know you have you own, which you can leave here