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Come On, Sandra Lee!
Friday, May 25, 2007 | posted by Mike

I know I'm supposed to be in a good mood. It's Friday, this is a long holiday weekend, TVFF HQ's pool is opening up tomorrow and I'm swinging by Triumph for a beer after work today, so there's no reason for me to be angry. And yet I am. Why is that?

Sandra Lee.

More specifically, it is this recipe which nearly sent me into convulsions.

Now, I'm not really sure why this one got to me. I think we've all seen enough of the "curtains of many colors" and the belief that "cocktail" deserves a full course on the menu to know what we're getting. And the 70/30 thing offends many a sensibility, but it does let me put chopped leftover cilantro on my Taco Bell Chalupa and pretend that I'm somehow making a meal that is "semi-homemade."

I was trying to figure out how you could "semi-homemake" what looked like a pretty tasty dish: Bacon and Scallion Potato Salad with Balsamic Dressing. I don't really consider using jarred mayo as a "cheat," so where was the 70% store bought going to come in? There it is, in the ingredients list -- "One 16-ounce package precooked rosemary and garlic potatoes."

Fine. Whatever. I happen to take a bit of pride in the fact that, when I make potatoes, they're pretty good. I usually roast them with garlic, rosemary and duck fat and they're in the oven for the better part of an hour (after blanching them first), but I understand that this is going "above and beyond" what most people would do. Am I thrilled about the precooked potatoes? No, but I suppose I could live with it.

What set me off was the first step of the preparation:

Place potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on high setting (100 percent power) for 5 to 7 minutes.

Why the hell did I just buy precooked potatoes?

I know what you're thinking: "Hey, TVFF, there's nothing tastier than a warm potato salad!"

An excellent point, and one reinforced by the recipe's contention that you can "[s]erve warm or chilled," but seven minutes on high does not constitute "taking the chill off." You're cooking the precooked potatoes.

Oh, yeah, and the pre-chopped garlic drives me nuts. Just suck it up and use the real stuff.

That's it...I feel better. Thanks for listening.



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