Look away! Look away!
Every day, I cringe. Every day, I gag. Every day on Pinterest is another opportunity to witness atrocious food pins, indications that our society is crumbling around its very foundation. True, I've scored some great ideas and recipes on the site, but more times than not, I'm trying to control my primal reflexes when it comes to offense of seeing what find some acceptable to share in public.
6. Unconventional food vessels
I don't know how many mason jars you have hanging around your house, but if you don't have a farm and the answer is more than five, you really need to have a garage sale because you are tipping the bad side of the hoarding scale, my friend. A guy up the street from us was actually on an episode of Hoarders because he kept living in his hovel even after most of it burned down. He threw a couple of tarps over what was left of the roof and used a chainsaw to cut out some new windows in the plywood that had (and still does) the word "CONDEMNED" stapled to it.
If you ask relatives, I'm sure they would say that mason jars were the first sign of trouble stirring in that pot, and that it all started when he had a dinner party and thought it would be cute to serve individual salads in them. Get it? Get it? You shake it!!!!
So when I see a girl in a sequined headband buying 24 clay flower pots at Home Depot to make cupcakes in, or witness that muffin pans are used as dishes, my hate is evenly spread on those crackers, too.
Chances are, the people who would put anything in a _______ (insert Pinny phrase here: "So cute!" "Yes please!" and "I'm going to do this!") jar are the same people who put up signs asking you to take your shoes off before you walk through their house. Really. Skip the clay pot tutorial. Use a friggin plate. (Note: Ask me how many mason jars I have in my house: Enough for a cameo on Hoarders.)
Please. I'm begging Pinterest. Can we stop with the quinoa, made even more annoying by the pronunciation of "keen-wah!!!" (yes, the three exclamation points is correct, as is opening your mouth as widely as possible on each syllable). Possibly the most annoying foodstuff to trend this year.
Even more annoying than the word "trend." Let's be honest: I can't figure out what the hell it is; is it rice, is it pasta, and really, who cares because it looks like larvae no matter how you cook it. No matter how you try to convince me how delicious it is, I know it's not and that you are lying because you don't want to feel gullible alone. If I'm ever in the jungle, my limbs are rotting off, and cannibals are chasing me, I might eat it because I'm sure I'd find some under a fallen log, but until then, back off, People of Quinoa.
And for the sake of all that's holy, I am begging all hippies to stop putting it in brownies and making "mac and cheese" with it. I don't want to see another picture of bug egg burgers or unhatched kale cakes. Enough is enough. Just because you saw it in the Fearless Flyer at Trader Joe's doesn't mean it's law.
4. Crock pots
I keep waiting for the wave to crest just like it did in 1984 when my mom finally unplugged hers and put it in the storage room, but all of the pictures of breakfast casseroles and creamy chicken thingies are making me doubt the laws of physics. Almost every time I gag while on Pinterest, it's due to a slow cooker-induced wave of nausea.
No more pizza casseroles, I plead. Stop making cheesecakes in them, or any recipe with the word "ranch" in the name. ("Ranch" is the go-to word in crock-pot gagging. Honestly, it works every time, especially when combined with the word "bacon.") And guess what? Sure, you can make a sub sandwich in the slow cooker (I've seen pictures!), but it should only take you eight hours to put ham on bread is if you have two hook hands. And hardly anyone has that.
Guess what? I'm making chicken and dumplings right now. Without a slow cooker. I put it in a pot -- yes, a regular, metal pot! -- and...turned the burner on. That was all. Yes, you can. You can. I promise. Walk away from the plague, I warn. I know the Mormon Church is giving one slow cooker away with every conversion, and yes, that's better than baptizing Anne Frank, but not much. Not really.
3. Cute eggs
I know it's simply a seasonal annoyance, but it really can't be over soon enough. Sure, the first time I saw a deviled egg with sliced green olives for eyes and carrot slivers for feet, I admit I smiled. But much like anything you've seen 1,953 times in a single day, it becomes irritating and loses its festivity around the 500 mark, and they become sinister looking with those red irises. And orange claw feet. And that mush of yellow perhaps is a metaphor for the fact that the chance for their hearts to beat has been crushed. And mutilated. And extinguished forever. Now I think cute deviled eggs are stupid, and I think anyone who pins them is stupid, too. (I've since unpinned mine, to be clear.)
2. More than three colors in anything edible.
How bad do you want cancer? Bad enough to eat a rainbow of it? Personally, I think the red cancer would be the worst, but anything you swallow with shades of hues in it is going to pop a tumor out of your body the day after you eat it. I don't care if it's a cake, a Jell-O shot, or a hard-boiled egg; you're going to get cancer. I'm betting with a pastel variant, it wouldn't be all that serious, hopefully an organ you have in multiples, but devil red or sunshine yellow and you might as well schedule a biopsy as soon as you finish chewing.
1. Artistic kids' meals
Um, apparently, there are parents out there who spend their free time cutting sandwiches into the shape of sheep, or molding brown rice balls into the shapes of bears, instead of saying to their kids, "This is a ham sandwich. It's in the shape of a sandwich. I'm not going to sit here and mold the film set of Fantastic Mr. Fox so I can get you to eat a carrot."
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Not only does this new generation of parents create a storyboard and narrative because they've trained their kids to eat that way, but then they are also more than happy to share their creations with other parents to keep the cycle of abuse going. I saw one photo of a child's meal on Pinterest that was in the image of Hobbit Hill, so elaborate that it was complete with extensive carving, layering, and styling. I bet it took twice the amount of effort to make it than it did to clean it up once the kid threw it on the floor.
I saw another that was a nest compiled with green fettuccine for grass, tomatoes as eggs, and crackers cut out in the shape of birds. This is the work of an enabler, and I am already crying for the girl who marries the eater of the nest. I don't like my food to touch, and that's a result of a mother who would look at my untouched plate, wait until I threw up, and then say simply, "Oh, no, you didn't like your flounder? I guess you'll find out every Friday that being hungry hurts."
In 15 years, I'm sure it will be no surprise when a menu will list the choice of a filet mignon in the shape of a pony, bunny, or elephant. Served with a side of cloud potatoes.