Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

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Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Bob Ross » Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:58 pm

Jenise quesitoned weather Beef Stroganoff could be considered "American cuisine" in another thread. It brought to mind a cute article from the "Atlantic" in which Ann Hodgman admits she buys, but is embarrassed by, Hamburger Helper.

Hodgman's riff starts:

My nephew once came back from a neighbor's house all excited about the beef stroganoff he'd had for dinner. Since he tends not to like new foods, his mother asked the neighbor for the recipe. When she made and served the dish, my nephew blurted out, "This is horrible! It's nothing like what I had at their house." His mother called the neighbor to see if she'd made a mistake—at which point the neighbor admitted that what the family had actually eaten was Hamburger Helper beef stroganoff. She had been too embarrassed to confess the truth the first time around.

Let me cheer that neighbor up by admitting that I, too, keep Hamburger Helper in the house. I like Hamburger Helper. I also hate myself for liking it. It's the same with all the convenience foods I buy. Nothing is more embarrassing in the checkout line than a neon-red bag of Ore-Ida Tater Tots or a family-size box of Stouffer's lasagna. I tell myself I can hardly be the only person buying this stuff. Look at the Ore-Ida products alone—that freezer's as big as a barn! But deep down I know I'm the worst mom on earth. I'm lining the pockets of Industrial Food and poisoning my family ... all because I'm serving them something they like.


***

In my case, I try to hide the Kool Whip from all the careful shoppers (and when I get it home from Janet). Love that stuff right out of the container.

How about you?

Regards, Bob
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counte

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun Jun 11, 2006 3:51 am

Sorry, no shame here: it all goes on the conveyor belt -- plink, plank, plunk.

The only hiding I do is to sneak the occasional new bottle into the wine cooler before you-know-who sees it....
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counte

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:23 am

Not exactly on the subject, but Cool Whip reminded me of the following. My nephew is married to a Japanese girl who doesn't speak English very good and is not familiar with many of our customs. Last Thanksgiving they were at my house for dinner and my son taught her the fine art of squirting canned whipped cream into your mouth. We laughed ourselves silly as everyone at the table had a turn at it. :lol:
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:38 pm

Thanks for the reminder about Hamburger Helper. I loved it when our children were growing up. We are having three and five year old grandkids here for several days and I bet they will love being introduced to this product! I used to use it a lot. Who of us had time to really cook when running to skating lessons, basketball, swim meets, dog obedience lessons.....gasp!
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Jenise » Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:14 pm

Answering the question in your title, no. I don't have kids, and Bob and I don't eat snacks or prepared food, so I start in produce, then head to meat, then dairy, and then the checkout stand only occasionally via one of the middle aisles containing, say, vinegar or canned tomatoes. I can't think of anything I buy that makes me look over my shoulder to make sure no one's looking--Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup would be the closest. Oh, and sometimes, a box of Dots.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:56 pm

After some thought about this....I can't think of any food I buy that would cause me to want to hide the evidence. It is my money, and my food once I pay for it, and I really don't care what they think. I don't even think about it
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counte

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:17 pm

Yes, anytime I go shopping with my wife. Cap'n Crunch, frozen dinners, canned soups, Hohos, Turtles, Betty Crocker cake mix, People and Cosmo...

Very embarrassing. But at least I don't get the giggles and knowing looks I get when I go shopping with The Other Stupid.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:08 pm

>In my case, I try to hide the Kool Whip from all the careful shoppers (and when I get it home from Janet). Love that stuff right out of the container.

Water, hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oils, corn syrup, sugar, sodium caseinate, dextrose, polysorbate 60, natural and artificial flavors, sorbitan monostearate, xanthan gum and guar gum. Artificial color.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:29 pm

I know, I know, Chef -- I read all the labels. But people on this board are much more adult than I am, I've discovered. The inner child must be served!

Regards, Bob
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Bernard Roth » Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:46 am

Quite the opposite. I buy foods that the cashier is embarassed to not recognize and has to ask me what it is.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Larry Greenly » Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:11 am

Bernard Roth wrote:Quite the opposite. I buy foods that the cashier is embarassed to not recognize and has to ask me what it is.


Reminds me of my arguments with clerks that the jicama is not a potato nor is the napa cabbage a head of romaine lettuce.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:29 am

Larry Greenly wrote:
Bernard Roth wrote:Quite the opposite. I buy foods that the cashier is embarassed to not recognize and has to ask me what it is.


Reminds me of my arguments with clerks that the jicama is not a potato nor is the napa cabbage a head of romaine lettuce.


Think I'd keep my mouth shut - surely the potato is cheaper than the jicama and the romaine less expensive than the napa cabbage???? Guess I just have a felonious streak.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Jenise » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:56 am

Chef Carey wrote:
Think I'd keep my mouth shut - surely the potato is cheaper than the jicama and the romaine less expensive than the napa cabbage???? Guess I just have a felonious streak.


Me too. More than once I've paid red cabbage prices for raddichio. And I saw it and felt gleeful. Guilty? Never. After all, did I run back to the store in a rampage when I got home and found a ripe avocado crushed in the bottom of the bag, or found my tomato had a worm visiting, or that a potato had some blight all the way through. I figure it's all some kind of karma.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:03 pm

Bob Ross wrote:I know, I know, Chef -- I read all the labels. But people on this board are much more adult than I am, I've discovered. The inner child must be served!

Regards, Bob


Okay, okay, I'll fess up, too.

Annually, I have the Mary Jane Johnson Memorial Meal.

When I was tad of 6, 7 & 8 I had a babysitter named Mary Jane Johnson.

She served me one meal only - every time she sat with me.

It consisted of a bologna sandwich on balloon white bread with French's mustard (I'm currently quite upset with this corporation because they rented my kitchen and didn't show up,) canned Pork 'n Beans (NOT baked beans) and an RC Cola. If she was feeling expansive, a bag of potato chips would be added to the degustation. I liked her. So, I celebrate her with this meal every year.

But, I just go to a supermarket where I don't normally shop. :) It gets harder and harder to find the RC Cola.

Oh, and one year my youngest son decided he would "cook" this meal for my birthday. :)
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Larry Greenly » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:26 am

[quote It gets harder and harder to find the RC Cola.)[/quote]

Boy, that brings back memories. RC Cola was my fave in my young days. Drank many gallons of it, sugar and all, and never gained an ounce of weight. If only that were true today.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Howie Hart » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:32 am

Bernard Roth wrote:Quite the opposite. I buy foods that the cashier is embarassed to not recognize and has to ask me what it is.

While buying Swiss Chard to put in the "Beans & Greens" soup I made for NiagaraCOOL, the cashier rang it up as rhubarb. :?
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Samantha W » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:05 pm

On a note of buying things the cahsier doesn't know the names of...

It is thorougly exhausting being young and interested in foodstuffs other than microwave burritos and Mountain Dew while living in small, WASPy town in southern Indiana. I can't find a decent artichoke anywhere.

Even more tedious is trying to create a more complex dish than something boring like pasta and marinara sauce with the limited resources I come across.

It is terribly hard to return to this shortage after being away at college in Bloomington, IN with the variety of Mom and Pop shops and lovely Farmer's Market.

My embarassing grocery buy? Marshmallow flavored popcorn.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Bob Ross » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:11 am

Welcome, Samantha.

As a small farm farm-boy from Wisconsin transplanted to New York City, I can feel a little of your pain after all these years.

But "Mallow Magic" -- ah, my heart! If I could find it here, I would carry it home in triumph.

Please keep posting -- your post was great fun to read.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counte

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:24 am

I'm with Karen in my shamelessness. I've been known to buy Hostess Do-nettes (the chocolate ones) without having them bagged. Yesterday I picked up a giant box of Rice Krispies and two big bags of marshmallows without blushing. I guess when I look around and see what everyone else is buying, it's hard for me to feel embarrassed!

Mike

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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby ChefCarey » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:56 am

[quote="Samantha W"]On a note of buying things the cahsier doesn't know the names of...

It is thorougly exhausting being young and interested in foodstuffs other than microwave burritos and Mountain Dew while living in small, WASPy town in southern Indiana. I can't find a decent artichoke anywhere.

Even more tedious is trying to create a more complex dish than something boring like pasta and marinara sauce with the limited resources I come across.

It is terribly hard to return to this shortage after being away at college in Bloomington, IN with the variety of Mom and Pop shops and lovely Farmer's Market.

Bloomington has changed a lot since the six years I spent there. There were no Mom & Pop shops, there was no farmer's market and the closest thing to a "restaurant" was The Dandale downtown. I tended bar at Nick's for a couple of years and was on the pizza and beer diet. The pizza was good.Both my friend Denis Kelly and I cooked dinner for friends frequently (he, too, writes cookbooks now- very good ones, I might add) and it was tough finding ingredients. Oh, and Almaden , Carlo Rossi, and Gallo Hearty Burgundy were the wines we had to work with.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Samantha W » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:59 pm

ChefCarey:

Bloomington has developed as a cultural, food, and wine haven by leaps and bounds it seems from what you describe!

4th Street is somewhat of an international food row, where small dining establishments located in renovated houses serve many different cuisines.
The farmer's market is quaint but offers quite a bit.
Bloomingfoods and the Encore/Theatre cafes breathe life into local produce and farmers, catering to the more organic-minded individual.
I wrote an article on wine tasting this past year for the IDS and did not have too much trouble coming up with an assortment of resources.

I whole-heartedly suggest another visit to Bloomington and do not think you'll be disappointed.

I'm also interested:
What type of cuisine is your specialty? A favorite recipe? Wine pairings?
You seem extremely knowledgeable and I'm always open to new things.

Bob: Thanks for the welcome!
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby ChefCarey » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:13 pm

>I whole-heartedly suggest another visit to Bloomington and do not think you'll be disappointed.

Actually, I did visit a few years ago and noticed the improvements.

>I'm also interested:
What type of cuisine is your specialty? A favorite recipe? Wine pairings?
You seem extremely knowledgeable and I'm always open to new things.

Now, you've opened a can of worms. :) I have no specialty -except good food, prepared well. I have thousands of favorite recipes - although "recipes" is not what I'm about. :) . And just hang around this board - you'll learn much about food and wine..

Born in New Orleans, degree in English literature from IU, I worked for many years as an executive chef in San Francisco. Now I teach others to be chefs and I write cookbooks.
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counter?

Postby Samantha W » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:14 pm

>I have thousands of favorite recipes - although "recipes" is not what I'm about.

A creative soul! How wonderous.

How incidental that I go to IU as well.

I'm glad that I have found somewhere that I can be as excited about food and wine as I want to be. :D
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Re: Do you regularly buy food you are embarrassed by at the check out counte

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:55 pm

Randy R wrote:This thread inevitably brings a story to mind. I was standing in line behind a young person at the supermarket late at night in L.A. The cashier, when she saw the chocolate and Clearasil told the customer "That's a nice combination".

If I had to cop to something, it'd be Pringle's Gourmet - I buy them particularly because the can is way smaller since I can't avoid eating the whole thing at one sitting.


By definition, all Pringle's come in single-serving cans. Regardless of can size.


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