I am not an off-the-cuff cook. I’m not one to experiment, to add a dash of this and a pinch of that.
I need recipes. I never really cooked much more than fried matzoh and baked chicken until I got married. I don’t have a spohisticated palate, so deciding which tastes go well together or creating my own dishes just doesn’t happen. It’s never going to. I need someone to tell me exactly how much of each ingredient to add and, as I found out during one unfortunate baking disaster, in which order to add them together.
That was all fine and dandy, as there are plenty of recipes around. I love my Betty Crocker cookbook, though I do covet and hope to find an old copy of the Joy of Cooking. So I was humming along merrily, cooking to recipe, until things started getting complicated.
Why did things get complicated?
Because manufacturers are afraid to raise prices, so instead they’re screwing up my recipes.
Have you noticed it? Did you realize that your toilet paper has less sheets than it used to (no, I don’t cook with it!), or that your canned corn has fifteen ounces instead of sixteen?
Does your cereal now only last you twelve days instead of fourteen?
Manufacturers are shrinking the amount of food we get per package, and they’re certainly not reducing prices. They don’t want us to think about whether or not we still want to buy something now that the price has increased, like so many of us are doing now as we see grocery prices rise. They want us to just keep buying, and hope we don’t notice.
But I notice. You know, I don’t have one single recipe that calls for a 15 ounce can of corn. My corn casserole, a Thanksgiving (and Easter) staple, calls for a sixteen ounce can of creamed corn, and a sixteen ounce can of sweet corn. Sixteen, not fifteen. So, either I buy extra cans or my recipe suffers. I HATE that.
I hate that I have to think about making adjustments, no matter how minor, to my recipes. I hate thinking about whether adding something else will make it thick enough, or cake-like enough. I don’t know the answers!
So thanks, manufacturers. Thanks for screwing up my recipes. I’d rather pay a few cents more (well, I’d really rather not) so that my recipes don’t suffer.
Let’s organize a protest. Let’s all meet at the Del Monte offices and throw stewed tomatoes at them. From the fifteen ounce cans.
They’ll have one less ounce to clean up.