Sunday, February 6, 2011
Some Sunday thoughts on how America cooks.
I am reading "As Always, Julia- The letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto". I was going to write about this delightful book, and still will, although not today. I must leave for orientation at my new second job in a few hours, but not before pondering a commercial I saw several times yesterday on the USA Network. Had Julia and Avis been alive to see it, I am certain they would be as stupefied as I was-
In the ad, three young matrons hold up three platters loaded with mashed potatoes. The sponsor tells us these are instant mashed potatoes, resuscitated from dehydrated flakedom by the microwave. "What can you do with mashed potatoes?", asks the voice over. After all, the three young matrons did look confused-
Well here is what you do. You open a can of concentrated chunky beef soup and dump it onto a large flattened square of mashed potatoes. I assume this goes back into the microwave, though the ad does not say so. The next shot is of two attractive young people smiling over their platters.
I do not eat like this, and you might not eat like this, but let us wonder who does. Were I a married man, I would consider this meal as grounds for divorce. But if I were a bachelor, I might not know any better, for who has lower culinary, hygienic, and housekeeping standards than young men on their own?
I once knew a young man who used his Volkswagen Beetle as a dirty laundry bin. When he drove home across three states to New Jersey, his mother unloaded the car and washed his clothes. I knew another bachelor, not physically young, but helpless all the same, whose diet was vegetables (cold) right out of the can. His digestive system took revenge on everyone working around him in our ICU. When he sat at the desk, he sat alone. Our head nurse did not stop laughing when we went to her about P. and his problem. Finally someone put an envelope of Beano gas tablets in his unit mailbox. I do not remember if this helped since P. went to work in the Vanderbilt ER not long after this. I do not doubt he continued eating pumpkin puree right out of the can.
In short, I believe this commercial targeted the need-a-woman-to-get-their-socks-washed set. At least I hope it does. But I may be in denial. This may be the way America really "cooks".