What’s next, Herring Helper?
Published 9:03 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Is it just me, or has everyone noticed the downsizing of food products? Remember the big bags of cookies? Now they package them in these little, 100-calorie packs…..the cookies are the size of quarters instead of the traditional door-knob size.
Yea, I know, it’s all in the name of watching the old waistline….but what good are these small packs when the average person can consume about ten of them in one sitting!
As a society, we’ve become obsessed with all these gimmick type products. In the same accord, we’ve become a “soft” society as well.
No longer do we change our own oil, mow our lawns, wash our cars or clean our homes. Thusly, the service industry – Zippy Oil & Lube, Billy Bob’s Lawn Care, Mr. Squeaky’s Auto Shine and Dust-Busters – is now a booming business. Coming home after a long day at the office and fixing a home-cooked meal is simply out of the question. Why stay in the kitchen and miss the latest installment of America’s Got Talent when you can pop some type of pre-cooked dinner into the microwave.
If you want to take a trip around the world, go visit the bread aisle in your favorite supermarket. There’s French bread, Italian bread, San Francisco Sourdough, New York-style Jewish rye and Texas Toast to go along with Wheat, Whole Wheat, Premium Butter, Cinnamon Raisin, Grain, Whole Grain, Seven-Grain, Oak Nut, Caraway Seed and Dill.
And what would you like between those slices? How ‘bout a nice slab of creamy peanut butter. They still sell that, right? Sure they do, but along with crunchy style, extra crunchy, low sodium and, for those real lazy folks, peanut butter than comes in a jar pre-mixed with grape jelly.
Say you like a luncheon meat sandwich? Do you want that thin-sliced, thick-sliced, deli-sliced or oven-roasted?
Before we can toss a bag of plain chips in the cart, we must first sort through the likes of those flavored with sour cream, barbecue sauce, mesquite, chili and spice, sour cream and onion, cheddar, salt and vinegar and ranch dressing.
About the only thing I can safely prepare without burning down the house is Hamburger Helper. My favorite is the Cheeseburger Macaroni, but, low and behold there’s a vast array of other flavors – Bacon Cheeseburger, Double Cheese Pizza, Cheesy Hashbrowns, Cheddar and Broccoli, Four Cheese Lasagna, Chili Cheese and Philly Cheesesteak. What’s all this fascination with cheese?
There’s even Tuna Helper and Chicken Helper. What’s next, Herring Helper?
If you do decide to skip the “help” and simply pan fry a slab of dead cow, pig or chicken, would you like that smothered in gravy? Forget about creating homemade gravy; that takes away from catching the latest version of Wheel of Fortune. Just grab a pack of tasty powered gravy mix – beef, pork, chicken, onion, mushroom, herb or turkey flavored. Just take your pick!
After polishing off the meal, it’s time to rack the scraps into the trash. But what kind of bag is best suited for this task. Should I purchase the ones with the quick ties, the cinch sacks, the handle ties, the easy flaps, or the gripper bags? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
What if I spill something on my clothes? What will get out those ugly stains? I’m glad you asked because there’s washing powder for colored clothes and your basic whites. Do you want that to smell spring fresh, mountain fresh, a gentle breeze, outdoorsy or like a rain shower? Pardon me for asking, but what does a gentle breeze smell like?
(Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-332-7207.)