Eats on the Street

August 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm 1 comment

A friend phoned the other day.  A few minutes into the conversation it was clear she was calling from her car.  And amid occasional munching sounds I soon surmised she was grabbing a bite to eat at the same time.   Quick math told me she was one appendage short of the ability to either drive or dine safely.  (Shame on her: she still hasn’t gotten a hands-free headset.)  It made me shudder.  So did the vision of the woman (I’m not making this up) forking away at a plate of food balanced on the steering wheel while hurtling down the interstate.  I remember pulling over, flipping on the radio and waiting anxiously for the sig alert.

Put away the trade journals.  A good look around tells you it’s no longer about fast food but what the industry now calls ‘hand-held’ foods.  Not ‘on the go,’ mind you.  No, this is stuff is literally consumed while in motion—so far beyond burgers and burritos it’s not even funny. 

Seems we’re all in such a mad hurry get from here to there—or be done with our to-do lists—that we haven’t the time to sit down and eat.

No wonder the acknowledged master of the craft, McDonald’s, is now marketing the Big Mac Wrap, which calls to mind blinged out thugs, not the re-cloaked, straight-jacketed burger it truly is.  Backing this debut are, undoubtedly, focus group studies showing that the poor old sesame seed bun just couldn’t keep up.  

(Strap on a Budweiser Foam Dome, Cletus, and you’ve got yourself a freeway feast.)

Part of the appeal of the reissued I Hate to Cook Book, I suspect, is nostalgia over a time when a trip to the drive-through was an occasional treat, not the preferred way of putting food on the table.  I certainly hope that, scaling back and staying closer to home, families will look there for great, easy-to-make recipes that let them spend quality time together over supper. 

It beats the heck out of getting cited for dining while distracted.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sandy King Abernathy  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Here here!! We do need to get back to basics. The destruction of families in days past. It is time to rebuild the family and family meals! And it wouldn’t hurt a few to learn how to cook from scratch!! Especially the excellent recipes your Mom had.


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