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30-minute meals and other lies we’re told

    Cooking guru Rachael Ray got busy moms everywhere excited when she began showcasing quick and healthy meals on her Food Network cooking show 30 Minute Meals.
    While the food looks good, we’d like to alert the show Mythbusters to this one.
    Prepping and cooking a meal for hungry families from start to finish in 30 minutes simply isn’t possible.
    There. We’ve said it.
    Sure, Rachael Ray and Sandra Dee may sell cookbooks and garner large television audiences for proclaiming quick solutions to the never-ending “What’s for dinner tonight?” question. But by the time we wash the veggies, boil the water, sear the meat, sautee the aforementioned veggies and meat, season it, prep a side dish, lay out the plates, and, if we’re lucky, procure a tasty dessert, there’s no chance we’re out of the kitchen in less than an hour… and that doesn’t include the clean-up.
    Unless you’re Super Woman or can cook in fast-forward like Rachel Ray, 30-minute meal preparation is not possible. It’s more feasible if you have prep work completed by an unseen assistant or before you start the timer, but for a solo at-home cook, forget it. Attempts to beat the 30-minute test are futile, resulting in frazzled hair and a messy kitchen.
    Toss the 30-minute-meal on the scrapheap of myth. And we’d also like to personally refute the following: If we step on a crack we won’t break our mother’s back; touching a toad won’t give us warts, and we didn’t really need to wait an hour after eating to go swimming (even if the fare included birthday cake and popsicles).
    We can always hold out hope that one day a Ferrari will show up in our driveway after wishing while throwing many a penny into Jasper’s duck pond or that “the pounds will simply melt away” after buying any of a thousand products.
    We’re also chalking up to myth the 16th century English dramatist John Heywood’s suggestion that the best way to recover from a hangover was to have the “hair of the dog that bit you” -- A fable likely spun-off from the misguided notion that you could cure a dog bite by plucking a hair from the dog and holding it to the wound.
   We hear lots of sayings as we grow up, mostly designed to keep us safe. And, maybe eating that apple every day will keep the doctors away - our mothers have certainly told us that one enough times over the years.                 Sometimes scientists back up the sayings, discovering that along with boosting our immune system, eating six apples a day prevents breast cancer in primates. Maybe our moms know a thing or two about what’s good for us after all but it must be noted that one Granny Smith versus half-a-dozen every day is world apart.
    The only saying we’re willing to bet on is the one that reminds us that if things seem too good to be true, they probably are.
    So, Rachael Ray, we love the idea behind your 30-minute philosophy, but until you come into our kitchens and prep and cook a meal in 30 minutes or less, we’re tossing your cookbook out along with our egg timers. And we’re going to keep our aprons at the ready, knowing they will be as much a part of our day as business suits and heels.
    Knock on wood.


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