Sunday, June 08, 2008

Can I rant about food for a minute???

I have some complaints about food, and since DH and I are both consummate foodies... Food is a big thing here in our house. Please stay with me and try to muddle through the sarcasm... I'm laying in on thicker than my bechamel...

1)Halal butchers (or halal haramies in most cases): Why is it that "halal" (which is incorrect for so many reasons really, it's more of a brand name... I would say zabiha, but I digress) butchers have the tendency to cut corners and price gouge? And why don't they have standards? Case in point... DH just bought about 20lbs of ground meat, 1/2 lamb and 1/2 beef. And the butcher put it all in bags labeled ground beef with no indicator to tell you which was which. So, now here I am defrosting bags praying that I guessed right. Of course lamb and beef taste totally different so I have ended up screwing up dishes because the lamb is too strong in them. Walahi, the guy at the supermarket has pity on me and my 4 kids and tries to help out by cutting things special for me and suggesting meat that will be good for what I am cooking... Why doesn't the brother???

2)Spoiled family members: I'm not going to name names here (but I think a D and an H are involved) but my culinary generosity has landed me in a situation where naming your own alternative dinner five minutes before we eat is the norm. This is a PAIN in my rear. What it does is throw me into a last minute panic and scramble even if I have planned and prepared ahead of time. Not nice. Ditto to special request for things you want 10 minutes from now and I don't have the ingredients for.

3)Wheat in everything: I know wheat is cheap, but I have an allergy to gluten which cuts it out of my diet... And I know it's a binder and all that... But does EVERYTHING processed have to have it? And do all cereals have to have malt (which also has gluten)? Alternatives people, PUHLEEESE!!!

4)Expensive, underripe, homogeneous produce: Does it occur to the marketing people here in the US that apples, oranges, pears and bananas are not the only fruit in the world? What about the concept that produce is seasonal... It's a big word I know, but it means that different fruit grows at different times of the year. Your produce section should probably reflect that.

5)Labeling and marketing should be separate issues: Although SOME people might be inclined to think that the word "natural" on a label actually means something... I am not. And although I do have my days where I feel only a rung above drooling imbecile even I know that you don't add hormones and antibiotics to chicken post-mortem!!!! So will you stop using things like "natural" on things like canned fruit, which was ALWAYS "natural"? And will you stop labeling meat with "no added hormones or antibiotics" and then having that fine print saying "the USDA prohibits the addition of hormones or antibiotics to all meat and poultry products" like I won't notice?

SIGH.... Just my two piasters as usual;)


Ruqayyah said...

Asalaam Alaikum Sister,

I have the same rant about halal butchers. My friend and I are going to go in halves to a local farm and her husband does the slaughter and butchering and we split a lamb. Its better quality and we know it was done halal. I make a really tasty lamb vindaloo my family really enjoys.

I have a rule, since I plan the menus and do the cooking in this house, that either you eat what I make or you fix something else yourself. It stops a lot of extra cooking. Although usually I shop a month in advance, because of how we get paid, and so I have a lot on hand and usually take input before I defrost for the next day. Although its not always possible for most others I know to plan or buy a month in advance. Perhaps start taking suggestions the night before, lol, although people change their minds a lot, so I don't know if that would help.

I hope you felt better after your rant :-) I know lots of others who have the same frustrations, so you are not alone.

May Allah make things easy for you and your family,


Anonymous said...

Asalaamu alaikum,
I am so used to modern, western, butchered meat, all nicely wrapped---it has taken some getting used to Halal butchers.
Usually it is cheaper to buy meat at the halal store anyway, plus you can get goat and lamb.
Wish I knew more about what to tell the halal guys---I usually don't know what to tell them---uhhh chunks of beef, chunks of lamb.... no specific cuts for specific purposes (which I should learning).
I find them pretty nice, my husband , no. I would love to save up and do the halal thing at a farm, as sis Ruqayyah mentioned.

In my humble opinion, you need to stop cooking extra meals, other than maybe providing a side dish alternative for a known dislike (eggplant used to burn my mouth but I still had to eat it, it would have been extra nice not to eat it). You do so much for them you know, the least they can do is eat what you cook, and take the requests for another day. Or just stop making a hated dish. I can never make a good egg scramble--onions, peppers, cheese, cause no one likes it. Grrrrr... Not worth the pain it causes to cook it!

Miss Muslimah said...

As salaamu alaikum-

Unfortunately we're not able to buy "halal" meat because its too darn expensive! Masha'allah!

UmmLayla said...

Uhhhh, I am thinking of posting menus and asking for objections before the meals get bought for and made, insha'Allah. The thing with DH is not that he doesn't like things so much as he craves certain things and has no patience in the matter.

MissM, That sucks. Here halal is generally cheaper with the exception of chicken... But I must confess o DH having an in with more than one store owner and that helps. Plus we buy from local farmers and slaughter ourselves sometimes. But I am not a "halal or nothing" (he he I made a funny!) kinda girl. I have been buying chicken form the local whole foods coop. Free range and antibiotic and other nasties free for only $1.89lb. Good deal IMHO.