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Old 12-16-2006, 09:36 PM   #31
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ketchup, mayonaisse, canned refried beans, prepared mustard, okonomiyaki & tonkatsu sauce, tandoori paste, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, the occasional jar of sauerkraut.

bread, cookies, candy bars... are these cheating???

sugar i don't personally consider cheating, because i honestly can't find sugar cane in any quantity.

i do have to admit though, that i don't always have the energy to go down to the ocean, bring home, and distill a bathtub of salt water for the evening meal.

to let the final skeleton out of the closet, i may have a 2 or 3 year old box of macaroni & cheese lurking in the back of my top shelf somewhere. besides the nostalgia factor, i bought some a few years ago for the same reason i bought the "curly classics" video; i want my daughter (born & raised here) to be exposed to the full spectrum of american culture.

let's face it. you're not a real american unless you can say "nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" with a mouthful of mac & cheese (hopefully spewing or causing others to spew some of it out in the process).
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:43 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philso
...let's face it. you're not a real american unless you can say "nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" with a mouthful of mac & cheese (hopefully spewing or causing others to spew some of it out in the process).


I qualify! I qualify!
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:48 PM   #33
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I once served deep fried 'whatever' at dinner and got poetic praises about how crisp, light, airy and perfectly seasoned the fried batter was. Of course it was immediately followed by the question of how I did it. I was so caught off-guard that I just told the guest I'll tell her later. They all probably thought I didn't want to share my secret recipe. Actually, it had to stay a secret -- a shameful one. I used a ready-to-use packet of tempura batter. Just added a little water, dipped the food in, then deep fried.

I've tried making my own deep-frying batter many times before but they always turned out mediocre, despite using ice water or baking soda or cold soda water. This store-bought batter mix was a rare eye-opener for me. Some things, like frozen puff pastry as Andy said, are worth just buying plain ready!

Moral of the story: convenience products are not necessarily all evil!
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:24 AM   #34
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Yep, instant potatoes here too! :) I use Minute Rice, Velveeta, dried onion soup mix, and canned gravy plus I am sure many more quick fixes.
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:51 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philso
let's face it. you're not a real american unless you can say "nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" with a mouthful of mac & cheese ...
What worries me is that I don't even understand this reference! I'll betcha I can say nyuk, nyuk, nyuk mind you

Do I have to understand the meaning of what I'm saying to qualify?
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:01 AM   #36
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Meanwhile, back on the ranch:

I like both canned fruit and frozen veggies sometimes if that counts, and we buy fish fingers and chicken schnitzel ready-made. Past that, I throw a veggie boullion cube into my rice if that's considered cheating...
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:12 AM   #37
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I don't care for instant mashed potatoes or any of the pretenders like 'scalloped' or 'au gratin' which contain deydrated sliced potatoes. Same thing with boxed macaroni & cheese.

Rice, well heck, how hard is that? Only takes 20 minutes to cook white rice (brown rice, 45 minutes). No biggie.

I fondly refer to my mom as the 'Freezer Queen' because the moment frozen "family-style" dinners, aka sliced beef in gravy or sliced turkey in gravy (more gravy than anything, truly) became available, that's what we had for dinner. She never did like cooking. When she found a way to just shove a tray of frozen something into the oven for an hour, boom! There was dinner. That with the packet (instant mashed) potatoes and heat up a can of mushy vegetables, she called it dinner! At least we didn't starve.

When I go to visit I cook them a proper meal. They adored the veal piccata with fettucini tossed in a light Parmesan-cream sauce and steamed artichoke hearts. YUM!

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Old 12-17-2006, 07:55 AM   #38
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One of the restaurants where I worked used to supplement our 'homemade' mash with instant, especially when we were low on potatos! We also used the instant for things like potato cakes and the top of a shepherd pie, when we were running specials.
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Old 12-17-2006, 11:38 AM   #39
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We had a box of instant mash that my partner bought when I broke my ankle and couldn't cook very easily. He liked it. Took us a year to finish the box (just the other day) but I can see him buying another.
I have gravy granules in the cupboard, though they don't get used that much. Not because I make 'proper' gravy but because I actually quite like food dry, so to speak.
We've got tinned vegetables - I love tinned green beans cold in salads, much better than beans I've cooked myself. Frozen peas are an essential. Plus, I've got custard powder. Not much else, unless you count the jars of mincemeat for mince pies. No time to make my own.

And Nicholas, I have a question for you too. What on earth are "tatertots"?
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Old 12-17-2006, 11:59 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoop Puss
And Nicholas, I have a question for you too. What on earth are "tatertots"?
I'm not Nicholas but... Tater Tots:

http://content.answers.com/main/cont...-Tatertots.png

I forgot about these, how is that possible! They are formed potato nuggets, made from diced potatoes from all appearances. I don't suppose you could actually make tater tots at home. They are a hold-over from my childhood when we lived for a while with my grandparents, waiting for Dad and my oldest brother to return to the states from Bangkok. Every Friday Grandma would make frozen fish sticks (fish "fingers") and tater tots for dinner. Still a not-so-guilty pleasure!

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