Sunday, May 16, 2010
There is a group of people out there in the community who believes in the power of dinner, and they actively promote family dinner as a means of improving the family dynamic. And I wholly believe that they are correct. You can see them in certain magazines and on television telling parents that, man, if they make a dinner and make the kids be there and take the time and the effort they will be better parents and their children will be better adjusted and might actually wait until they get to college to try pot and start boozing and sleeping around. I am not so sure about that, but I do believe that family dinner is a good thing. And so, apparently, do the good people at Stouffer's, and they have brought that to America in the form of a commercial for their famed lasagna.
Now, I have nothing against Stouffer's Lasagna. It's not my lasagna, and it is certainly not my mom's lasagna, and it's not my grandma's lasagna, which is not the same as my mom's but it's still pretty good in its own way. I haven't had it for years and years but right now as I write this I can still taste it. But they are both certainly better than Stouffer's because they are homemade, and that extra effort and care and love and not-food grade processing equipment that just make them special. So I suppose that what I am saying is that Stouffer's is fine, and I would serve it to my family if I didn't have the time or motivation to make my own.
I do not, however, think that I would make it the centerpiece of my special family dinner night, which is what happens in the Stouffer's commercial that gets my feathers up. In the commercial, a woman talks about how they make Stouffer's Lasagna every Tuesday night or whatever, and that they get out the good tablecloth and table settings and they make a salad and garlic bread that seems like it took more effort than the Stouffer's Lasagna. So, let's get this straight: this typical looking suburban American family makes a big deal about something that you buy at the grocery store frozen foods case for ten bucks and that all you have to do is peel off the plastic and be able to set the oven. Yeah, I am not buying it.
If you are going to go ahead and put through all the effort and pageantry to get out the tablecloth and the good china and round up the kids and all that bullshit, all of the traditional proper dinner two forks and cloth napkins sort of formal dinner and you are going to serve frozen lasagna you are a fucking retard. That is like taking all the effort to go buy a prom dress, get your hair done up specially, get some expensive, uncomfortable shoes, buy a corsage, and then you just go down to the movies. It's like putting a big piece of shit in a nice wrapper and calling it great. No. No, no, no, no, no! If you are going to go through all the effort to make the table and the fixings, you take the extra time to make some real God-damn lasagna.
If you are going to make Stouffer's Lasagna, that's fine. You go right ahead. But don't trumpet it as the greatest thing under the sun that will save your family. Stouffer's Lasagna does not deserve the full table dressing, okay? Now, some of you are going to read this and say "It doesn't matter what they are serving, Big Dave. Maybe Stouffer's Lasagna is the only way that this busy, modern family can get together to have a decent meal and it's nice that this food product can bring them together to be a better family." Okay, fine, I can buy that. I can live with that, and I can even respect that. But let's not make it more than it really is, okay? The molehill will always be a molehill, no matter what. Don't put a commercial on TV that is going to make me think it's a mountain. I can see through the bullshit. I am going to go make some lasagna.