Today I was asked to prepare a packet of pasta (with freeze-dried beef in it) for someone. This is not a food product that I have been aquainted with, although if it were around when I was living in the dorms, I'm sure I would have already tried all of the flavors. This particular culinary delight consisted of an envelope of pasta that you mixed with water and stirred in some powder with beef chunks conviently included. I was doubtful that this process would render anything even remotely edible and my suspicions were confirmed. I promise to you that I followed the directions so very carefully that I even easured the 3/4 cups of water, which I would never normally do. I punched in the exact number on the microwave that was recommended. The result was horrifying. First of all, it came out of the microwave with a very hard, neon orange crust layer all over the top that I had to crack thhrough to get to the food (much like a creme brule only gross). When I did, I found that the pasta was so far on the wrong side of al dente that the poor child would break his teeth if I fed it to him. Also the "sauce" had congealed into chunks--not good. Several attempts at stirring, adding more water, and re-microwaving only made the dish more of a glop of sludgy over-processed goo than it had originally been. I gave up and made the poor child some chicken and rice.
All the while, I am asking this: Who was it that decided that the process of preparing boxed macaroni and cheese (you know, boiling the water, draining the pasta, stiring in the sauce) was too difficult? And if these people are indeed not capable of preparing this simple meal, should we complicate things with the new "easy method" and more importantly should we be allowing them to operate microwaves at all?
My other question is this: Why does Scarlett constantly shun my carefully prepared homemade lunch and beg for what ever packet/box/envelope pasta meal that other child has to eat!?!?