“Good food deserves stern treatment”. These words were written by Welsh author Richard Llewellyn in his book How Green Was My Valley. The line has stayed with me over the years and I recall it often when I’m lucky enough to be seated at a table, mind-racing, the presence of others barely registering on the edge of perception because all I can think is, “Shut the fuck up and bring on the food”.
Good food deserves stern treatment. Such a simple sentence that can be appreciated by “foodies” and epicureans the world over. We live in an age where people are more educated about the culinary delights of the world than ever before. I often find myself thanking the gods that I live in times such as these where bone-marrow and foie gras have become almost pedestrian. You think Gordan Ramsey can offer sharp critique of a sub-par Yorkshire Pud? You haven’t heard me complain when the pacing of Sunday lunch at my aunt’s is not quite as desired. I mean, would it kill you to warm the plates before plating? How about timely maintenance of the table between courses?!
Come on! I’m trying to eat here!
Truly we live at a time where expectations for good food are at an all-time high. But, as expectations go up so too do standards (it is hoped). The number of Yelp! or Urban Spoon reviews I’ve read that wax poetic over a perfectly al dente bolognese, or a beautifully composed salad of seasonal herbs, fresh greens, goat’s cheese and poached pear (though a touch more citrus would have brightened up the plate) is enough to make one pause. Good food is all around us. And it has been given stern treatment.
But, what about mediocre food? What about the really god-awful shitty food? Don’t such dishes deserve some attention? Will noone spill some ink for the dishes left unfinished?
Well, I’m sure someone’s blogging about it already, but the point I’m trying to make is simply this: I came upon some army rations that look totally disgusting so I’m going to eat them and write about it here.
Meal, Ready to Eat (photo: Christopherlin)
I have in my possession what feels like at least 2 pounds of random Meal, Ready to Eat rations. They look kinda like the ones in the picture above. The task before me is to eat them (and drink some of them) and then apply all of my years of learnings from countless hours spent watching Food Network to try to describe the experience of eating rations. In a condo. In downtown Toronto. Mostly because I’m bored.
Some of the key questions going into this experiment are: Does a not-too-shabby view of the CN Tower enhance the flavour? Are the rations more palatable if I’m wearing green, or some kind of camouflage? All this and more will become clear in the days to come.
Stay tuned gentle reader and follow along as my life takes an unexpected turn on this culinary journey.
P.S. For those who want to eat along you can order them here. Leave a comment to let me know you’re eating in solidarity.
P.S.S: The thought just occurred to me that I’m basically ripping off the movie Julie and Julia in which case I’m the Julie-equivalent and Meal, Ready to Eat is Julia Child. Not sure who’s got the short end of the stick on that one. Anyways, anyone looking to sue – too friggin’ bad, I’m claiming fair use, but am open to future film adaptations.