Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Skip the ready meals; cooking is good for the soul

I'm a little miffed. Mostly because of the many ready meals you can get in the supermarkets nowadays and that people take so much advantage on them being there. If you visit my blog regularly, you'd know I'm a keen cook and enjoy my time in the kitchen. I love eating and I love to know what goes in my food. When I see all those obese people in the supermarket, their trolleys packed to the rim with ready-made food, frozen pizza and sodas, their equally fat children waddling at their side, I have to bite my tongue. It's bad enough for adults to that to themselves, but feeding children that rubbish, to me, is child abuse. I know a woman whose daughter becomes fatter and fatter. I've known her for about four years and that girl was fat already back then. The mother keeps banging on about losing weight, but every time I see her, she has some take away in her hands and her daughter is now about twice as much as she was. I'm really disgusted by that. You see, I can't stand children, but that gets to me. You are not allowed to discipline your kid, but you are allowed to slowly kill it. That's just brilliant.It seems people have lost their abilities to cook and taste buds seem to degenerate. I'm not surprised given the many parents who stuff their children's faces at fast food chains. Those kids don't even know how a tomato grows or, in even worse cases, how it looks as a whole fruit. And their parents are blissfully unaware of what they're doing to their children.
Don't get me wrong. I love a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets from the big M, but I may have that every other month as a 'treat'. You will hardly see me go and buy a ready meal as I detest them. Far too much sugar, too much salt and preservatives. Thanks, but no thanks. Okay, I have some jars in my cupboard for when I really need something quick, but they're mostly pasta sauces.
Cooking is so much fun and it's really not that difficult to be honest. Take pizza, for example: if you do it at the weekend with either family or friends, everyone can chip in. The only bit that takes a little time is the dough, because it needs to rest, but that's something you can do between cleaning the bathroom and doing some shopping. But later, everyone can choose their own topping, and you can make a massive pizza to share. And it'll taste better, too.
Today, I bought a ready meal by accident. I thought it was a marinated chicken breast, ready to barbecue, which surprised me anyway, because you can't find any great marinated meat as I used to get in Germany during the summer season. Even though I admit it was lazy. I normally do the marinades myself, too. So chicken in tomato-basil sauce sounded too nice and was perfect to go with my salad. It turned out all it needed was whacking it into the microwave. I wasn't amused. Should have looked at the label. Change of plan, I thought. The meat was already dry before I lightly heated it to put on the salad. Since I hate throwing things away, I ate it and kept the sauce to go with pasta as it isn't bad. But it has me wondering: Do people really enjoy such a meal? Where's the fun in whacking a plastic container into the microwave and toss it on a plate? I prefer to get my vegetables from the market and cook from scratch. Tomorrow, I'll have my friend around and I'll do fresh fish with a home made marinade and Thai Yasmin rice. He's often said that my food is easily of restaurant standard, something you can only achieve if you don't just open a packet. I put all my heart and soul into every meal I'm cooking, even if it's only a simple pasta sauce. Anyone who's ever eaten at my place, can confirm that. And what better compliment can you get than clean plates and happy faces?

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