April 29, 2010
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Too Busy

Michael Ruhlman calls 30-minute meals “bullshit” in the Huffington Post. It’s odd to see Ruhlman, a food writer, in HuffPo, but this is a political question.

Since the food industry began, they've been pushing for faster and faster cooking times--that's what they were selling, not food you enjoy or that makes you feel good. That's what they want people to value. For decades, not only have the multinational food corporations been selling us speed, so have the media. The media embraced it. "That's what people want!" argue editors and publishers I've spoken with.

But you really don’t need a lot of time to cook, especially once you get the hang of it. Last night, for example, we had

The takes time, but I made it on Sunday; it gets better if it has time to rest. The broccoli is rinsed, chopped, and thrown into a skillet with hot oil and some chopped shallots. The Mornay is a classical, flour-thickened cheese sauce. It’s the only finicky thing here, and it takes maybe 15 minutes from a standing start. So, I can get home at 8:30pm and have dinner on the table at 9, maybe 9:15. (Linda puts up with the late hours. Beats hot dogs.)

“Part of the problem,” Ruhlman continues, “is the magazine editors and television producers drumming us over the head with fast and easy meal solutions at home. It's the wrong message to send. These editors and producers and publishers are backing the processed food industry, propelling their message.” These are fighting words.

Quick, fast, and easy isn't the point. Good is the point. Makes you feel good is the point. I am not saying spend three hours making a chicken galantine. I am saying put a chicken the oven with some cut up potatoes for an hour.