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Monday, October 15, 2007

Comments From Our Readers On Recipes, Fast-Food and Nutrition

I opened my inbox and found two actually funny and interesting letters from two of the readers of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen.

The first from Kali, whose subject bore the title "picky picky" I read with great interest. In it she pointed out some failings and mistakes and some big boo-boos posted here at Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. I could find absolutely nothing wrong with what she said. She tells of her two pet peeves, two of which are very true in any recipe site or book.

1. people who write recipes "out of order". sure some people may get out every ingredient ahead of time and have them ready to use, but why can't the listed ingredients follow the same order as the preparation instructions? if the instructions say "add X, Y & Z to A", i don't want to have to search thru the ingredient list to find what the measurements are for those particular ingredients because they're not listed just under "A", but rather at the bottom of the list.
This is so right and correct. And when I looked back upon some of the recipes given as examples, I was shocked to see that this was the case more times than I care to think about. We should not have to be given ingredients than forced to figure out when and where and in what measure they should go in the recipe by searching the list again while reading directions.
2. people who don't proof-read their recipes. missing ingredients, missing directions, or ingredients listed that don't appear in the actual recipe instructions.
I once watched a show about how they made a famous series of detective shows, (I guess I was truly bored that day!). When the director began talking candidly, he admitted that in one show they had killed someone off, and yet afterwards there was never a reference to the dead person. The murder was not solved, had no purpose and the whole scene was just totally superfluous. They did not even notice the problem until people started writing in and calling after the show was aired asking what the hell happened to that dead person?

So yes, I am obviously guilty lately of not proofreading some of the recipes. And I must assume that like the dead person in the mystery series, ingredients are listed and then magically do not appear in the directions! Sometimes I try the recipes out before posting them, other times, due to constraints of time, kitchen hives and pity on my diet, I just don't try everything. Proofreading though I do, however, mistakes do creep in. I do not have an editor for the blog, and sometimes as in the examples Kali pointed out, tablespoons seem to have magically become teaspoons, and baking soda and sugar are mixed all up and listed ingredients do not make into the recipe!

Kali is right. I will do my best to proofread better in the recipes to come. If anyone does find mistakes in recipes, please do not hesitate to comment or just send in a quick email to fireinmykitchen@gmail.com. All corrections, notations, comments good or bad are appreciated.

Next up, and this should come as no surprise, Paula our insane cook, sent in an email describing a recent family event. The subject of this one is "Fast Food Lifestyle". Some of the email must be edited so Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen does not get sued!
My niece hosted a party today where she invited friends and family to her home for a demonstration by a company...(company's name deleted..editor)

They are similar to Tupperware and Pampered Chef parties where the host earns free items, depending on the sales made from her party. Lucky for me, I don't think I'll be invited to another one anytime soon.

Companies such as this thrive on the fact that we live in a fast food world and many people survive on less than healthy eating habits due to lack of time or knowledge in the kitchen.

My niece Caryn is a twenty five year old, single mother and works as a cardiac critical care ICU nurse. She sees the effects of this lifestyle on a daily basis, yet she rarely cooks a healthy meal. This baffles me.

She shared with them that her aunt (me) is over the top when it comes to cooking. She had them all laughing when telling them that I don't use pre packaged items, fast food, pizza's or chinese food.

While all the guests were tasting the treats offered by this company, I was reading the nutritional information. Many of their products call for either the addition of only water or two ingredients to be added. It wasn't long before I had my own little group gathered in the kitchen, telling them how easy it is to make a healthy meal with few items.

Another factor for these prepared items is cost. They have a relish on their list that sells for $8.99 per ten ounce jar. I make relish and it costs me approx. $2.00 per quart. Sure it takes time but in the end, it tastes better, has NO PRESERVATIVES and provides me with enough for a year or two.

I think the host was a little less than thrilled with me but I can't help it. In the time it takes to prepare a pre packaged food item, you can have a less expensive, healthier option made.

I was amused and horrified when one of the girls asked me why her chicken Parmesan turned out awful. I asked how she prepared it.

" I bought frozen breaded chicken and put chunks of mozzarella on it." .....
I think we can safely assume no one will be sending in such a recipe for Chicken Parmesan!

Keep the comments coming, complaints and of course praise. (I love praise!!!!!) And when you do find a mistake, even if it is just a spelling mistake, let me know - immediately. I cannot promise an immediate response but I will do my best.

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