Saturday, April 21, 2012

Leave It To A Woman ...

Doreen and I discussed the Hungry-Man.

She suggested that I investigate Stouffer's or give Marie Callender's a try.

I nixed the Stouffer's idea. I recently tried the macaroni and cheese, as one of my aunts gave it her blessing years ago, and she was the poster child for food snobs. If she deemed it edible, I figured, it must be worthwhile.

Nope. Perhaps she'd been desperate. Macaroni and cheese desperation. You know how it is.

But Marie Callender's. Hmm. I had a pot pie once, long ago. At Doreen's suggestion, I believe. OK, then. Sure.

On my way home from scouting – unsuccessfully – for fabric (I probably looked at 500 bolts and didn't find one worth buying), I swung by the store to replenish my Greek yogurt supply. And as long as I was in the aisle with frozen dinners, I took a gander.

I scoffed at Hungry-Man as I walked by, and made my way to Marie.

The picture held more promise than that of my previous foray. The turkey, for example, looked like turkey. Like, from a turkey, as opposed to Hungry-Man's too-uniform slices. (Honestly, I almost never eat frozen prepared food. This spate is an anomaly. Trust me.)

"340 Calories," read the front of the box, with a caret between "340" and "Calories" inserting the word "Delicious."

Hungry-Man didn't promise that his calories would be delicious. No, he was too busy boasting about his "1 LB OF FOOD." Oaf. (Marie weighs in at a more dainty 14 ounces.)

And in tiny, modest type: "Just like home."


So, I came home and read the instructions and was struck by Step 4: "Check that product is cooked thoroughly. Internal temperature needs to reach 165°F as measured by a food thermometer in several spots."

Well, Marie, I presume this turkey isn't coming to me in a raw state, but thanks for your vigilance.

I nuked as directed and then stuck a thermometer in. If the thermometer was to be believed, my food wasn't cooked through. So I put it back in the microwave for another 90 seconds. I tested it again. Far be it from me to ignore such an instruction. I decided that a reading of 162 probably wasn't going to be my undoing, so I ate.

The turkey was indeed turkey as from a turkey. Sliced thickly, not like it came from a deli. The stuffing was about what you'd expect. Ditto the mashed potatoes.

But on balance, Marie kicks Hungry-Man's culinary ass.

I shan't be making such meals a regular part of my diet, but it's nice to know that when I find myself with a taste for Thanksgiving, there's a reasonable fix in my grocer's freezer.

Thanks, Doreen! Thanks, Marie!

Hungry-Man, take a hike.


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