When Was the Last Time You Ate a Shirt?

I want you to find the nearest bag of potato chips. Hint – if you can reach it without leaving your computer chair, that’s a bad thing. Now, read the ingredients list. Unless your potato chips are the super-swank high-end organic kind, I’d bet dollars to donuts that somewhere in that list is either vegetable oil or cottonseed oil. Hint #2 – if it says “vegetable oil”, then quite likely it’s cottonseed oil, at least in part.

Next step, think about this, and it’s not a trick question – when was the last time you ate a shirt?

You’ve probably eaten cottonseed oil a great deal, though, without even realizing it. It’s now one of the standards for frying potato chips because of its high smoke point, mild flavour, long shelf life and low price. If you’ve eaten pastry made with Crisco shortening, you’ve eaten cottonseed oil, although the packaging only lists vegetable oil, and you have to dig hard and deep on the Crisco website to find an ingredients list.

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Booger Thing

Here’s one for the “What Were You Thinking????” file.

Every now and again, I get a craving for Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. Really, really bad cravings. Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls are one of those weird comfort foods from my childhood – I can remember making the things with my Mom, being allowed to lick out the little plastic container of icing, waiting impatiently for the rolls to bake.

I try not to succumb to these cravings more than one or twice a year, given that Poppy Fresh is an evil little wad of dough full of trans-fats and corn syrup and other shit that will clog the arteries and send the insulin levels catapulting. But when I want the things, I really, really want the things. And today was one of those days.

Greg willingly allowed himself to be dispatched to the two variety stores nearby in search of the tantalizing blue can of fat and sugar. I offered to come with, but I had my nose in the paper and his assurance that he’d only be a minute left me complacent. Surely I could trust my husband to walk the half block to the Hasty Market and select a package of pastry.

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Sheryl & the Chocolate Factory

Every year, Toronto holds a city-wide festival during the last weekend in May called Doors Open where the public gets to go on free mini-tours of places they might not otherwise have the opportunity to see. Many of these buildings are ones that the public can get into if they have a reason to be there, either because they’re on a paid tour, or because they have business of some sort in the place. Few people have reason or opportunity to wander through a chocolate factory, though, so when the news came out that Cadbury was going to open the doors of its Toronto factory as part of Doors Open, people were excited. Unfortunately, while the concept of Doors Open is a good one, designed to encourage an appreciation for historical and architecturally unique buildings, what we got at the Cadbury’s factory doesn’t really even count as a “tour”.

Now I didn’t go expecting to see Oompa-Loompas. I didn’t expect to be greeted by Johnny Depp in a top hat. I didn’t figure there would be a river of chocolate. But on a “tour” of a chocolate factory, I do kind of expect to see some chocolate getting made.

At least put in a nice plate-glass window so we can watch the bars of chocolate whizzing by.

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Channel Surfing

Somewhere in the transfer of cable services from home A to home B, we ended up with a bunch of cable channels we didn’t have before. Besides the fact that we are cheapasses and refuse to pay for a bunch of channels that we mostly don’t watch, we made the well-thought-out decision to cancel all but basic cable a few years back for one specific reason.

I yell at the Food Network.

Honestly, I am flabberghasted that there are unsuspecting housewives out there, tuning in to the Food Network, thinking that they’re going to get decent advice on anything to do with cooking.

(NOTE – with the possible exception of Alton Brown. He’s an alright guy.)

Of course, the extra channels that we are now burdened with include the Food Network, and I have quickly gotten sucked in again. It’s been a few years, so many of the faces are new (although I see that BAM! guy is still there, mucking things up), but it’s reassuring to see that one can get a job hosting a cooking show without any damn idea of how to cook. Note that many of the people I mention below appear on the Canadian Food Network so you US folks might not recognize everyone. [1]

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