If you watch television, this is going to be really old news, but I've just discovered that KFC had a "$10 meal challenge" commercial airing last year. They claimed that you couldn't make their seven-piece meal at home for less than $10. I was gasping, choking, exclaiming, and -- according to my children who were still asleep when I saw the ad -- screaming about the absurdity that a person couldn't make seven pieces of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and four biscuits for under $10. I was even making up new dialog for the family members. When the mom and son high five at the end because the total is over $10, I exclaimed, "Woo hoo, we're complete idiots who don't realize that we don't need five pounds of flour to make four biscuits!" And as for the cute little girl at the deli counter -- buying seven pieces of fried chicken does not count as cooking at home.
It makes me think that cooking researcher Harry Balzer might be right when he says, "the skills are already lost. Who is going to teach the next generation to cook? I don’t see it." Michael Pollan interviewed him for a NY Times article, Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch, where he talks about how cooking has moved from the kitchen to the living room and become a spectator sport. As I read his tale of gloom, I told myself that it was not true. Surely people still know how to cook. Then I saw the KFC ad, and I tried to tell myself that the vast majority of people would not fall for such nonsense.
Then I googled "$10 meal challenge," which was probably a bad idea. I'm just glad I have naturally low blood pressure. In the comment section of one single blog post, I found enough idiocy to really depress me. Through 37 comments, people argued back and forth about whether or not it was possible to make the meal at home for less than $10. Seriously! And it was obvious that a lot of these people had not cooked at home in a long time since they had no idea how much ingredients cost. Really, it's too mentally painful for me to go through all the comments again to pick them apart for you -- it just annoys me that people can be so ignorant and arrogant. But the link is there if you want to check it out for yourself.
Being a doer, not a whiner, once I had recovered from my fit of frustration, I started thinking about what we can do about this problem. I am absolutely convinced that we must prove Mr. Balzer wrong! There are still plenty of us out here who can teach people to cook! The skills are not lost! Our health depends on it. And I'm going to put my sugar scrub where my mouth is! Okay, that didn't exactly come out right. Perhaps I should explain.
I recently made up a big batch of shea butter sugar scrub, and I'd be happy to send a jar of it to someone who teaches another person how to cook something. Yep, it's another giveaway! Here's the deal -- find someone who claims they don't know how to cook, or who says they don't know how to cook well enough to eat at home more often. Then teach them how to cook something, anything that's made with real food! You don't have to actually do it by this weekend, but at least find someone, talk to him or her, and set up a time to get together. Immediate family members are eligible, so if you have a son, daughter, or spouse who needs a cooking lesson, go for it! Post your experience in the comment section by Sunday midnight, and I'll randomly pick a winner who will receive a 3-ounce jar of my sugar scrub in his or her choice of my available fragrances.
And by the way KFC, you can make 90 biscuits from a 5-pound bag of flour. Even using organic ingredients at retail price, a biscuit costs less than 8 cents to make at home.