29 September 2008

Milk Calendar Mondays: Kids Crazy Meatball Wraps

Yes, I'm cutting it close. No I didn't forget or bail out of this month's recipe. Just poor time management.

I thought, for a change of pace, it would be good to have someone (who's not me) who ate the meal actually report on it...just in case anyone's thinking I've lost my objectivity with this project.

So...here's the exbf with his take on this month's recipe. My comments are bracketed and in pinky-mauve.

Jasmine has been working her way through the recipes on the Milk Calendar and I have the distinct honour (or shall I say I seem to be paying a penance for things I’ve done and have yet to do) by playing the occasional role of guinea-pig.

I have to admit that while I like her cooking, I dread meals taken from Milk Calendar recipes. The mere mention of those words strike terror in my stomach because that it’s apparent the Milk Calendar’s approach seems to be to take some innocent recipe whose original form involves no milk and inflict dairy upon it. They seem to have little regard for how this affects the taste or texture. The end results are usually nearly tasteless and only barely digestible.

Since Jasmine’s cooking is usually a lot better than that, I have to assume the problem is the recipes and not the cook.

I would expect that this does not need to be said but if you are at all lactose intolerant, avoid the Milk Calendar recipes. After many I’ve tried, I can say the same caveat goes if you have functional taste buds combined with any level of desire to use them while eating.

This month’s offering was
Kids’ Crazy Meatball Wraps which was meat-balls in a ketchup and I assume milk-based sauce that had corn in it in a wrap (Jasmine: yes, I chose the ketchup version...after so many disappointing meals I wasn't going to use my homemade tomato sauce, the good bottled tomato sauce or my homemade ketchup) :

“A fun dinner will get the kids excited and parents will be thrilled to make an easy, nutritious meal that everyone will love. Serve crisp veggie sticks on the side.”

The title of the recipe is like “employee empowerment”: if they have to tell you that they’re empowering their employees, they aren’t. In the same way, if they tell you it’s “crazy” and a “meal that everyone will love” it isn’t insane (Jasmine: Well, I question the thought processes behind mixing milk with ketchup and corn and carrots--exactly how much sugar should one have in a meal?) and you’ll probably be hard pressed to find a group of people who value good flavoured food to love it…choke it down, maybe.

I swear they’ve got a time warp back there to the 1950s or 1960s. It struck me as something a cautiously adventurous cook circa 1963 [1] who had heard of a burrito, but who had never actually seen one and who was a bit worried their families might reject anything truly exotic, might have come up with. The best one can say for it was that it was inoffensively bland and easy to chew. My favourite part of the meal was the pickles she served with them.

I would recommend this recipe for people easy intimidated by flavour. It might also be suitable for people in a persistent vegetative state, assuming they can handle semi-solid food.

1: Young readers should be grateful that they missed the era in which cutting-edge home-cooked cuisine in Ontario involved such knee-trembling excitement as Jell-O With Things That Are Almost Certainly Food (or at least Food-like) In and Pork Chops Baked to the Consistency of Tent Pegs. The reason Canadians have in recent years tended to be a little chubbier than previous generations is because until the 1970s, a surprising percentage of our food was only barely edible (Jasmine: Hmmm…you seem to forget the processed foods, fast foods and all those other things that the Milk Calendar people apparently want their readers to not rely so heavily upon, but I'd usually gladly take over certain Milk Calendar recipes I've made).


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glamah16 said...

These milk calendar post crack me up.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds grim. I'm surprised because I know people who have worked on the calendar and they are very well known and well regarded. I wonder where they went wrong? I'm guessing too much reliance on focus groups instead of on palates.

Karen Baking Soda said...

LoL! Great write-up

Anonymous said...

Hee, that was funny! Thanks for the morning giggle!

Fitness Foodie said...

Milk calendar brings me back to my childhood, my mom had hers and still does posted on the fridge.

K and S said...

interesting recipe...

Deborah said...

How fun to have a guest blogger! But I do have to say I'm glad I don't get teh Milk Calendar - I don't think I'd be brave enough to try anything after all of the recipe failures!

Sara said...

Cute post, scary recipe!

Elizabeth said...

Excellent review! After reading the recipe for the meatballs, I blanched and like Deborah, I don't think I would have had the nerve to make it at all.

I only hope that the milk calendar people are taking notes and planning to feature recipes that actually call for milk for their future calendars.

Dana, I can't even begin to guess who is in the milk calendar focus groups. I don't think I know anyone who is SO unadventurous. (aside from a few young children who are in their "Nope, I won't eat that either" phase.)


P.S. But I'll still put the milk calendar on my kitchen wall. It has very handy large boxes on the dates....

Jenny said...

Well said Exbf. Between yourself and Jasmine, you have both succeeded in stopping me from making any of the recipes on the calendar. Thanks!