Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Lovin' this weather!

Despite the thermostat wars and the fogged-up windshields, I love cold, rainy weather like we've had the past few days. It makes me feel festive; reminds me of Halloween, warm clothes, Christmas shopping, fuzzy slippers, family gatherings, presents, cozy blankets, and baked goods. Time to light up the fireplace, pop some popcorn, drink hot cocoa, and make cookies. The holiday feeling is in the air. It's what I privately call "pumpkin pie weather" (don't laugh!).
Speaking of baking, I've got a rant to get off my chest.
The other day I happened to wander by the telly, and it was on some cooking show. Glancing over, I was rather stunned to see that the hosts were showing viewers how to make blueberry muffins.
Yes, muffins. Those pasteries that take two seconds to make.
So I sat down to watch, thinking that surely these muffins must be made of solid gold to justify devoting an entire half hour to them. Alas, for the next 30 minutes I was shown such mysteries as how to wash blueberries, stir batter, and pour it into paper muffin cups.
What is it about cooking these days that's spawned folks who can make scrambled eggs and therefore think they're the next Iron Chef? My mum likes watching design shows, and one particular episode burned itself into my memory. This family (yuppies) wanted to redo their kitchen with lots of nice, professional extras and high-end appliances. One would assume these folks to be hardcore chefs. The husband said something like, "I really like to dabble in the kitchen, so it would be great to have better equipment." But any credibility I might have given him was blown out the window as the camera cut to a shot of him standing at the stove stirring a pot of what looked suspiciously like Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese.
I know there's been a sort of homemaking / craft revival, largely thanks to Martha Stupid. It's great that people are taking an interest in the 'old' ways of making things and enjoying simple ways of creative expression, and stores that were dying out (fabric/craft/yarn/etc.) are becoming popular again. But this trend is unfortunately creating a breed of people with over-blown egos. Example:
Some Jerk: "I made this pumpkin pie myself."
Normal Person: "Oh, so you took canned pumpkin mix and dumped it into a store-bought crust? Congratulations, asshole, you just made a crappy pie."
Cooking isn't so much about making something as it is about making something that tastes good. You don't really need talent; just practice, time, fresh ingredients, and a good recipe. Yet folks continue to think it's rocket science. It always cracks me up when you bake a simple cake and others get all awed and say, "you made that from scratch??" like you just created the world or something.
I admit there was a time I thought that way, too. We've all been raised on the notion that those crap box mixes are the only reasonable way to bake a cake, and any other way involves hours of slaving in the kitchen. Toot toot! here comes the reality bus; a basic cake takes maybe 5-10 minutes to make (excluding bake time), tastes about a thousand times better, and is heathier without all those oils and preservatives.
I originally had a firm point to make in this rant, but I'm getting bored and disgusted. I've managed to mock some stupid people, so my job here is done.


Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha!! "Toot toot here comes the reality bus!" Oh man, that's pure comedy gold! I tip my hat to thee. Aw...if only I had a hat...
~L^3 (haha "L^3"...dude, i don't even know anymore)

Nemo said...

Haha, why thank yee, missy!
Were you the other person who saw that home deco. episode? I keep thinking I made it all up in my head, 'cuz no one could possibly be that lame. But you saw it too, right??