Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Apocalypse Is Nigh. I Blame It On Sandra Lee.

Mr. Hawthorne and I ventured out to Harris Teeter the other afternoon.
I went to the soup aisle to get the advertised, on-sale Harris Teeter brand of chicken stock (32 ounces for $1.87) and I saw THIS:
The Wretched Ray. Rosie ... Take deep breaths. Let the good air in. Let the bad air out. In. Out. Shake it out. Then, I went to the spice aisle and saw this:
Click to enlarge and peruse. Seasoning packets to go. Sacre bleu! It's the love child of McCormick's Seasonings and Sandra Lee.
Shrimp and Pasta Primavera. Ingredients: garlic onion dill weed black pepper thyme Five ingredients. Six spice packets. So, is it two packets of thyme?
Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas. Ingredients: garlic onion cumin black pepper oregano cilantro. This was the only package which listed 6 different ingredients.
Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Potatoes. Ingredients: Paprika Garlic Rosemary Black pepper. Would that be two packets each of rosemary and paprika?
Apple and Sage Pork Chops. The ingredients: garlic sage paprika thyme allspice. What's the sixth ingredient? Is it a second sage?
Spanish Chicken Skillet. Ingredients: paprika garlic red pepper thyme black pepper I don't know what the 6th seasoning is unless it's a second helping of the paprika at the bottom. You see, I've put a lot of thought into this. And I read the ingredients list for each. And I examined each picture. I don't know what I think of this. Are we, as a nation, so lazy in the kitchen that we need to resort to this? There's not one spice in any of these packages that I don't have as a staple in my pantry. Oh wait. I don't have dried cilantro, though I do have fresh cilantro and parsley year round. I have fresh rosemary, sage, fennel, assorted thymes and oreganos, and chives growing in my herb garden year round. I have dill which I grew and dried. I have my own blends of red peppers which I grew, dried, and ground up. I always have fresh garlic on hand. Obviously, I am not the target demographic for this product. And if you don't have basic herbs and spices in your kitchen, is this actually going to help you? Even with the collectible recipe card included, I still wonder. Say you buy these packets. You still need to get shrimp and pasta. You still need to get lime, chicken, and God help you when you start looking for fajitas. You still need more chicken and potatoes. You still need to get apples and pork chops. You still need to get a Spanish chicken and a skillet. I'm just wondering if the target audience for these products is actually able to pull this off? If you don't have basics - like pepper fer cryin' out loud, are you going to have a skillet? A pot to cook in? Will you know the difference between properly cooked shrimp and a rubbery mess? And what about the chicken? Will you know how to cook a decent chicken? And what about the other white meat? Will you know not to overcook to white/gray instead of the juicy pink of a pork chop properly cooked? Will your pasta stick to the ceiling when you toss it? (Let's hope not.) I'm conflicted on this. If you're this pantry-challenged, does this encourage you to go and cook? Would this product just scream to you, "Hey, You TOO, can cook up a mean dinner. For only $1.99! No. Wait. You not only get 6 bubble packs of assorted herbs, but ALSO, you get a collectible recipe card." If so, this is a sad state of events.


Marilyn said...

I saw those a couple of weeks ago in my regular grocery store. I just shook my head and kept on walking.

zzzadig said...

Isn't "dried cilantro" an oxymoron?
I'd just as soon use bermuda grass seed, except that it probably has more flavor. I guess one of P.T. Barnum's relatives is now working for McCormick's.

Phyllis said...

Geeze Rosie, that's just soooo wrong. *hanging head is dispair*.

Phyllis said...

and I hope you can speak typo...make that despair, not dispare. *now hanging head in shame*