My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Excuse Me But I Ordered the Chef Boyardee

I need to stop watching TV. Truth be told, I only turn it on when I don’t want to think for a while, but I always end up just thinking anyway. Today it was a commercial in which people at an Italian restaurant are enjoying pasta only to have some guy walk in an announce that the pasta, that they all believed to be restaurant grade food, was actually provided by Dominos Pizza as something to the effect of “these are not actors” scrolled across the bottom of the screen. This is where my mind kicked back in and I was forced to turn off the idiot box so that I could think.

Could people really be convinced that pasta from a pizza delivery chain could somehow equal the quality and taste from a nice restaurant that specialized in Italian food?

The answer came to me at lunch at a new café that just opened down the street. My rating system for all restaurants is the same: I could do this better at home, Not worth the price, and I would order this again. This new establishment came in at I could do this better at home - which is what I rate most restaurants. Now it’s not that I’m a world class cook, because I’m not. I am a good amateur cook with excellent cookbooks and a discriminating palate - and I think that there are a lot of people like me out there.

On the other side of the culinary landscape are people who almost always eat out, even though they have a kitchen that is the envy of 3/4 of the world. I have yet to meet an American who didn’t have a full size fridge, four burner stove, large oven, microwave, pots and pans, and a couple kitchen gadgets (KitchenAid, Cuisinart…) and some decent knives.

But these people have chosen to eat out due to either convenience or a lack of will to cook. Either way, they are missing what food can taste like when it is prepared at home, by you, for you. When you get to choose the quality of ingredients, make it to exactly how you like, and sit down still smelling of the kitchen, the enjoyment of what is on your plate will almost always beat something created in a most restaurants.

Don’t believe me? Think of something that you cook well. Do you cook that thing better than just about anyone on the planet? Why is that? Do you think that you could cook anything that good if you just put forth the effort? Why don’t you? Is it because it’s easier just to settle for something that is okay done by someone else? What does that say about the rest of your life?

Food is more than what keeps us going. It is our cultural differences, our heritage, our way of life, and primary source of connection to the world around us. Treat it well, get involved, and for Mike’s sake, start eating at better Italian restaurants.

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