Thursday, August 23, 2007

Home EC. 101

Welcome Students! Today we will learn all kinds of fun things! In the top photo we see S'mee's pantry. A somewhat organized closet of food stuffs.
See the all the clear containers? Yes, S'mee has an irrational fear of vermin! Vermin of any kind disturb her sleep and so she must make rules. First rule: If it comes home in a bottle, jar, or can it can be placed upon the shelf as is. However, if it comes home in a box, bag, or envelope it must be removed from it's packaging and placed in a clear air tight snap sealed container. Second rule: If packaging or food has been compromised it will go immediately to the trash bin! S'mee refuses to share her food with any non human.
Buying in bulk will result in a reduced price when it comes to most commodities. S'mee put this to the test the other day when a local market decided to place a popular brand cake mix on a terrific sale, almost 3 for 1. Snatching up a load full she headed home. S'mee loves cake!
If you look closely in S'mee's pantry you will see all those clear containers. Noodles, flour, sugar, even Kool-Aid and Jello are repackaged! Oh, but we need to remember that S'mee is also efficient at times, especially when it is mandatory. S'mee has a sister who could write the Home EC Manual, and she has learned a few things along the way. So before S'mee repackages her food into her containers, she weight measures them. This way when it comes time to make the product she knows exactly just how much of this or that goes into the bowl.
"Can't she just use a measuring cup?" you ask. Well, yes, but then S'mee would be taking a chance on how the dish would turn out. You see, the 'matter' of the food can vary from day to day depending on a bunch of different factors, like humidity, for instance. That and sometimes the way one places the product in a cup or spoon will pack the product differently and vary the result. So weighing your product is much more efficient and consistent.
Back to the repacking. Today, as S'mee was getting ready to repack the cake mixes, she recalled something Chronicler had told her a few years back, "The cake mix companies have repackaged their product, reducing the amount of product in each box slightly. Most people won't notice the difference,but their cakes will be a little more flat." S'mee has noticed. (remember, S'mee loves her cake!) So she decided to see if the cakes are still being decreased in weight.
As you can see the from the photos above S'mee got a surprise today. First she opened each of ten boxes of mix, all the same brand, all the same flavour, and labeled the bags. One by one they were placed on a digital scale and the weight recorded. (Only 5 photos are allowed to download per post, so you'll have to imagine the others.) As you can see from the photos, the least amount of cake mix was 4.25 ounces of mix, the heaviest - a full 6 ounces. So, not only are the cake mixes still being reduced in volume, they are inconsistent as far as volume weight.
So class, what have we learned today?
A. Someone down at the cake factory is asleep in quality control.
B. Someone down at the cake factory is asleep in weights and measures.
C. It's not our fault that our cakes are full and moist one week and flat and dry the next.
D. All of the above.
Class dismissed.
Bonus Question for extra credit: WHY? Why is it that Blogger is inconsistent when it comes to S'mee's posts? Why is the spacing correct just now and then? UGH!

add to sk*rt


ilovejazz said...

I remember decorating for the Christmas choir programs with S'mee.. S'mee always helped me make the bland chapel look like the most beautiful place to make music. And, she always came ready to decorate with all the decorations in clear plastic boxes, labeled and organized so beautifully. So, it's not surprising to see that the pantry is that way too. S'mee is amazing that way. I'm absolutely opposite, and frequently cook recipes without having all the ingredients on hand. It's become a big joke in the fam, and when I do cook, invariably someone asks if I have all the ingredients for whatever I'm making. When I grow up, I'm wanna be like S'mee!

s'mee said...

Jazz, go to the head of the class!
Actually the only time I *do* weigh and measure is in baking. I am famous for lousy baking, so I try to stick by the rules. Otherwise I am free flying! And as someone who knows, you know how organized my ouse *really* is. 8 O

chronicler said...

when you can grasp this cake mix from my hand.... it is time to go.

I loved this post! You have learned well grasshopper!

Rynell said...

Your organized pantry inspires me! I am going get some (more) snap-tight containers! OH I so love the organization!

Sally said...

I got tingly in some naughty places just from looking at your pantry! :) I want you to come do that to my pantry. What a puzzling thing with the cake mixes though. Things that make you go hmmm....

ilovejazz said...

Surprising Sal didn't mention the "pantry conferences" she regularly has in my pantry. The overall disorganization hurts her deeply, and she cleans, throws away and organizes it for me! The pantry looks amazing for, oh, 3 or 4 days before I ruin it again. I'm sure that makes her tingly too.

s'mee said...

Sal, TMI! TMI! lol When we were first married I was completely out of control. Things had to (read HAD TO!!!) be aligned perfectly. Fruits first then veggies (abc ORDER!) and all labels facing front with one finger width between rows, and yes, I measured on a daily (sometimes 2 or 3 times)basis. Then eventually people came into the house and stayed for 18+ years and made my inner control freak crazy. The solution? I controlled only my personal space (on a daily basis! lol) As time went on I finally got a hold of these clear containers (Target) and went to work. They are (almost) never in the order *I* want them, but they are in the general area and they stay clean. So I am happier and happier.

Jazz, You have seen my house, so I am not foolin' anyone here. But like I said, you haven't seen inside my manically organized closet or drawers. (I need some serious therapy) Outside of the personal space my "organized house and/or pantry" lasts about two weeks and then people get lazy. I become EXTREMELY freaked out about it all every two or so months and just spend a day in there making sure everything needs prozac by the time I leave. Let's just say it's not only the jello that is shakin' it's shoes by the time I finish cleaning the pantry.

The offspring delight in taking something and placing it just askew enough to drive me nut sand time how long I can go before I jump out of a chair and fix it. Yes, they are dear. Next time you c ome to the house I will show you how I have a certain number of red items and where they are and how the offspring torture me with them. I hate children, really, I do.

s'mee said...

Rynell, Think twice before you get too hooked. As you can see from the above confessionals, it can get crazy!

Lisa M. said...

I so need you-


The Pea said...

This is not somthing I inherited but it must be a genetic thing somewhere. Next time you can go and see Cris, she really is a chip off her Aunts block!! I like to give her odd numbered anything just to drive her crazy!

Yolanda said...


s'mee said...

lol you ladies crack me up. Thanks to everyone.