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  1. Alessandra October 22, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

    Women who cook still exist!

A Way to a Man’s Heart is Through the Frozen Food Department of Today’s Supermarket: Think Again

Essays by an Amateur Comments (1)

How about that feeling after a lonesome meal out, returning to your empty flat. Has it happened to you? Being divorced and not having any cozy situation prepared in advance of my breakup, I ventured out to attack the world of self-preservation and with a vengeance. Food was plentiful but in what condition would I find it? The first few years were tough. Fast food chains were an option, but I strived to remain fit and certainly that was not the answer. Just have a good look at any of the low-life TV talk shows from America. Easy food preparation and cooking tips were on everybody’s list of best sellers, but totally incomprehensible to my scientific mind. Too much intuition and feeling were required for my taste. Manipulations and instructions for different kinds of stoves, oven plates, microwaves and above all timing, were reminiscent of Houston’s Control Center. I was not really preparing for a six month’s trip to Mars.

Microwave Mania was what I heard about in my earlier years. However, more rational consultants informed me how limited this is in what is termed as cooking. And what about reports on the diffusion of organic plastic molecules into what is being ultimately invading our body tissues? My daily 24 hour brain tumors can’t take much more of all these precautions. They say to just place the food in the drawer and zap it for a few minutes and presto a lovely so and so would emerge. Truth is that much of what was inserted had hot, warm and cold spots making whatever it was a disgusting experience. Another period of zapping often resulted in an object suitable for the French revolution, not their cuisine contributions, but that 1789. Sandwiches were always available as a backup, but after 15 days of ham and cheese varieties, the taste buds on holiday or into coma.

Only in retrospect did I realize that more people were living on their own and somehow coping with their internal environmental world of nutrition. After becoming bored with consuming pre-cooked grilled chicken, take-away pizzas, Chinese, etc., I thought it best to seek out a more diverse but balanced menu.

Although I enjoyed frequent gourmet meals as a business venue, much of it began tasting as if it came from the same kitchen and cooking gear regardless of city or country. Of course this is an exaggeration, but the printed menus looked astoundingly similar on close inspection and learning that the chefs often had been subjected to similar cooking schools throughout Europe gave me the impression of undeclared syndicate that was just very much upscale from McDonalds – especially the prices. Until recently, much of this was a tax deductible item depending upon which country your company paid their taxes. The only exception to the conveyor belt type kitchen was my penchant for the spicy oriental varieties, but many of these places were not swanky or meaty enough for the occasion for professional carnivorous executives.

I consider plastic airline food for the very frequent flyer nauseating and unhealthy for a variety of reasons – too numerous to expound upon here. Arriving on a homeward bound flight often after shops are closed left me with three options: 1) consume the plastic food served by Valium smiling flight attendants, 2) visit a local restaurant but a large suitcase, shoulder bag and 49 kg attaché full of company documents made that awkward, 3) guess what can be found in my kitchenette cupboard such as an uninviting can of ravioli. The last option was to simply open a can of tuna, eat straight from the container and fall asleep in front of the tube.

Unaware of a silent (for me at least) revolution, the marketing experts were beginning and obviously succeeding in bringing an ever imaginative array of meals frozen in convenient packages at reasonable prices. These items easily competed with whatever a busy woman of today can manage to place before her boyfriend, fiancée or husband. What woman has the time, inclination or energy to prepare a decent meal as in the past? Both genders are much too preoccupied with many time consuming activities (not to even mention children and animals). Its become rare indeed to find a couple who relish and have or make the time to prepare a proper meal as a ritual for friends, lovers or family. The virtual disappearance of the latter as a unit is in part due to the elimination of food preparation as an integral act of togetherness and bonding.

Now to update my progress. I’ve bonded with my local supermarket frozen food section where even oriental concoctions are spicy for my palate. My freezer essentially serves as another orderly file cabinet. I pay attention to package dates, ingredients and above all the simple instructions. As a backup I continue to take my once-a-day multiple and vitamin tablet.

As I’m observing from a slight distance beyond middle age, I notice that current courtship may have taken on a new twist. It appears increasingly obsolete to spend hours preparing a special meal for close friends and loved ones. Take-outs still and continue to infringe upon this aspect of our lives. The savvy are those that know their way around the frozen food sections. Modern women no longer can nor are they able to impress their prey with specially and individually prepared meals. They have been compelled to simply their efforts and found the battle-field leveled since many men have become interested and capable of being impressed with commercials and the ease with which nutritious food can be made available.

So, a word of caution for you women of today. The traditional kitchen is no longer a viable snare to harness your beau. The latter no longer appears to be accessible as he once was. Maybe he would not even be worth it anyway as more and more have become unappreciative for such special gestures not having being raised under more traditional values. Female nurturing has taken a back seat to a variety of commitments and male recognition and appreciation of this basic biological trait has declined in parallel thanks in part to your local frozen food department. Bon appetite! Now where did I place those new multi-strength vitamins since I’m too tired to wait to defrost that lovely curry laced salmon package?

Peter M. Lutterbeck @ January 8, 2008

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