You know what I don’t understand? Instant porridge. It’s as incomprehensible to me as mild cheddar. In fact more so, because at least some hidden part of my brain can grudgingly just about concede that it is possible that some people have something wrong with their tastebuds and therefore prefer mild cheddar to actual cheese, but instant porridge? It’s supposed to taste just the same as real porridge, in reality it tastes slightly less nice, and it takes just as long to make. It is no quicker to make up a packet of instant porridge than it is to put some fucking oats and milk in a fucking saucepan and stir them for a bit.
I really don’t understand people and fake food. I don’t actually mean ready meals. I know I take the piss but I understand ready meals, really I do, they really are quicker. Hell, sometimes I even – don’t tell anyone I said this – sometimes I even buy ready-made microwavable mashed potato. I know it’s Bad and Sick and Wrong. I know it’s nothing like as nice as my own mashed potato (I make a mean mashed potato, y’all). But it does take all of five minutes in the microwave, and even at my most crazy-uber-mashingest I can’t get a good mashed potato together in less than twenty, with a fair bit of effort expenditure.
So ready meals, yeah, I get it. They’re fast. I don’t get people who buy ready meals and cook them in the oven, though. If you’re prepared to wait that long for your food, why not make some real food? But that aside, I do get them. It’s all this fake food nonsense I don’t get.
Like instant mashed potato. I can just about understand it if you’re camping (though I don’t understand why you’d be camping!), and I can even concede that there might be some weird people somewhere who actually like its somewhat, ah, distinctive taste. But there are people who actually eat it like it’s, you know, ordinary mashed potato and that I really don’t get. And, god, there’s that fucking kid’s TV programme set in Brighton with that badger in it who eats mashed potato all the time and they show him making it AND THEY NEVER ONCE MENTION THAT IT’S INSTANT MASHED POTATO. There are probably children everywhere who think that all mashed potato starts life as A POWDER IN A PACKET.
I’ll let you off for instant hot chocolate. I drink it sometimes myself. It’s not much quicker than real cocoa but it can be sweeter and creamier, depending on how you make your cocoa. And yes, instant soup makes sense, too. But milk powder, seriously? Those pasta bake things that come in a jar and are no faster and less nice than making your own? And even – dare I say it – cake and bread mixes? (What the hell. Seriously. IT’S JUST THE INGREDIENTS MIXED UP ALREADY. THERE IS NO EXTRA MAGIC THING IN THERE THAT MAKES IT EASIER. I did actually buy one quite recently, but that was because I wanted the dalek-shaped cookie cutter that came inside the box. The biscuits it made really weren’t very nice. A bag of flour from my local supermarket costs nine pence, dude.)