Monday, December 01, 2008

What Happened?

You used to be so great!

One day, not too long ago, I told Mrs. TBF that I had a real taste for Shake'N Bake. I really liked it as a kid on chicken and pork chops, so seeing how I hadn't eaten it in over thirty years, I decided it was time to relive a little part of my childhood. Figuring that it wouldn't take up too much space in my suitcase, I bought ONE box while I was in Chicago.

Tonight, I dropped the mix into the plastic bag, threw in a couple of chicken breasts, and shook it all up until the breasts were nicely coated. Then I popped the chicken into the oven at 400˚F for 20 minutes, like the instructions recommend. And????

They SUCKED!

Ok...they weren't THAT bad, but they weren't really that great either.

In all fairness, the chicken did end up being crispy on the outside and moist on the inside as advertised. No, that wasn't the problem at all. The problem IS that...it didn't taste anything at all like I remember it tasting when I was a kid. In fact, the coating just tasted like crumbs from the bottom of the toaster with a few (not enough) spices thrown in. Oddly enough, unlike most prepared food in America, it seemed to be lacking salt - I actually had to add some.

Is it me who has changed, or has Shake'N Bake changed? Or both?

And while we're on the topic of expats bringing food back with them from America...

What's with all the North Americans bringing back Kraft macaroni and cheese in their suitcases?

The strangest thing about it all is that most of the people who bring back suitcases full of the stuff admit to me that they rarely ate the stuff back when they lived in the U.S. or Canada. What's up with that? I guess it's just "the thing" to do.

There's nothing wrong with bringing back some stuff from "home" that you miss and can't get where you live now, but a suitcase full of crap that you never used to eat anyway?

Whatever! I've learned my lesson.

13 comments:

Leesa said...

Hi TBF,

Maybe when you were a kid, Shake 'n Bake WAS actually good--- OR... maybe now that you are older, you have higher expectations of what GOOD is.. PLUS, your food in Suisse is probably a lot fresher and tastier...
About the Kraft Mac&Cheese... I brought for boxes back last trip-- When I was eating it I said.. Ahhhh... reminds me of my childhood and WTF (why, oh why?) would I ever eat this stuff in the first place.. YICK, gross... but yet, we eat it!! Fake florescent cheese and ALL!!! My friend's hubby brought us back some Kraft Parmesean.... Does that count?! Take care, Leesa

The Big Finn said...

Leesa - Maybe it has something to do with being married to an Italian-American for over twenty years, but I can't understand why somebody would buy Kraft parmesan cheese. I mean, how hard is it to buy a chunk of parmesan cheese and just grate it yourself? It just tastes so much better than the pre-grated stuff in the cardboard container.

Christine said...

I had to comment on the Shake-N-Bake! There are so many things that I used to love back in the States that now gross me out when I try them again. Perfect example is the Kraft Mac-n-Cheese. Can you imagine if you served that to a Swiss person for dinner?? You should try it one time and let us know how it goes.

Anonymous said...

TBF...I know what you mean. Food from our childhood just does not taste the same now that we are older.
Perhaps it is our maturing taste buds!!! Our son is bringing for xmas CHEEZIES!!!! They better be damn good cause we are looking so so forward to them!!!!!!!! ESP

Expat Traveler said...

I totally agree, once I arrive back from Switzerland I am nearly grossed out by 3/4 of the food I have to make. I'm sure my cooking skills have a bit to do with that also..

And I don't use Kraft but when I was making shake n bake and had to perfect it a bit. Ends up tasting fine from a different brand. But I'd agree, the food your wife makes and what you get in Switzerland is so much better than packaged food!

Glad you realized that.. It took me a while too...

The Big Finn said...

ET -
For the record: I cook all the meals from Mon-Fri. Mrs. TBF cooks during the weekend.

Anonymous said...

The crazy thing is that the English food shop by Spalentor stocks a few "American foods" -- including Kraft Mac n' Cheese. So, if you want a dose of yuck, you can get it here. :) Anyway, we always had homemade mac and cheese at home and now I make that -- yum. Not a low point food, but delicious. Liz

Leesa said...

I never even really considered Kraft to be "real" cheese--- esp. that crafty florescent orangey cheesy spready gunk!! Now, what's THAT all about, huh?!!!

Mrs. TBF said...

I am compelled to weigh on this discussion. First of all - I would suggest that one of the reasons that the Shake 'n Bake doesn't taste the same is that back when we were kids - the chicken wasn't boneless skinless breast - it was skin and bone on - big difference! Secondly, I think we have gotten used to much saltier food living in Switzerland.
With regard to mac 'n cheese - TBF is right. As an Italian-American there is no way I would ever eat that stuff...but mac 'n cheese made from scratch is fantastic and I would highly recommend it - it's not hard to do.

Expat Traveler said...

TBF - that's awesome you cook m-f.. I'd want to do the same if I were in your position! I think I remember something like that at a friends house in Biel..

your siser said...

I think the biggest problem is that you used chicken...I think pork chops with some serious fat on them are the best!

The Big Finn said...

mrs. tbf - MMMMmmmmm...chicken with skin. YES PLEASE!

headbang8 said...

I have just four words for you, TBF. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

There. Think about those four words. Then buy some when you're back in Florida in February.

Bring them to Basel. Taste them. Your heart will ache with disappointment. How could they? Another childhood memory besmirched.

Palates have actually got sweeter since we were kids, TBF. Nowadays, the sweets we loved way back when taste of nothing but sugar.

The world has done a stealth version of New Coke on us.