After almost 16 years of not being single, I am single, and I recently discovered something amazing:
Food is cheaper when you are single.
I went to Taco Bell’s drive-thru the other night and ordered my usual, a number 5 combo (nachos and two crunchy taco supremes). I pulled up to the window where which money is expected to be traded for goods, and handed a twenty to the cashier. I was astounded to receive back fourteen dollars and change, instead of the usual one to two bucks and change.
And it’s not just fast food; groceries are cheaper too. My grocery bill hasn’t been cut by 50 percent, but by nearly 75 percent. I hadn’t realized how much of the family packs of meat I was buying, not to mention the family packs of frozen vegetables. The fact that I’m now eating frozen dinners pretty much all the time probably helps, too. I just don’t have time to cook; I sometimes work 12 hours a day, and I almost always get in after 9:30 pm. I just don’t see the point in slaving over a hot stove. Besides which, I’m lazy.
Since I am now something of an old hand at the world of frozen dinners, I now feel compelled . . . nay, inspired! . . . to impart some pearls of wisdom as to the cooking/preparation of the frozen dinner. I am basing this wisdom on the Healthy Choice line of frozen things, as created by ConAgra Foods, Inc. of Omaha Nebraska. Specifically, the Traditional Classics Lemon Pepper Fish (with dessert!). I am going to list, verbatim, the preparation instructions, and what really happens instead. I have no idea if this counts as plagiarism or not. Sue me, ConAgra. Like the mighty honey badger, I don’t give a shit.
MICROWAVE Cook only one product at a time.
They know I live alone. They are mocking me.
1. REMOVE film cover from dessert and entrée; SLIT film over broccoli.
The film will rip over the broccoli as I attempt to remove it from the entrée. I will sigh and chalk this up to yet another failure.
2. MICROWAVE on HIGH 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes or until fish is fully cooked.
Microwave ovens below 1100 watt may require additional cook time to reach proper temperature.
Do anyone know the wattage of their nuke box? No? I don’t either. So I guess. And realize that this company doesn’t even care enough about me to cook the fish ahead of time.
3. LET STAND 2 minutes. CAREFULLY remove as PRODUCT WILL BE HOT.
I won’t wait and will eat it immediately, but since they’ve warned me, I have no legal leg to stand on. Besides, the entire thing will not be hot; the broccoli will be cold. Am I going to keep it in the microwave and nuke it again? Nah, that’s too much damn trouble. Southland is almost on.
4. CHECK that product is cooked thoroughly.
Internal temperature needs to reach 165 F as measured by a food thermometer in several spots.
Oh my god! This is too much freakin’ work! I eat the damn thing anyway and try to guess which of my house cats will be the first to take a chunk out of me if I happen to choke to death on the soggy breaded fish.