There is something perverse but satisfying about sharing a food fetish of sorts on the most solemn of food-oriented holidays.
KatieZ at Thyme for Cooking put me up to it.
A few days ago, Katie issued an invitation to bloggers to share their secrets, come out of the culinary closet with a skeleton, so to speak. Dubbing her challenge "Skeletons in the Pantry," Katie asked us to be brave and admit that our respective diets do not necessarily include only top quality, locally-grown, organic produce and antibiotic- and hormone-free meats. Or, if we have no perverse eating habits, come clean about kitchen disasters.
Having already shared my predilection for the occasional baked item made from biscuit mix, I jumped on the bandwagon as quickly as I could. It did not hurt that my friend Christine of Christine Cooks has already shared a fascinating and funny store about her bout with a big turkey. (I've run across plenty of big turkeys in my lifetime but have never tried to stuff one in the oven. Thanks for the idea, Christine.)
I have bravely revealed my culinary calamities, like the time I added baking soda instead of cornstarch to beef stew. But I have never told you about my jones for Rice-A-Roni's Creamy Four-Cheese flavor rice and vermicelli blend.
Yup, I can eat it by the box. And I do, especially when my stomach is roiling, or I've had a bad day, or I'm upset by something some big turkey did. Creamy Four Cheese rice fills my jittery stomach, warms me, satisfies me and is probably the reason I will never allow anyone to see my hips. I think this little box is great and I have not been paid by Rice-A-Roni to say so.
It is - or it was - "the San Francisco treat."
There are actually a few steps involved in preparation. Open the box. Brown the rice and vermicelli in olive oil or butter (I do use Smart Balance) and then add water. Allow it to come to a boil, and then simmer. Add the cheese powder. Mix. Eat.
The only thing more convenient is a pop-in-the-microwave product I found at the LeClerc outside of Cahors a few years back. It was tomato-flavored. Because I also enjoy French convenience food I ate several packages of it. You can buy these things in the states now, but I've never seen a tomato-flavored packet locally.
I've already disclosed my reliance on convenience food from time to time. I suspect most everyone does this, they just don't admit it.
So my challenge, especially to some of the Big Name Bloggers, is: Come clean. Fess up. All will be forgiven.