Friday, October 15, 2010
Keeping the process simple
Instead of engaging in a long diatribe about current events or subjects that rattle my brain, today I bring you an observation - a ponderance or, in more common terms, "WTF?"
The onset of the '70s brought in instand foods. "Just add water," and coffee, hot cocoa, soup, oatmeal, and a deluge of other palatable items were available. In many homes, a tea kettle was a staple and a flip of the stove switch provided hot, boiling water in a quick moment.
Within a short time, quick foods were followed by quicker cooking methods via the microwave. A cup of water takes roughly the same amount of time to boil on the stove as it does in the nukerator, but the image of a mug circling the inside of a box, illuminated by a single bulb, and screened by a black web of fibers seems far more Jetson-esque. Cookbooks addressed the new contraption, telling the modern cook how to create multi-course meals. Those that never bought into the idea of baking a cake in the microwave, found the appliance indispensable for baking a potato, popping popcorn, and reheating leftovers.
For some reason, the producers of instant foods feel that there is a need for separate "stove top" and "microwave" instructions when adding hot water to dry substances. Why does one need more hot water on the stove top than in the microwave? Is water from the microwave able to absorb better?
The instructions often have the dry ingredients mixed in with the water before heating in the microwave. Do the ions in powder get jolted in order to accept the nuked water? Perhaps the dry ingredients need to be at one with the water; zapped water is only received by zapped powder, and stove-boiled water is accepted by the regular, unhindered powder.
Though I'd prefer to understand the why of it all, I find that adding hot water - conventionally heated or microwaved -to the package contents achieves the same results. Afterall, isn't the process supposed to be simple?