Stickin’ it to the man

Minor point of irritation: corporately sponsored recipes. You know, the kind that comes in those recipe books you can order with 5 proofs of purchase, or the ones on the packaging for your preprocessed food.

Today, I think I lost a few brain cells by looking at one.

I decided to make tacos for dinner tonight. Why, if only I had seen the back of the bag of shredded cheese sooner! What a divine recipe I missed!

Seriously. The back of my bag of “taco style” cheese had a recipe for tacos. The ingredients list consisted of, wait for it, meat, “brand-name” taco seasonings, “brand-name” taco shells, and, of course, the taco style cheese I held in my hands. The steps were (1) brown meat and cook according to “brand-name” taco seasoning packet directions; and (2) serve. Bam!

It’s a really sad state of affairs, though. The recipe on the back of the store-brand shredded cheese that I purchased today was considerably more creative–it was for some sort of tex-mex dip. I think it even called for taco seasoning, but it wasn’t “store brand”–just any brand. In fact, the only direct branding in the recipe was for the cheese. Which, of course, I already had in my posession.

The thing about cooking is it’s an art, not a science. I don’t even measure spices anymore when I cook; I just add until it looks right. And I add different seasonings. Half the time these days recipes are just inspiration, usually because the ingredients I have on hand are completely different than the ones in the recipe. And 95% of the time the food tastes as good as, if not better than, the recipe had it been made according to directions.

So, yes, it drives me nuts when recipes call only for specific-brand products. But, man, I sure showed the cheese manufacturer up. I made my tacos… with store-brand seasoning.

That’ll show ’em.

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