Poached egg on a bed of sautéed spinach, photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

I tried not to read Kim Severson’s New York Times article on the one-touch buttons on appliances at the International Home and Housewares show in Chicago.  You know the buttons that say “Cookies” on your toaster oven or the “Popcorn” button on your microwave that even ConAgra, maker of microwave popcorn, says you should not use.  My microwave, my toaster oven, they have these stupid, maddening, insulting, ridiculous, harmful buttons.  I hate them, but they’re unavoidable. I didn’t want to read Kim’s story—Electrolux oven has a “perfect turkey button,” put a turkey in, press a button, perfect turkey!—because I knew it would make … mybloodBOIL!

Hey!  Idiot manufacturers!  Cut it out!  The buttons don’t work—even your partners in food crime say so!  Worse, when they don’t work, you are telling your customers that they are so stupid, not only can’t they cook, they can’t even press a button correctly!  I know you’re all in a mad rush to “distinguish” your products, just like the food processors that pump out newer and newer flavors to distinguish theirs.  How about making your products BETTER rather than hanging ridiculous bells and whistles on them that accuse us of stupidity?  How about making them more efficient, less expensive?!  Those goddamn buttons make cooking harder, not easier!  It took me a month to figure out how to use my new Black and Decker toaster oven (thanks, Mom, not your fault, you didn’t have a choice).

Please, America, cook your own food.  Heating is not cooking.  Heating heats.  Cooking transforms.  It matters. And it’s not hard.  See below (or above).  Which would you rather have? The dish here or reheated chicken nuggets?  They take about the same time to prepare.  Where’s the one-touch button for the dish below?  Touch your temple.

Poached Egg on Sauteed Spinach

2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, sliced, chopped or minced

1/2 to 3/4 pound spinach, rinsed

a few drops of vinegar or squeeze of lemon

2 -4 eggs (one per person)

1/2 baguette or other tasty bread

garlic clove, drizzle of olive oil or a little butter for the bread (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

2 -4 glasses cold white wine (optional but recommended)

Put the shallot and butter in a large saute pan over high heat.  Fill a sauce pan with water and put it on to boil.  When the butter is melted and bubbling, give the shallots a stir, then add your spinach to the pan.  Use tongs to turn the spinach so that it cooks evenly.  Give it a three fingered pinch of salt and a few cranks of pepper.  When it’s three-quarters wilted, turn the heat to low and leave it alone.

Put your bread in the toaster oven to toast (this may be the most complicated part of the cooking if your toaster oven is like mine, so prepare in advance if necessary).

When the water boils, crack your eggs into it and turn the heat to low.  Butter your toast (rub it with the sliced side of a garlic clove first if you want), or drizzle it with tasty olive oil.  Season your spinach with drops of vinegar or a squeeze of lemon.  Make a small bed on each plate.  Remove the eggs using a slotted spoon and when the white is congealed and the yolk is still soft, hold cloth or paper towel below the spoon to let water drain, then place the egg on the spinach. Finish the eggs with more salt and pepper.  Serve with the white wine.

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140 Wonderful responses to “America: Too Stupid To Cook, Part II”

  • Tags

    Soon they’ll have a “gourmet chef” button that will activate a scanner that takes a picture of the target food and uses a photo database to calculate cooking time by volume and material being cooked.

  • Dan

    I’ve been on one heckuva poached egg bender the last couple of weeks. I think it usually happens this time of year with that whole corned beef hash and eggs thing. I’ve never though to put some on spinach, but that could be wonderful. Looks like I’ve got lunch sorted out.

  • Sean

    I agree with Dan, this is my lunch too.

    But, like another poster, I pretty much suck at poaching eggs. The best technique for me so far has been Jaques Pepin’s, where you constantly stand over the egg and continually fold the whites around it with a slotted spoon. Is there a better (more consistent) way?

    • Rhonda

      In my opinion – No. Stick with Pepin. Practice, practice, practice!

    • Wendy

      A chef told me to put a little vinegar in the water. Apparently it makes the egg stay put instead of wondering in the water. I saw him demonstrate one egg in just boiling water and one in the water with vinegar and he was right!

        • Cali

          I think a pinch of salt does just as good a job as the vinegar, without adding an acidic element I don’t usually want.

      • Bonnie

        A lot of you have already put good tips up for poaching eggs, but one thing I want to clear up- LEAVE THE EGG ALONE! Yes, bring the water to boil, then turn it down to poaching temperature (not a simmer- poaching temp: very little movement in the water). Do add a good amount of vinegar, this stops the egg whites from becoming stringy- it helps hold the shape.

        Once your water is prepared, crack the egg into a shallow bowl (ladle, slightly sloped plate) and gently slide the egg in. Then don’t touch it. It will settle to the bottom, and become a beautifully poached egg all by itself.

  • durk

    Would love to see a video mini on your poaching technique. Vinegar or no vinegar? Swirl or straight drop? Like other commenters, the poaching is simple, but the result is often a little wispy/stringy/ugly

    • Cali

      So? It still tastes good. Just pull the wispy parts off if you can’t bear to eat anything that isn’t ready for a Gourmet magazine shoot.

  • amy

    Great rant. I have yet to perfect the art of poaching an egg. Just takes practice…I’m sure I’ll get there. In the meantime your poached egg on sauteed spinach looks delicious. I should make that sometime. : P : )

  • Dan

    here’s a good tip for poached eggs: just break the egg in a laddle then submerge it in simmering water. The laddle will force the egg to hold its shape. By the way, here in Romania we called poached eggs “romanian eggs”…

  • Susan

    I read that article a couple days ago and my first thought was “Pft, you need newbie cooks to dupe for those “inovations”. They prey on newbies! It’s a money grab..just like all the baby gear that that industry convinces new parents that they need to buy! Oh well, in the event they come up with something really useful, I say let them keep trying. Buyer, beware.

  • Dan

    and actually the best tip is to use very fresh eggs; they keep their shape easily in the simmering water. Very fresh means less than a week old I would say…

  • Michael

    Totally agree that people should cook their own food but thats easier said then done when food isn’t your work and you get home at 10pm after getting up 6 am. I think a softer tone is needed for those who are busting their butts and working long hours. I just have issue with calling people stupid for any reason…..

    I do however LOVE to cook and love all things cooking related…kinda obsessed

    • Kevin

      Michael (the commenter, not Ruhlman) – it seems clear that Ruhlman’s anger in this post is directed towards the food industry and those that have succesfully convinced Americans that they are “too stupid to cook” with idiotic and useless “time saving” devices (like the turkey button), not at busy workers.

      • JR Prospal

        I wouldn’t say that Ruhlman’s anger is towards the food industry either. Appliance manufacturers are rarely “in” the industry which they serve. I’m sure even the designers that design these appliances rolled their eyes when they were told to include such “conveniences”. Whoever the decision makers are they should read Don Norman’s “The Design of Everyday Things”.

        • Cali

          Let’s blame Dilbert’s “Pointy-haired Boss!” You know it’s someone just like him that thinks up these stupid “innovations.” I’m reasonably sure the engineers hate adding things like a “cookie” button to a toaster oven.

    • Dan

      I think that the harsh tone was addressed to the powers-that-be and those who expect/wish that the americans are too stupid to cook and thus create all these silly devices… not to the actual people who don’t cook for whatever reason. You may have missed the point.

      • Foodie in the 'Nati

        Dan, I disagree. While I agree that the initial intent of the article was able the dumbing down of “cooking,” it strays at the end. When the comment “America, cook your own food. Heating is not cooking!” is combined with “Would you rather have this, or reheated chicken nuggets,” the argument is moving away from the idea that we don’t have to be slaves to buttons and moves toward criticizing the choices that people make–that you are making the “wrong” choice if you pick nuggets over poached eggs with sauteed spinach. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions on the matter, but I’m feeling commenter Michael here. After I work all day (and I “just” do a typical 8-5 day), sometimes all I really have the energy for is throwing something in the oven and heating it up. If cooking were up to my husband (who routinely works 12-15 hour days), we’d eat nothing but frozen food and take out. It’s true that it may not take that much more time to do, but that’s our choice. It may not be the choice that you would make, or that Ruhlman would advocate, but all are valid choices. I ordinarily love reading this site and following the politics and ethics of food, but sometimes when things get a little too dogmatic, the focus shifts from having a thoughtful, spirited and enlightened discussion and becomes uncomfortable for those of us more “moderate” in our daily habits and feelings about the ways that we approach food and eating. Again, nobody is right or wrong and everyone is entitled to their own feelings on the matter, but dismissing commenter Michael as having “missed the point” for stating a valid concern about the direction the article took is a perfect example of how differing opinions are sometimes regarded.

  • Kirsten

    You are absolutely right!
    We just talked about our dis-functional “popcorn” setting on the Microwave oven. People, what is wrong with making your own popcorn on the stove top! Well, there must be a market for it, unfortunately.
    Not at our household.

    • MonkeyBoy

      “what is wrong with making your own popcorn on the stove top!”

      My guess is that most microwave popcorn is eaten while watching TV. Stove top preparation takes longer than a commercial break and you have to tend it the whole time.

  • Andrea

    The only thing we use the microwave for is to reheat the occasional home cooked meal. Most of the time I’d rather reheat on the stove top or oven. But the microwave has been on probation a long time, located in a remote area of the kitchen because I resent the counter top space it would take.

    Excellent rant. We had huevos rancheros last night with poached eggs– a favorite. Your eggs on spinach looks perfect. Thanks for the reminder.
    Andrea of rookie cookery

  • Merridith

    Cooking things yourself, of course, goes part and parcel with using real food to do it with. I want to know where my food came from, what’s in everything I eat and how it was prepared. Keep on ranting!!!

  • Ryan

    Fresh eggs make the best poached!!

    Thanks Michael for your pragmatism!! I do use the popcorn button on the microwave, though… Does that make me a heretic?

  • JB in San Diego

    I agree with the aim and the target of this post, but two little words made me wince; “less expensive.” Food, and the products we buy to make it, tend to be artificially cheap due to industrialization of farming, outsourcing of manufacturing and misdirected government subsidies. I would have preferred to see the words “higher quality” or “more robust” in place of “less expensive.” If we are to have a sustainable society people are going to have to re-learn what our grandparents knew: save up your money, spend the right amount of it for things that are worth it, take care of them, and they will last a long time.

  • Bob

    Touching your temple as a one-button method only works if the appliance in question is plugged in.

    • Aubrey

      Bob, you owe me a keyboard cleaning… That was the laugh I needed for the day.

      Speaking of good, plain food – I have a HUGE chicken just starting it’s roast (one from my Farmers’ market cache in the freezer). I’m thankful sometimes that I work out of my home, so I can do things like that. And then make the soup the next day…

  • Erin @ FarmhouseFoodie

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. I grew up in a family that never cooked. It wasn’t until I worked for a catering business in high school and learned to cook myself that I realized that all of the convenience foods my family consumed were actually more expensive and less tasty/nutritious substitutes for food that could be made at home… by humans. It’s amazing what a little time, effort, and a modicum of skill can do with some pretty basic pantry staples.

  • Charlotte

    While we’re ranting about appliances — I wish they’d do something about the high-pitched beeps. Everything beeps now! And not just once, three, four, five times. I live with someone who is not a morning person, and the incessant beeping from the toaster oven, or the oven oven, or even the microwave (for warming up coffee) leads to much early-morning wincing and cursing. One beep is fine. One single, little beep. Or no beep would be good too.
    And yes to the cooking. Always yes to real cooking. Can we use that as a mantra for school food reform: “Heating is not cooking. Heating heats. Cooking transforms.”

    • Myriam

      I so absolutely agrees! Not only does everything beeps in my house, but apparently there is only one ‘beep’ module available on the market because they all sound the same.
      So I don’t know if the coffee is ready, the clothes are dry, or somebody just opened one of the doors (yes, the doors beep to).

      Somebody needs to create a website on how to hack those machines and remove the beep module.

      • Cori R.

        Or worse, they ding.

        If I wanted one of the old-fashioned alarm clocks with the incredibly annoying bell, I would buy one. It is not a function I want in my toaster oven. I am already theoretically awake.

        Unfortunately, my poor toaster oven is on its last legs and somehow I need to find a new one that doesn’t ding, beep or otherwise mangle my ears to death.

        (For the record, my toaster oven cheeps like a cricket. I love it but nobody manufactures with cheeps.)

    • MonkeyBoy

      “I wish they’d do something about the high-pitched beeps. Everything beeps now”

      I truly think all modern appliances are designed for people who spend a lot of time watching TV in a room near the kitchen and need loud signals to drag them away from their boob tube induced stupor.

  • Mark

    I have had the same feeling toward blenders that have multiple buttons that supposedly make ONE blade do all different functions. Give me a break. I love my old toggle switch blender with slow and fast. I feel your pain!

  • Rhonda

    Ruhlman – one more thing

    Take the fucking microwaves out of the kitchen!!! Worst invention ever (next to mustard gas– and that is debatable).

  • Crumb Diva

    I disagree. I just retired a 30 year old microwave for a new fancy one with lots of buttons. I love the one touch buttons on my microwave. I just don’t agree with the labels for their use. I love the defrost and keep warm buttons for melting butter without an explosion. My popcorn button that lets you choose bag size makes perfect popcorn everytime!

    • Rhonda

      Crumb Diva;

      I apreciate your response.

      What this tells me is that we, as Chefs, have failed as teachers. If you are using a microwave to cook — anything — the failure is ours, not yours.

      Until this is sorted, I beg you to not defrost meat in the microwave. Remember, animals died so that we could eat them.

      …Respect.

      • Sarah

        I respectfully disagree with the scolding on using the microwave to defrost meat. In our house (and I’ve been to cooking school and know how to cook), sometimes that defrost function is all that keeps us at home, cooking our meat, rather than giving up altogether because I forgot to thaw in advance.

        • Rhonda

          Thank you, Sarah, for your respectful disagreement.

          Respectfully, I say to you, that animal meat should be treated with the utmost respect.

          Thomas Keller had a life changing experience with “bunnies” — rabbits. Mine was less stellar but came from chickens. I can tell you that there is no greater a site than seeing a chicken running with it’s head cut off.

          Not good — Done humanely. Vision etched in my mind forever.

          And now, you are arguing with me that “defrosting” in a microwave is okay? No, it is not.

          Plan ahead.

          You said that you went to cooking school.
          Do your Mise en Place — the night before, if necessary.

          There is no excuse whatsoever to use a microwwave.

          …Period

      • morick

        Isn’t it a little paternalistic/condescending/grandiose to assume that you’re responsible for anyone’s level of cooking? Bit precious, no?

      • anita

        Rhonda, you’re out of line. The microwave is great for cooking vegetables. Perfect in the summer to cook ears of corn without heatingup the house on those 90* days. It’s great for making popcorn (no oil, control the fat). Melts chocolate without a fuss, heats milk, heats leftovers, melts butter. The microwave is actually a very useful tool.

        Don’t presume to tell others what they can and cannot do in the kitchen.

        • Rhonda

          Anita:

          Didn’t have to presume what others do in the kitchen.

          However, you just told me…

          • anita

            Good, I hope you learned something. Your lecturing is incredibly offensive.

      • Beth

        Actually, the microwave is great for poaching fresh asparagus. About 2 minutes on high gives perfectly cooked, tender-crisp spears.

        A microwave is a tool, in the same way a saucepan or a blender is. Learning to use your tools in an appropriate manner is a part of learning any craft.

        • Rhonda

          Thank you, Beth. I will keep this in mind when I go to the Farmers’s to collect vetgetables at 6 am.

          Still do not have a microwave. Perhaps I can borrow one, cook the veg and charge you an ENORMOUS amount of money for shit.

  • Megan

    I love the little reminder at the end of the article that popcorn kernels are from nature.

    I usually just cook eggs sunny-side up. Why wait for water to boil? But for poaching, I like the slow method (in shells, water maintained at the right temperature).

  • Sara Anderson

    I’m a good, intuitive cook. But I still like junk food. As a dorm dweller, I couldn’t master “Easy Mac.” It always boiled over.

    • Bob

      Most (if not all) microwave foods are designed for an ‘average’ oven output, usually 1000w.

      Convenience store units, as well as many now sold for the home, crank out 1200w or more. So if EasyMac says ’3 mins.’ and it’s boiling over in your microwave oven, try knocking the power output down to 75%.

  • Kanani

    I hate those “added” buttons on the microwave. In fact, I hate the microwave. I hate the defrost button and what it does to meats.

    When I see commercials about the meal in a microwave bag and a family gathering around a table, I think of how much they’ve missed the experience of cooking.

    There’s a process here, that can help one transcend a rough day. We can share it with those in the house, even if they’re not even in the same room. Cooking acts as a transition of sorts for a family: the leave the day behind, walk into the scene of a meal in action, and then –later, they sit down to commence the beginning of the next phase of the day.

    So there is the choosing of the foods, the washing, slicing, the clanking of pots, the tapping of a spoon, and the smell. What can replace the smell of caramelizing onions? It seems to me with the zap this and that, the drive through, the meals in a bag, that we’ve gone from the experience of cooking and using all of our senses to the end result, which is the instantaneous meal.

    When my husband was away at war, let’s put it this way: cooking meals was the punctuation for days that just seemed to go on in an endless blur.

  • Darren

    Don’t let food companies off the hook either. Any product that states, “Just add water!” on the package is closely related to the one-touch button appliance. You’d be better off eating the packaging rather than what’s inside it.

  • SharleneT

    I, too, have what used to be called a “$500 bun-warmer” (microwave) and I seldom use it but it is handy for folks with two jobs and little time to devote to cooking meals.

    I raise as many fresh veggies and fruits as I can and hit the fresh food stands in season. There are very few cooking appliances I haven’t used over the years and I am very familiar with the end product of each. And, like you, I can’t STAND — no, I DISLIKE — no, I LOATHE — no, I truly HATE — those buttons. Just give me revs — slow, medium, fast. What I don’t want is for my food to be emulsified at the flip of a switch. Control the speed for me and I can figure out the rest.

    But, frankly, as I’m not a commercial chef, the best appliance I have for chopping food is my well-honed knife! Does the job and clean-up is a breeze.

  • Josh

    This past weekend I had made crab cake eggs benedict using left-over king crab meat. They were amazing!

    Prior to making the brunch I caught an online cooking video where the cook recommended adding a tablespoon or two of white vinegar to the poaching water. This will keep your egg whites from dispersing in the water. Not sure how this tip would pan out I gave it a shot. Man, talk about perfectly beautiful poached eggs that looks as wonderful as Micheal’s. I highly recommend using this tip as I will from this point forward.

  • SallyBR

    Obviously, I agree with every single point you make. However, anyone reading a food blog would quite likely be on the same team.. I think that we all need to be on a sort of “private mission” to influence young people to cook, to lose their fear of making meals from scratch.

    I am cautiously optimistic because I see that graduate and undergraduate students who pass through our lab more often than not develop an interest in cooking. They see me and my husband (we work together) bringing our lunch to the conference room, always leftovers from our dinner.

    that shows them that:
    1. busy people can find time to cook meals after work
    2. our food is healthier, smells and looks better than anything they could heat in the microwave after opening a cardboard box

    I often printout recipes for them, and bring all my food magazines to our lab so that they can profit from my subscriptions. Maybe those are very tiny steps, but… it makes me feel good when I “convert” some of them :-)

  • Natalie Sztern

    Agreed. It’s not bad enough that my microwave is also a convection oven…my cook top is induction (??) now my Toaster oven has ‘Infrawave”…and I have to use a calculator to toast my bread…(also B & D)…my mother had it easy…all she had to do was turn on the gas and place a burning match at the hole and Whoof! wentg the bomb of gas and the oven was good to go

  • John H

    Nice post. I believe you forgot to point out that the vinegar needs to go in the water for poaching. I’d hate anyone to have their beautiful eggs ruined.

    Oh…I downloaded the RATIO app to my iPhone. Love it, love it, love it.

    • Cali

      No. You do not NEED vinegar to poach eggs. Just a pinch of salt will do.

  • Victoria

    I make poached eggs almost every Sunday morning – unless I am making Marian Cunningham’s Raised Waffles, which is not too often (although they are delicious).

    Fresh eggs and practice will make one a master poacher. I use a 2-quart stainless steel All-Clad saute pan, fill it with water, bring the water just about to a boil, then add salt and a little white vinegar. I swirl the water with the end of a wooden spoon until a vortex is created, and then I drop my eggs in one by one from ramekins (not directly from the shells). I immediately turn the heat down to low and cook until done to my liking – set whites and runny yolks. This takes about 3-1/2 minutes. I take the eggs out one by one with a spoon that looks like a flat strainer on the end of a handle. I let the egg drain and place it on a piece of lightly buttered toast. If there is any water on top of the egg, I pat it softly with a paper towel to remove the water. I salt and pepper the egg. I usually serve these with breakfast sausage. But a bed of spinach and a glass of white wine certainly sounds fabulous.

    It reminds me of a friend who saw a sign at a food fair in Vermont. She asked me to guess the answer to the question on the sign. Which I did and got right.

    Question: What do you call a meal without wine.

    Answer: Breakfast

  • Mimi

    I think I love you. Donna has nothing to worry about… not that kind of love.

    Yet another simple and beautiful recipe that anyone can do. Will that be your next book? Think about it. Mollie Katzen just did one and she sold out and included meat. Meat! …from the premiere vegetarian cookbook author. Why? Because people need to learn to cook and cookbook authors are finally starting to get in there and help. Any author can write for us. People who are afraid to get into the kitchen need help.

  • Susan

    I thought the rant was about idiot buttons on appliances, not the appliances themselves. Am I mistaken? I bet if we could show the cooks of bygone eras all of the household appliances available today, they’d be awestruck. Many of these kitchen appliances don’t say we’re stupid, they actually offer us more options so that we can make more complicated meals in less time and with less effort. They take some of the tedium out of many of the small tasks that are in more complex recipes. These are good things for the after-work cook! Hell, they’re good for anyone that really cooks their food!

    • Chris K

      Susan,

      I respectfully but whole-heartedly disagree with you.

      Even if they actually worked (and most of them don’t), “idiot buttons” exact a price not just reflected in the cost of an appliance, but the cook’s knowledge and skill.

      Anyone that really cooks their food does not need these doo-dads – even after-work cooks. As Ruhlman pointed out in his post, there are plenty of nutritious, tasty recipes one can prepare quickly without them. “But I don’t have time” is a copout. Period.

      There is enormous value in preparing food the old-fashioned way (i.e., from scratch). Perhaps not practical on a day-to-day basis, but it deepens one’s understanding of the cooking process and allows one to appreciate technological innovations – or criticize their shortcomings.

      • Susan

        Chris, I do agree with you that the idiot buttons, if a person chooses to buy an appliance because of them, will probably add to the cost of the appliance. I did not say that I thought they (the idiot buttons) were necessary or even useful. What I don’t want to happen is to have manufacturers stop trying to innovate. Nothing will replace fire or knives, pots and wooden spoons for cooking, but cumbersome processes are the mothers of invention. I hope appliance manufacturers never stop innovating, leaving us with the “turkey button” as their last ditch effort!

        • Moopheus

          I use a number of “vintage” appliances in my kitchen–a 60-year-old waffle maker, a 50-year-old hand-held mixer–and I don’t own a toaster oven or a microwave. It is not the case that current contraptions allow you to make more complicated food in less time. They allow you to make mush in less time. In fact, replacing pots, pans, knives, etc. is exactly what the appliance and processed food industry want to do. They want you to be dependent on pre-prepared food products.

          Convenience=death.

          • Susan

            I’m happy for you that your vintage appliances serve you well. That was the intent when they were manufactured. They were innovations once upon a time, too!

        • MonkeyBoy

          “if a person chooses to buy an appliance because of them, will probably add to the cost of the appliance.”

          Actually the cost of adding an idiot button to an appliance that already has an array of buttons is very cheap – that is because the appliance really doesn’t have separate buttons but they are all implemented in a button array module. The main expense is design expense with very little production expense. E.g. behind the buttons is a PCB (printed circuit board) which is etched so that there is a copper contact and trace to it behind each button. The only production cost difference between 4 buttons and 5 buttons is the slightly larger PCB that is needed and an additional wire to the microprocessor – we are talking maybe 10 cents here.

          When it is cheap to add idiot functions, many manufactures do in the hope that it will make their products more appealing to the lowest denominator.

          What I hate about a lot of modern electronics is not only are they made in China, but also they are designed in China where the general rule is that more “features” are better and nobody does any research as to whether the features work or are usable. The Chinese have so embraced the free market to the extent that getting some new product rapidly on market is better than good design, and that eventually the market will converge to good design. This is very much in line with the Maoist ideology that communism is not a goal state but a process of continual revolution where each step leads to a state where you can determine the next step.

          Western countries and Japan know a lot about good design but I think it will be a while before the Chinese appreciate this.

  • Karen Barr

    hahah “Partners in food crime” – sign me up – I LOVE your blog.

  • Jordan

    Saw this in my RSS feed this morning, made it for dinner tonight. I’ve never poached an egg before but it went well and the dish was simple but excellent. Thanks for the recipe.

  • caroline

    I’m doing my first wedding cake this weekend, and since I work full time I have to prep the icing, cake, fillings, and decorations during the evenings this week. I was just thinking about what to make for dinner tonight, something really quick and easy that wouldn’t involve a trip to the store so I can focus on my cake stuff. My first thought was…. a poached egg on sauteed spinach!

    So if I can make this elegant meal while simultaneously making a wedding cake, I think even the most cooking-challenged can manage it.

  • Jerry

    Great post Ruhlman. I agree with your sentiment- presets on toasters is uber ghetto.

    Off the subject, I need a good idea/recipe for a pork shoulder braise. Any help from you or anyone would be much appreciated.

    Keep on keeping on.

  • Karen Downie Makley

    Have you approached Michelle Obama? I am serious. You are a respected author so you actually have a prayer of getting an audience and her mission is to fight childhood obesity. Well, everybody’s going to be obese and diseased if this gigantic rig that is the American food culture is not turned around. I don’t think Home Economics exists in most schools. There is a total dearth of quality food stores in poor neighborhoods and has been for some time. This may be the first time that we have multiple generations across entire family units in which NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO COOK. It’s not that Americans are too stupid to cook. They honestly don’t know how and there is no one to teach them. You may be as allergic to politics as I am, but as an author you do have some influence and the First Lady obviously has even greater influence. Something has to be done on the educational level…soon.

  • susan

    When I read this article, I started the “Ruhlman Countdown.” I just knew it would push every single one of your buttons. And you haven’t disappointed.

  • Leah Weiss Caruso

    Kudos to Donna because Oh. My. Lord. If I could remove the photo from my screen and eat it, I would. Monday evening is egg dinner here (we usually have either eggs poached in sauce over spaghetti or shakshuka) but next week is THAT. YUM.

  • Leah Weiss Caruso

    OK whoops next Monday is the first seder but that photo makes me seriously consider serving that. Sans bread, of course :-) I might have to make it for lunch after temple the next day. YUM.

  • Nancy

    Phew!!! This blog never disappoints in terms of “spirited” debate!!! I work for an appliance distributor and (gasp!) actually get to review new products for one of the manufacturers that we represent. Point #1 – manufacturers don’t develop their products in a vacuum. They spend quite a bit of time actually listening to their customers. Many of these buttons you all are complaining about are a direct result of what customers have said they wanted. Believe it or not, some people don’t like cooking – they view it right up there with laundry and want it to be as simple as possible. No amount of education or heartfelt expressions of the joys of cooking are going to change their minds and they will continue to demand innovations that make cooking as mindless and easy as possible. Now, that certainly isn’t what I would choose, and I could argue 18 ways from Sunday that they are missing out but should they be deprived of an innovation that works for them because some people don’t approve?? Of course not! If you don’t like all the buttons and bells and whistles you don’t have to have them.

    • Cali

      Oh, but we do have to have them! Just TRY to buy a microwave without a popcorn button. It can’t be done!

  • bunkycooks

    So many people do not know how to do anything for themselves any more. Cooking is just one of those things. Most people know the word “reservation” for dinner. I just wish they had the fresh English Peas that we had for dinner tonight. They were cooked simply and were so good. We have lost so much.

  • Roxanne Browning

    I cook a breakfast almost every morning and lately it’s been an egg over spinach with smoked salmon. Poached eggs are the healthiest way to eat and egg, and if there are people that still buy into the white only nonsense, they are misinformed.

  • Michael Long

    Michael, I understand what your saying about the buttons. I feel like that about the food network sometimes. Have you ever watched some of that stuff through the day… One day last week, three different programs, One right after the other, and all three did chicken. Or should I say destroyed the chicken. There was no respect for the chicken, No hygiene about the food prep. and I could go on for hours, (Sorry) But you are so right, I don’t need some machine telling me how to cook something, I may not be the brightest candle on the cake, However, I’ve lived this long doing something right.
    I’ve noticed alot of the comments here are talking about poaching eggs. Hey that’s great, But I got more from you article about how the uppers are considering us complete idiots. Cooking is not rocket engineering. It’s just making something taste good. And Like you, the last thing I need is some !@#@$% machine thinking for me. It’s like the new camera’s. Point and shoot, The camera doesn’t know what I’m wanting to capture. It doesn’t know how I want the lights to play on my subject. Yet now you need an engineering degree to over ride all that crap. We need to get back to basic’s. Like cooking, unless you know some basic’s how do you know how to change things to your liking… I hate microways. the only good is that they can heat water for instant coffee fix… I’m not going to put a pound of Callebaut chocolate in the microway to temper it or melt it… Not when I just paid $75 for 11 lbs. No way. I’m going to melt that low and slow, and love every minute of it. I’m sorry but you have hit one of my pet pev’s…….
    Thank you Michael, Your a good man and a great thinker!

  • Carri

    I’m with Kanani and Rhonda on this one (sorry Anita!). Many, many years ago I had a microwave in the bakery,and, whenever I would use it (I don’t even remember what for! LOL!) a couple of my regulars would always leave the room, insisting they caused brain cancer or something like that. We got rid of it and don’t miss it one bit. (obviously) and truly, you can make a quick meal without one…just ask Rachel Ray! What a microwave does to baked goods is criminal. My other beef is that all the new propane stoves have an element that light the oven so that if the power goes out, you cannot use it. None of these newfangeled gadgets is worth a hill of beans if there is no electricity to run them…give me a good old wood fired oven any day!

    • anita

      No prob, Carri. The microwave is a tool, just like anything else in the kitchen. I find that it works for lots of simple things (note the “simple”). It has it’s place and it’s limits, and I agree with you, it shouldn’t be used to heat baked goods.

    • Kanani

      Thanks Carri!

      This summer, I got rid of the microhood –a ridiculous combination unit that neither was used for really cooking, nor adequately vented the kitchen.

      I replaced it with a proper hood by Broan. This thing sucks air like you wouldn’t believe.
      I purchased a small, cheap microwave. As it turns out, the only thing we use it for is for heating things up. As it turns out, I might get rid of it. I have a tiny kitchen and it just takes up room.

  • Casey Angelova

    The only “smart” appliance I have is my microwave, which is used mainly to soften butter. Luckily, my oven and stove were made for Europeans… not a “smart” button in sight! American’s need to stand up for our appliances and demand all “smart” buttons be removed!

  • Roberto N.

    I have the most awful microwave oven. It’s a silly thing from LG that features “special” buttons for Mexican Food. I find it ridiculous as any other button set on, well anything. The only buttons I’ve come to love are the volume control on laptops or cellphones.

  • leebo

    I agree completely… touch your temple! And what an appropriate photo. There is something so eternally erotic found in the breaking of the yolk of an egg. Especially in sunlight or candlelight. If simplicity is lost, we are doomed. Thanks to your gifted wife Donna for the spectacular photos. And cheers for always telling it from the heart.

  • Sandra

    We’re in total agreement! When I bought my last microwave, it was impossible to find one that did NOT have the ejit buttons.
    People cook, where I live, at least, the people I know cook but we’re in a rural area and not cooking means one doesn’t eat. I like to slow cook, in the oven, and use my cast iron cookware, almost, ever day; the convenience and flavor can’t be beat.
    I’ve made a conscious choice to live slowly, as I was raised, and my life is much the richer.

  • Paul DeLuca

    The make-it-simple-do-it-fast-and-easy trend in everything to do with the kitchen these days seems to stem from post-WWII American affluence where the “modern” housewife could rely on all sorts of gadgets to make her life easier. It’s maddening to me that recipes and appliances must be marketed as easy, quick, or convenient to get anyone’s attention. The reward of cooking isn’t the meal, it’s the process. The meal simply caps the experience.

  • Vivian

    Great post. Love the combination of spinach and poached eggs. Such a simple and elegant lunch. We bought a brand new stove last fall and it has features that I will never use. I bake a lot and no matter what recipe or temp I use I will always test a cake for doneness and keep a watchful eye on whatever it is I am cooking. Convenient? No, but it’s what I do to insure that what I am cooking will be perfect every time.

  • Alain Roy

    Don’t confuse “wall clock time” with effort.

    I love to cook. (This morning’s breakfast was homemade yogurt on homemade granola.) But I recognize that heating frozen food is significantly less effort than cooking, particularly when you’re holding a crying baby, interested in reading the newspaper, cleaning up the latest cat mess, or whatever else is important to you.

    So an argument based on time has to factor in effort, or people in those situations will ignore your argument.

    (Personally, arguments based on quality of food–taste, nutrition, etc–are more effective for me.)

  • rockandroller

    I’d like to see Michael develop a weekly menu for someone who works full time and has access to literally nothing in the way of a kitchen other than a microwave during the day, who does not want to pay to eat lunch out. And you have literally 10 minutes in the morning in which to prepare the item you are bringing; during that 10 minutes, you can either prep and eat something quickly for your breakfast, or you can spend it getting something together for lunch and have to eat breakfast in a portable form like a bar.

    This is where I fail again and again and rely on processed foods for lunch. Yes, they are usually a Kashi frozen meal, which is about as good as you can get nutrition-wise from every standpoint, (and frankly, the Mayan Harvest Bake is the best frozen meal I’ve ever had, better than many meals in restaurants, AND it’s vegan/no dairy, AND doesn’t have soy, which are 2 requirements I unfortunately have right now due to baby’s food sensitivities), and they cost less than a lunch out, but I’ve been known to eat Lean Cuisines as well because they’re even cheaper. But oh so bad. I can see why people just microwave a hamburger from the scary, rotating food case or eat chicken nuggets, seriously.

    2 parents that work FT out of the home and an infant at home means almost zero free time at night to prepare anything for the night before. It’s all we can do to get ourselves fed, get the baby fed, bathed, changed and put to bed, and then I have maybe 1 hour before I get too exhausted to continue. That one hour just can’t be spent in the kitchen, there are too many other things to do. Tonight’s hour will be spent going to the grocery and to the hardware store for a return. Last night’s hour was spent doing laundry and paying bills. Tomorrow’s hour will be Tivo while lifting weights, followed by a shower (yes, I only get a shower about twice a week).

    I detest most sandwiches and cold lunch in general, at least in the colder months (most of the year). In the summer, I’m more open to a salad, but getting all the ingredients together is expensive and requires you have salad like every day for a week in order to use everything before it goes bad, which is just not fun. And then there’s the time involved in washing and peeling and chopping everything for a salad.

    What say you, Michael? Are you up for it? Each lunch must cost less than $3.70, which is around what I pay for a Kashi meal. Maybe you can give me some ideas?

    • Jonny Rally

      I can give you an idea! Stop being finicky and work obsessed and employ some general guidelines about life quality into your routine. Or try shorter posts on the internet if your so time crunched?

    • Mantonat

      I’m not Michael, but I can suggest a few things:
      Breakfast – fresh fruit and oatmeal. Make a big batch on the weekend, put it into serving-sized tupperware, and reheat each morning with a little milk and honey. If you don’t like oatmeal, there are alot of other whole-grain hot cereals out there.
      Lunch – if you don’t like sandwiches, try wraps. In the winter, put some cheese, meat, and warmable veggies in (broccoli, rice, potato, whatever); a cup of yogurt; more fruit, or nuts. In the summer, wrap your salads.
      Dinners – throw that chicken in the oven like Ruhlman suggested earlier this year. Add some potatoes, carrots, etc. around the sides. You don’t even need to peel them – just wash them. Soup is another one that’s easy to do – just dice a bunch of vegetables and throw them in a pot of water or stock.
      Rice and lentils – throw rice in one pot and lentils in another. Cook for 45 minutes. Rice especially does even better the less you do to it. You can also do beans, just remember to soak them overnight. Add flavor with sauces made in advance and frozen, grate a little lemon zest over it, etc.
      Pasta – what’s faster and easier than pasta? Hot pasta with a couple of eggs mixed in, some chopped parsley, garlic, lemon zest, etc. Throw in some sausage which cooks without fuss in the oven in about 20 minutes.

      Honestly I could go on and on with ideas for stuff that’s fresh, cheap, fast, easy, etc. But the deal is, if you keep making excuses (who doesn’t like sandwiches?), it probably means you just don’t like doing stuff in the kitchen very much, even quick stuff. If I’m exhausted at the end of the day, nothing picks me up like clearing my mind while cooking – especially if I can have a glass of wine or a beer while I cook. And if you are busy dealing with a baby, get your husband in the kitchen. Or hand him the baby and cook something. Add up the man-hours from when you get home to when you go to bed – what are you doing with them besides frantically running around? Can you save the errands for the weekend? Maybe it’s your entire lifestyle that needs reworking, and then a daily menu will become an easy afterthought.

  • Alan W

    My convection oven has an “EasyConvect” set of buttons which is supposed to allow you to enter conventional cook times and temperature and the oven will convert it all to convection.

    Trust me: biggest waste of time and energy and technology on the planet.

    What’s next, a “bread” button? (Although the proofing setting works pretty well on my EasyConvect oven).

    • Alan W

      Oh, and the “self clean” function is great for making pizza since it heats the oven to super-high temps. Just sayin’

  • jbl

    Not stupidity so much as inconvenience (laziness). Also most of us are too busy actually WORKING 9-12 hours per day to have time to prepare everything a la minute.

  • Debbie

    I totally agree!!! Love this post. I’m not great at poaching eggs, but my husband is a master at it. He just uses a deep skillet, no vinegar and they come out perfect every time.

  • Chuck Shaw

    Well put Michael. I’ve got buttons all over my microwave that serve no purpose. Microwaves are good for two things, reheating and possibly defrosting and that’s up for debate. I had a Black & Decker Toaster Oven. Most of the food manufacturers instruct not to use a toaster over and it’s terrible at toasting bread. If you need a salamander use the broil setting on your oven. As a result of its suckiness, the B&D is now on a shelf awaiting the next charity haul.

  • Mark Boxshus

    Michael…………….wonderful post. Unfortunately when people see Kelly Ripa whipping up multiple treats for her kids, dogs and other guests, they just assume that when they too make a million dollars a year that they will be able to sparkle in the kitchen and become a proficient button pushing gourmet who can do it all as well. How very sad.

  • cindy

    Thanks for the post and picture. I just made this ( it looked so delicious) but I cooked a 1/2 slice of cut up bacon before I added the shallots. I have lived without a microwave for 3 yrs. The only thing I cant do is make that chemical enriched microwave popcorn!

  • Phillip

    My apartment came with a microwave, but I had it removed. I don’t have a toaster oven, nor do I cook preprocessed foods, such as those sold by Con-Agra. Sometimes it’s a struggle to improve my cooking skills, such as they are, but I truly enjoy the time I spend in the kitchen. My only electric appliances are a hand blender and a toaster. Years ago, I had a microwave, but in the end all I used it for was sanitizing kitchen sponges, the only task at which it truly excelled.

    It all started in 1994, when my television broke, and I decided not to get a new one. The problem? Commercials, which I found offensive and rude. I thought about getting a new one, but then I remembered O’Brian from the film 1984, and understood that, like him, I had the power to just turn it off.
    With Netflix, PBS.org, and Hulu, thing are going great for the TV-less.

    But I digress.

    I’d just like to plant the seed in your mind that many of these things just aren’t necessary, though in our society you could be forgiven for not realizing this simple fact. Also, I’d like to thank Mr. Ruhlman for his excellent blog and books.

    http://www.thestoryofstuff.org

  • Michele Niesen

    ugh, people. if you can’t poach the eggie in the scary boiling water, then put it in a pan and fry it and hit it with water in the frying pan and steam it with the lid on for a few seconds. Or boil it softly. It is the incredible edible egg ya know.

    This is why “normal” non nerd foodie people shop for “groceries” in the frozen “food” aisle at Wal-Mart (who in some markets is actually cleaning up its act nicely and offering if not local at least organic fresh goods…) because they think cooking is too hard. Really? Putting some lemon and salt in the behind of a fresh chicken and turning the oven on to 350 for an hour is hard? Drizzling the olive oil on the spinach? You don’t have to be creative. You don’t have to be French. You don’t even have to cook a “type” of cuisine. In fact, resist the urge. Just make yourself dinner. Maybe even grow something. It’s empowering, trust me.

    I looked on the box of a “ready” lasagna the other day. 55 minutes in the oven. I can make it fresh in 45 and it won’t have 800 calories per sodium nor 1000mg of sodium.

    Don’t be afraid of failure. You can’t do it wrong. Yea some nights it’s easier to get a pizza but like a lame government bail out, the feeling doesn’t last long. And then it’s dinner time again. And again.

  • Blake @ salt, teak & fog

    Ugh, yes that article was maddening! The last thing we need is another machine separating us from the basic common sense of knowing how to cook. As for the eggs, they look divine. So simple and satisfying. Anyone can do this, and they should.

  • Veron

    This poached egg is making me hungry and I just finished dinner. We’ve done without a microwave for years and only bought one two years ago. It’s sole purpose most of the time is to reheat my coffee or to melt butter and chocolate (it really is easier when you bake for business). Never used any of those damn buttons.
    I still heat my food stove top because I hate the taste of microwave reheated food.

  • The Italian Dish

    You know, I was looking at an Electrolux oven recently and I saw that Perfect Turkey button and I just could not hardly believe it. How in the world could that possibly work?

    Touch your temple – I like that.

  • DebbieQ

    Excellent post! And now I will be again practicing my poached egg technique after seeing the pictures and reading all the comments. My poached eggs never turn out looking like that. I will carry on and keep trying.

    Tomorrow is another day! (sorry, just watched Gone With The Wind).

  • anita

    I love poached eggs! Eat one every morning. But I don’t like the vinegar trick because it changes the texture of the white. Makes it go all squeaky. Ugh.

  • luis

    I use the microwave a lot. It’s not a perfect tool by any means but what it does it does very well. The point is cook from scratch and its not hard or takes any more time than processed junk.

    The microwave is like riding a race horse in your kitchen. Not easy to control or to master for that matter.

    Bottom line without my new “new wave oven” and my microwave and crockpot I would often leave the house for work without a lunch and/or with a dirty kitchen left behind. It is what it is.

  • Mardi Rae

    Eek, I scraped, and scrounged, in the early 80′s (1980′s) to save enough dinero to buy My First Microwave from Sharp. I still have it. It is about the size of a console TV, and is in my husband’s knife shop. Still working fine! I actually wanted a huge one, so I could “cook” a big turkey in it……and did. It turned out a ghastly shade of white, gray, and neutral, and wasn’t really edible. I kept at it though, and purchased an Microwave cook book. so I could “Master the Art of Microwave Cooking”. Although I cooked many, many, many , different foods, they were never good. I teach cooking classes and I tell my students; the microwave does not add any flavor via the cooking technique, whereas, all the other methods of cooking foods, actually add flavor to the food. That is what I don’t like about the microwave. The only thing I really like about microwave cooking is the manipulating of the plate, bowl, etc. You are always jockeying for the correct positioning so the food will re-heat evenly.. This reminds me of cooking on the wood burning stove at the ranch when I was a kid. It was my job to keep the fire going for the cook, and I took my job as wood stuffer seriously, feeding it either fast-burning hot fuels, or slow-burning logs, so the cook could manipulate the dutch ovens and skillets according to what was cooking. I learned alot about food cooking temperatures. And it started my food/cooking journey that led me to covet the microwave owen, only to be bitterly dissapointed. Have you made baked eggs in your real oven? You should try them, they are good!

  • John Dunbar

    I concur, you could probably use the recommended 2-4 glasses of wine to calm down. These “idiot” buttons bother me too, but do you need to get so completely bent out of shape about them? If some dingbat thinks they are going to produce better meals (as opposed to becoming a better cook), by buying a $3000 stove with buttons that do things for them, then I say a fool and their money….

    20 years ago, people claimed there was no place for a microwave in a kitchen ever. Or, 50 years ago that “self-cleaning” ovens were for hacks. Sure, most of these ideas are idiotic, but maybe from them something useful and evnetually accepted will come of them.

  • Mantonat

    After reading your article, I walked over to my oven and – sure enough – it had a “Turkey” button. Apparently those of you commenting here have never tried the “Turkey” button because it really is amazing. I only pressed the button out of curiousity, but now it has become an object of wonder and amusement for friends and family alike. Here’s what the “turkey” button does:
    I pressed the button and a hatch opened in the side of the oven. A small robot wheeled out of the hatch and quickly left my house without even a “see you later.” Several hours later, it returned – smeared in blood – with a freshly killed turkey. It proceeded to pluck, dress, stuff, struss and season the carcass. When it had the beast beautifully prepared, it wheeled over to the oven, set the time and temperature, and placed the turkey in the oven. Over the next few hours, it monitored the turkey, basted it, made some side dishes, and finally pulled a perfectly browned and steaming turkey from the oven. After setting the dinner table, it rang a dinner bell, popped a couple of those paper hats onto the drumsticks, and wheeled itself back into the hatch on the side of the oven.
    I plan on using this regularly, but only after I buy a dishwasher with an “Auto-clean” setting. That little robot leaves a real mess.

    • Kanani

      Hilarious! I’m glad your “Perfect Turkey” button works, and that the little robot didn’t break down. No doubt, the robot has a dishwashing counterpart, and maybe one that mops the floor?

  • Stephanie Manley

    I love your line of thinking about cooking at home. I often am frustrated at restaurants because they don’t cook, they reheat, and they assemble. On the weekends I try to cook extra for those long days where I don’t feel like putting together a meal late in the evening.

    Thank you for bringing these thoughts out in the open. Sometimes a collective conscious can make change happen.

  • Michael Fong

    Microwaves should only have numbers on it for the cooking time. That’s all you need. Toaster ovens…I’d prefer temperature settings over cookie or pizza or whatever.

    I find poached eggs really easy to do if you use the swirling water method in a somewhat tall saucepan.

  • Charlotte K

    Haven’t had a microwave in YEARS. I use one at work to heat up my homemade lunch but that’s it.

    A toaster oven might be nice but I don’t have room in my small kitchen. So, don’t have one of those either!

    You can definitely live without ‘em, people!

  • Andra @ FrenchPressMemos

    Hilarious and so true. I HATE that stuff. We lived very happily without a microwave for at least five years. I find the microwave to be completely evil along with some of its sister “easy cooking” appliances. The reality is that actually cooking does not take THAT much time or THAT much effort but I hear it every single day from a friend or a co-worker or a neighbor…”your recipes are so hard to make!” They are NOT. They require an open mind, a good attitude, and a respect for what you put into your body and what you feed those you love. That is all.

  • Lizzy Caston

    I’m loving this topic, Michael.

    Remember Home Ec classes? Do they even require them anymore? I remember 7th grade, Roxboro JR High (word to the CLE HEIGHTS). We learned how to make rolled biscuits from scratch: a bowl, a pastry cutter, a mixing spoon, a rolling pin. The end. Roast chicken: a chicken, a pan, a rack, an oven, and even though we had a simple old school meat thermometer to test the meat, we were also taught “when the juices run clear it is done”. I’ll be damned if those biscuits and roasted chicken weren’t some of the best I’ve ever tasted, still to this day. What it instilled in me as a budding cook though is that cooking isn’t a chore. It isn’t magic. It isn’t a mystery. It’s a simple set of skills with a few basic tools. Lessons for life I appreciate. If I could find that Home Ec teacher I’d go and thank her.

    So, does it start in school again (because it certainly isn’t being taught at home)? Jamie Oliver, as much as I find his ADD style distracting on TV, is onto something here with his school food project.

    Gotta get ‘em when they are young.

    For me, I ditched my microwave ages ago mostly because I found it a big pain in the butt to clean and was taking up too much kitchen space, and the best home stove I’ve ever owned was a bang-and-dent refurbished $200 special bought at an appliance repair outlet center. That thing baked perfect artisan breads and pizzas, as well as souffles, roasts, cakes and other “tricky” foods to perfection.

    We know this here though. I mean, we are preaching to the choir in this forum. Yet, how do we as home cooks, writers, food professionals help change this on a mass level when we are up against multi-million dollar product manufacturers, advertisers, appliance sales reps and a growing public that seems convinced it’s too hard too cook?

    Sigh.

  • Christie Ison

    Oh good Lord…a “chicken nugget” button? Heaven help us.

    Just learned to poach an egg in culinary school. It’s the simple things like that which have eluded me. ;) But yes, I agree with other commenters…use vinegar, swirl, use super-fresh eggs from the farmer’s market.

  • Elise

    I agree, these are ridiculous “features.” We have a very simple way to avoid those buttons: we own neither a microwave nor a toaster. We toast bread in a skillet on the stove, and we use a variety of methods to heat up leftovers. It is freeing to have fewer appliances on the counter, and it forces us to use “real” cooking methods.

  • Carla

    As a cooking teacher for the last 20 years, I totally agree. It is frustrating to work through all the moronic “easy button” technologies. The competition to make cooking for and feeding ourselves the easy way has only made us fatter and “stupider”. Keep on preaching that passionate back to the basics mantra. Love your rants.

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