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Fat Guy

Things lots of people buy and I don't understand

155 posts in this topic

I never bought self rising flour while in the US. I do now in Australia as I'm finding more recipes here using it. Still, I mainly used it when I had to bake for the kiddies at school. As I don't work there anymore, I have not touched it since.

Canned mushrooms - I will use canned straw mushrooms, but not button mushrooms. I just don't like it. Same goes for canned asparagus.

Instant gravy and stuffing - I just say no

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I remember - not fondly - tinned (canned) peas. Unfortunate off-green colour, squishy texture, taste like .. well, I could say but it would be an insult to makers of good Pinot Noir. I could never understand why anybody would buy them rather than frozen or even dried.

A tin of "Processed peas" is one of my secret shames. I love them, even though I know I shouldn't.

I can't understand why people buy pre-sliced or pre-grated cheese. To me it always tastes like plastic.

I love them, too. Only LeSeur though.

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Cheez Whiz and Velveeta are another pair of things that people buy and I don't understand. Especially when there's real cheese available.

I see what you're saying, but I can't make mac and cheese without using Velveeta. It makes it SO creamy and good.

And, I do love some Cheez Whiz on a philly steak sandwich.....

I'm from Kansas. Don't mock me.

:raz:

No worries - I'm showing my bias as well. I think I was probably 5 or 6 years old before I realized that all cheese wasn't white - I recall balking at a grilled cheese sandwich at a friend's house because "cheese isn't orange! Are you sure that's safe to eat?"

Besides which, I don't have to understand it - other people clearly like Cheez Whiz and Velveeta, but that doesn't mean I have to..... :raz:


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Surely potatoes prepared in basically any form, aside from plain boiled or baked potatoes, are more labour intensive than rice--particularly if you throw down some pocket change in the direction of a small rice cooker.

I would agree, but I think it has more to do with the familiarity of potatoes and the perception of rice as a thing you eat with restaurant foods, rather than with dishes you make at home. Pasta is simple because you boil a lot of water, throw in the pasta and set the time. Potatoes are simple because you have always had them and know how to deal with them and as a rule they are all about boiling in water in a pot. Rice seems harder because you need to measure it and the cooking water accurately and cook it at the correct temperature so as not to burn it (excluding a rice cooker). Add that to a cooking style that doesn't really complement rice-based dishes and you can see how rice gives an impression of being troublesome.

I've been cooking rice like pasta for years and eliminated any problems with stickiness, etc... My go-to rice is basmati, so I also soak it for 20-30 minutes before cooking it and it cooks up super fast and ends up fluffy - I just have to remember to test it because it can get mushy if I let it go too long. I drain it in a small sieve and then put the sieve back in the pot with the lid loosely over the whole thing while I finish up whatever else I am making. If I want to flavor it I flavor the water or I might gently toss in a little butter and seasoning when I finish cooking it. And I always salt the water, just like pasta as well.

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I don't like Basmati rice. I like short-grained rice and I love my rice cooker.

On orange-y cheeses: My youngest loves him some mac n cheese or shells and cheese. The Velveeta kind. He boils the pasta and mixes it up himself, so I figure he's cooking more than a lot of adults I know.

I'm with Shelby on the Velveeta for homemade mac n cheese. I've probably tried one hundred baked mac n cheese recipes and decided that I just don't like my mac n cheese baked. I want it saucy, not slicable.


Edited by annabelle (log)
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I've been cooking rice like pasta for years and eliminated any problems with stickiness, etc... My go-to rice is basmati, so I also soak it for 20-30 minutes before cooking it and it cooks up super fast and ends up fluffy - I just have to remember to test it because it can get mushy if I let it go too long. I drain it in a small sieve and then put the sieve back in the pot with the lid loosely over the whole thing while I finish up whatever else I am making. If I want to flavor it I flavor the water or I might gently toss in a little butter and seasoning when I finish cooking it. And I always salt the water, just like pasta as well.

That's very similar to the Persian and Iraqi way to cook rice - soak in salted water, boil in lots of water till half-cooked, drain, throw the water out, and add the rice back to the pot with some butter or oil in the pot. Steam for another half our or so over low-ish heat, or even longer, until a nice crust forms (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahdig)

I don't like Basmati rice. I like short-grained rice and I love my rice cooker.

Do you add salt and some kind of fat? With those Basmati rice is divine, without - very boring.

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I always salt, but am on again off again about fat. I like basmati for pilaf, but by itself? It's a snore.

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I love the 'baby' canned peas: just rinse and heat.

what would Meatloaf/mashed potatoes/home-made gray be without them?

:smile:

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Count me as an avid scratch baker (yeast and otherwise) who likes self-rising flour. Someone mentioned upthread about self-rising being lower-protein than AP, and I concur: it's perfect for biscuits, featherlight cupcakes, and quickbreads. The microdistribution of the baking powder is great--I don't have to sift, sift, sift.

But I can't figure out why ANYONE would buy precooked, frozen, microwave RICE. It takes just 20 minutes to cook rice from scratch...and we're not talking about a flavored or seasoned product. It's just plain, white rice, frozen & microwaveable.

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Similar discussions from the past and riffs on them:

"Things that are a total waste of money"

"Home-made Cheaper than Store-bought What can you make?"

"Laziest products Eggs in a bottle? Garlic in a tube?"

And a sort of reverse topic:

"Food Foolishness: Why Make it When You can Buy it?"

"Not worth making yourself What's not worth the effort/expense?"

I like Bisquick. I grew up eating Biquick-related baked goods/meals. I've said this before but my mom's peach cobbler, topped with Bisquick dough, can kick your mom's peach cobbler's ass any day of the week.

I like some bottled salad dressings. If you can make your own and it taste better in your opinion, then get down with your bad self and the more power to you. Just don't look down your nose at me in the checkout line with my bottled salad dressing.

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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Why spend the money for a full set of knives ?

dcarch

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. . . .

I like Bisquick. I grew up eating Biquick-related baked goods/meals. I've said this before but my mom's peach cobbler, topped with Bisquick dough, can kick your mom's peach cobbler's ass any day of the week. . . .

From your perspective, it's true! Since I didn't grow up with Bisquick, it wouldn't hold true for me, at all (I just don't care for Bisquick). But with a lot of the food items mentioned in this topic, there's a nostalgia aspect that cannot be explained (or resaoned away) by logic. Case in point is castagnaccio. Made primarily with chestnut flour, when finished, they resemble brownies. For anyone expecting brownies, they are a cruel disappointment (possibly just cruel). To me, they're a contemplative, mildly nostalgic treat.

What I can't understand people buying are time/labour saving foods (e.g. prepared pasta dishes, most prefab. pasta sauces) that don't take a significant amount of time/effort to make in their from-scratch versions. I mean, if someone has that little time, a halfway decent sandwich just seems like a better bet.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Why spend the money for a full set of knives ?

dcarch

I actually agree with this, oddly enough. Then again, I build/am building/have built my knife collection one blade at a time as I come across knives that I like or need.

I'm also a major proponent of 45 cent throwaway paring knives.... :shock:


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I think I figured it out...

YES fresh not canned and FRESH and not processed are best.

BUT

The deal is, that many many many adults were raised with certain products and they LOVE those homey tastes.

Like people are saying about LeSeur Peas in the can, I was also raised to eat an occasional can of Blue Lake

green beans in the can.

Yes Im sure a hand ground burger with artisan sour dough bun, with imported cheddar and juicy beefsteak tomato and baby greens

and onion jam is probably FAN-EffIN-TASTIC,

BUT

A Big Mac is so satisfying for the homey childhood goodness it brings...

As a foodie I think ALL foods have merit in our lives, cause occasionally you just need a big bowl of FROOT LOOPS or a Twinkie, dammit!

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Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I think I figured it out...

YES fresh not canned and FRESH and not processed are best.

BUT

The deal is, that many many many adults were raised with certain products and they LOVE those homey tastes.

Like people are saying about LeSeur Peas in the can, I was also raised to eat an occasional can of Blue Lake

green beans in the can.

Yes Im sure a hand ground burger with artisan sour dough bun, with imported cheddar and juicy beefsteak tomato and baby greens

and onion jam is probably FAN-EffIN-TASTIC,

BUT

A Big Mac is so satisfying for the homey childhood goodness it brings...

As a foodie I think ALL foods have merit in our lives, cause occasionally you just need a big bowl of FROOT LOOPS or a Twinkie, dammit!

And it isn't just what you were raised on that affects what you put into your shopping cart and bring home.

If you people are talking about going to someone's home and being served a mediocre meal and discovering that the weird potato salad was made with canned potatoes, and the lack-luster green beans just came out of a can and the whipped topping on the dessert was scooped out of a tub, well, I'm with you.

But if you're saying that you look at those products in the market and cannot fathom a single reason why anyone would buy them, ever, here's what I guess is probably true about you:

You're not old, with arthritic hands

You're not old and no longer can drive and have to rely on a friend to take you to the grocery store once or twice a month

You're not a college kid or someone else that lives in a room with only a mini-fridge and microwave and no stove or oven

You don't live in a remote area where you have to drive far to get to a market and need to make it count when you do

You don't have unreliable electricity

You care a very great deal about food and never want to just eat something quickly and get right back to your painting or sewing or writing or other vocation or avocation that you do care a very great deal about

You never stock up an RV or boat or cabin

You never take long road trips with a bunch of children

You don't have a lot of impromptu relatives or friends that love to pop in with no notice and expect to be fed

You don't have a bunch of kids that sometimes get on your last nerve and you need to sling something together and get it on the table now

You never go camping

And finally,

You need to get out more. Yes, the pleasures of a fine table reign supreme to most of us here, and most of us have the means and availability to facilitate one.

But not to be able to even understand why anyone would ever buy prepared and processed convenience items, or junk snack foods, or non-perishables like Velveeta and assorted canned vegetables?

You need to get out more.

:laugh:


Edited by Jaymes (log)
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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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All true, but that still doesn't explain SlimJims

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Re the plastic dishwasher packets. I use those. I used Cascade for the longest time, then when they removed the phosphate from it, it suddenly worked awfully. All the dishwashing liquids or powders sold here have to have the phosphate removed. I use the Quantum Powerball tabs because they actually work. I tried many other products before settling on those. I buy them when on sale and have a coupon for it so we stock up in streaks.

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All true, but that still doesn't explain SlimJims

I've eaten them and enjoyed them. It's been a long time, but... I might still.

So, where was I? Oh... right! What I do not get is the reason people buy fake citrus extracts. Seriously, the ones made from real citrus peel are not expensive, not even if they're certified organic, fair trade, produced and bottled by virgins who have never, ever been exposed to the Star Wars prequels.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Keurig coffee cups. Why....why?

My boyfriend uses these. He fills the water container with fresh water. For each cup of coffee he drops in a cup, puts the coffee cup underneath, presses the button and then does it again for the next cup, and the next.

There is a regular filter coffee machine right next to the K cup machine. They both require the same amount of work, and with the regular filter pot you have a wider variety of coffees to choose from that more likely would be cheaper per cup, also the materials used for a regular filter machine are less wasteful then individual K cups.

I personally like a french press.

I also don't understand smart water, msg, premade PB&J sandwiches, canned spinach, mushrooms, carrots, asparagus, and fruit cocktail.

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I've seen adverts recently for frozen jacket (baked) potatoes. Surely a combo of par-cooked in microwave then finished off in oven for a crispy skin is almost as quick and significantly cheaper?


Sian

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy chocolate, and that's kinda the same thing really."

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To the "I'd never buy bottled water" crowd. One of my sons is on the track team at high school. He takes bottled water in liter bottles with him to their meets. Many times the water fountains are broken or dirty and he doesn't like Gatorade. All of the schools here have recycling bins so I'm not understanding the problem. I'd rather he was hydrated when he's running several miles in 80-90 degree heat.

As for coffee? I'm with Jackie Mason on that one. It's coffee. You get a cup at the diner for 50 cents with endless refills or you go to a "coffee bar" and pay $7 for a coffee with no refills? I'll take the diner.

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To the "I'd never buy bottled water" crowd. One of my sons is on the track team at high school. He takes bottled water in liter bottles with him to their meets. Many times the water fountains are broken or dirty and he doesn't like Gatorade. All of the schools here have recycling bins so I'm not understanding the problem. I'd rather he was hydrated when he's running several miles in 80-90 degree heat.

Why not refill the water bottle from the tap at home or another trusted source?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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As to bottled water. We buy one large container each year and it sits in the cellar with its date very visible. Our well runs on electricity and no power...no water. We can drink the last bought one and use the others for whatever is needed. (Yes, we do have a generator.)

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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To the "I'd never buy bottled water" crowd. One of my sons is on the track team at high school. He takes bottled water in liter bottles with him to their meets. Many times the water fountains are broken or dirty and he doesn't like Gatorade. All of the schools here have recycling bins so I'm not understanding the problem. I'd rather he was hydrated when he's running several miles in 80-90 degree heat.

Why not refill the water bottle from the tap at home or another trusted source?

What's the difference if the container is ultimately placed in the recycle bin?

As to bottled water. We buy one large container each year and it sits in the cellar with its date very visible. Our well runs on electricity and no power...no water. We can drink the last bought one and use the others for whatever is needed. (Yes, we do have a generator.)

Ditto. Well water here, too. No power=no water. And, yes, we also have a generator but that isn't used unless we have many, many hours without power. And, yes, if I think the power is going to go out, I fill many containers, including the bath tub, with water.

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To the "I'd never buy bottled water" crowd. One of my sons is on the track team at high school. He takes bottled water in liter bottles with him to their meets. Many times the water fountains are broken or dirty and he doesn't like Gatorade. All of the schools here have recycling bins so I'm not understanding the problem. I'd rather he was hydrated when he's running several miles in 80-90 degree heat.

Why not refill the water bottle from the tap at home or another trusted source?

What's the difference if the container is ultimately placed in the recycle bin?

The difference is the number of times you use it before placing it there, which reduces the number of bottles that have to be recycled.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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