Saturday, August 31, 2013

Foodie Faux Pas

Many bloggers have some sort of culinary element on their blog, and I can appreciate that. All the experts say bloggers must offer their readers something of value. And many culinary artist bloggers offer recipes, instructions and sometimes even videos explaining how to assemble delectable dishes!

My culinary element is a little more bland. The value I offer is the “low bar.”

The “low bar” value is meant to help you feel better about what you’re already doing. And to be honest, I didn’t realize I even had a cooking element until I sat down to confess my most recent foodie faux pas.

I’ve written about the time I salvaged the melted cheese, and the time I abandoned cooking altogether. I was initially too ashamed to blog about a distasteful incident where I left frozen chicken breasts in the 147°F vehicle overnight. When I went to fix supper the next day I realized my blunder. The good news is, no one got sick.

But my culinary standards have reached an all-time low…even at a subconscious level.

Last night I dreamed I was attending a formal dinner. I donned my royal blue 10th grade prom dress which bore all the landmarks of 1990s fashion—rhinestones, large bow, drop waist and tapered hem. (In my defense, the tapered hem is making a comeback).

Whatever the occasion, I was asked to bring one course of the meal.

Photo courtesy Microsoft Office Clip Art.
Apparently there's been no demand for photos
of french cut green beans. 

With all the finesse of a middle aged woman in a 10th grade prom dress, I handed the host my savory contribution.

A can of “French Cut Green Beans.”

Then I woke up.

What the…?

Why not a can of mushy sweat peas, or corn kernels?

Well, if I’m analyzing my dream correctly, it was a formal dinner, and nothing says fancy like an exquisite French word. For example, “julienned squash,” “petite carrots” and “Lean Cusine.” Sounds so fancy doesn’t it?

Chopped squash, little carrots and microwaveable dinners might be dressed up with French words, but it doesn’t make them any tastier. Perhaps a Parisian chef accidentally put the food processor on “shred” instead of “slice” and when the green beans came out looking like a pile of wet grass clippings they declared, “Ahhh, Oui! French Cut Green Beans!” Zee Americans vill eat it up!”

And subconsciously, I have.

“French Cut Green Beans” are an unfortunate culinary nightmare. But kudos to the French, or American marketers, who concocted the idea to embrace their mistake.

It would be like me embracing my chicken incident and calling it Shauna’s Super Slow Sans Salmonella Chicken. (See that French word sans? It means “without.” Sounds fancy!) And if I embrace my mistake and give it a fancy French flavored name, it will probably be pinned on Pinterest.

So just in case, here are the instructions:

Defrost chicken breasts in packaging at 147°F in the back of a preheated vehicle. Do not remove from vehicle until chicken has become dangerously warm. When the danger of food poisoning is immanent, remove from vehicle. Open packaging, and inspect chicken for salmonella. If none is visible, continue cooking using traditional methods (ie. stove, oven, crock pot…anything but a vehicle). 

Bon Appetite!