Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In Which I Use My Noodle(s) And Create My Own American Classic...Sort Of

Although I would prefer to think that this started out to be a Righteous Consumer Rant rather than a Crabby Old Lady Rant, I guess it doesn't really matter.  Because as I started to formulate the post, it took a strange turn and ended up as something entirely different.

You see, the whole thing began innocently enough when I was shopping for a bag of noodles.  What could be more benign?  In my part of the world, when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, so does Prime Time for making the great ethnic dish of Cabbage And Noodles.  Rick and I love it; Sam likes it, and I planned to make it on a Monday when he hangs out here for dinner.  I grabbed a big, chubby cabbage and zipped over to the noodle aisle, and that's where I got bogged down for what seemed like eons.

And let me tell you why:  No one makes a full 16-ounce bag of noodles anymore.  No one.  I lingered there so long with furrowed brow, walking up and down, reading bags of noodles, that two separate Helpful Employees asked me if they could assist me.  The sad truth is this:  Like all other grocery comestibles, packaging sizes have been reduced while prices have not, and we have no recourse.  The 16-ounce noodle package has gone the way of the 3-pound coffee can, the full half-gallon of ice cream, a 5-pound bag of sugar, and all the other large, full-size containers we knew back when I could spell "republican" with a capital "R."

Anyway.  I bought my TWELVE OUNCE BAG of noodles (with extreme prejudice) and went home.  Here they are:
First of all, I dare any of you to find where it even says there are 12 ounces in there.  And yes, it's on the front.  I looked forever.  (But they're An American Classic!)
But here is the thing that I really, really love.  As I was putting my American Classic Extra Wide Egg Noodles away, I got a good look at the front of the bag.
I put it inside a nice purple arrow for you!

Oh, thank you, Mueller's!  And here, I was going to cook up Cabbage And Noodles.  All I really have to do is just lean a couple of peppers on the table, and voila! it's Dinner!  I don't even have to use the actual noodles.  And it's lactose-, gluten-, HFCS-, and fat-free!  And vegan!
Now, some of you are clamoring, "Wait!  Perhaps there is An American Classic Recipe on the back that utilizes the peppers!"  I hear you, and I am a scrupulous journalist.

So...nope.  I'm at a loss, aren't you?  But I don't have time to figure it all out.  I've got to get dinner ready.  Tonight, Sam is working, so it's just Rick and I.  I hope he likes it.


  1. Yes, what would we do without truth in labeling? It's bad enough when the text is muddled up, but when the graphic doesn't give you a clue... To be honest, I would have expected that picture to mean that the noodles themselves were enriched with red and yellow peppers. But then the noodles would have to have been sort of orange-y coloured.

    So anyway... I'm hungry. I'll go with the noodles and peppers. Or the noodles and cabbage. Or all of it. Or just that nice bottle of wine. Is that your kitchen in the background? It looks very cheerful and cosy. Maybe we could just have a Crabby Old Lady Rant while we sip on wine and munch pepper crudités. :-D

  2. Oops! I just saw the words "Serving Suggestion" which you kindly put inside the nice purple arrow. So that's how dumb I am. I see what I want to, and read even less carefully, apparently. (I try to do the shopping while I'm still sober, though.)


  3. You must really live in a crime free area.

    The Constables who work where I live are busy fighting crime and don't have time to hang out in grocery stores and give out advice about noodles and package sizes.

    You are so lucky!

    P.S. I leaned a couple of peppers on the table for dinner tonight, too..

  4. I hear you about the package sizes changing. This is especially irritating at Christmas, when I pull out all of my copies of my mum's handwritten Christmas cookie recipes that include measurements like, "a box of powdered sugar" or "one can of condensed milk." And calling my mother for information is not useful, since she says vague things like, "you know, the bigger can, but not the biggest one."
    As far as the 'serving suggestion' goes, I suppose it's a clever ruse by the noodle people to try and trick people into thinking that noodles are healthy. Or that they're a vegetable. Or, like Ortizzle said, they have peppers in them. You can't let your guard down for a second, can you?

  5. I want you to know, Nance, that I have just finished laughing loudly for so long that M asked about it. Of course, I relished relating your entire experience, sharing your photos where appropriate, and finished by laughing out loud some more! (Sadly, I'll have to come up with something else to serve you tomorrow. Ha ha ha...)

  6. And to further confuse things, try to imagine how this is Obama's fault.

  7. Everything was hilarious & then I read Silliyak's comment. Thank goodness my boss isn't here to hear me chortle :)

    I have a cake recipe that calls for 16 oz of Cool Whip. But I'm pretty sure that Cool Whip never did come in 16 oz sizes, just 12 oz - I think whoever wrote the recipe just wanted to have a half of a container of cool whip left to eat while the cake was baking...

  8. Silliyak--No thanks.

    BooksterOne--Oh, good! Glad you got a chuckle (or more) out of it. It really is ridiculous, isn't it, to call two peppers a "serving suggestion"? I suppose it's an example of having to follow a regulation of some sort, but why not put something else, or nothing at all,then? Sigh.

    MsCaroline--Those "recipes" and ensuing "clarifications" are maddening. My mom is the same way. "Oh, just a little bit. Not too much." Or, "Add just enough until it starts to feel a little stiff against the spoon, but not too hard to mix." But she's 80, and I'm 50. Sigh.

    Nancy--Hey, listen. As long as I put a bottle of wine out, Rick will eat anything! Or LOOK at the food, at least, and drink the wine. Try that.

    Ortizzle--Wow. I went back and reread my post to be sure that it was getting my humor/point across. Sometimes we are simply not on the same wavelength, and it's usually on my pictorial posts. That's okay. I will always love you.

    Yes, that's my "loud kitchen", as St. Patsy calls it. I have red countertops, a red and white checked kitchen floor, and, as you can catch a glimpse of, the black and white graphic cow wallpaper border. The cabinets/woodwork is honey oak, and I have red round china pulls on all the drawers and doors. I put up a couple of my cutting boards (custom made by Rick)for background purposes. My mother, the first time she saw my kitchen, said, "But Nance, it's so loud. How can you ever cook in such a loud kitchen?" She is very intimidated by red. Me, not so much.

    And sure, I'd love to have you over someday. But, you do know I live in OHIO, right?

  9. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Well done. Pretty photos, too. I have made a hobby of noticing & pointing out all the package downsizing. Like we consumers don't notice? The worst example IMHO is when a few years ago cups of yogurt went from 8 oz to 6 oz. Still bitter about that.

  10. Ally--All my photos are taken with my iPhone 4. I am hopeless with all cameras, so thank you.

    Bug--Yeah, I think it actually did. St. Patsy saves old containers forever, so I'll peek into her collection, but all the labelling is probably worn off. Ha! Regardless, I like your theory. Remember that one of my favourite desserts is simply CoolWhip, Hershey's chocolate syrup, and salted peanuts. Period. If the CoolWhip is frozen, so what?

  11. Very strange on the serving size. Is a serving size of these noodles supposed to equate to the total size of those two peppers? If so, that bag might contain less now, but look at all those servings, Nance! It's a veritable bargain! Downright annoying. I'd rather pay more to get the same size.

    I just noticed that Mr. GFE's favorite pre-packaged luncheon meat (it's a man thing) has gone from 12 ounces to 9 ounces. The only positive is that the containers now fit better into the pull-out drawer in the fridge.

    Comments on sidebar ... grievious grammar for sure, and I always knew such statements about the cow's behavior being tied to "falling weather" was correct. I hate it when we are on the motorcycle and I see the cows in repose. :-(


  12. And grievous typos, too. And I was just about to add typing with one hand while petting dog to my updated resume. There goes one of my new skills. Sigh.

  13. One of the best dinners I've ever had :)

  14. I had no idea this had turned into a recipe blog! I'm going to try that next week. Looks delicious.

    My current pet peeve regarding grocery shopping is the weight/size labeling. I cannot do metric conversions in my head, so if one size of a product is in oz, and another size is in ml, I'm lost. I just want to know which one is going to give me more for my money. You COULD say it's always the bigger size, but you'd be wrong often enough for me to pay attention to such stupidness.

    I was relieved to see that the recipe on the back of the package did, in fact, call for a 12 oz bag of noodles. I was thinking it might call for the 16 oz bag, and you'd have to freak out like Steve Martin in Father of the Bride and start tearing bags open to get your extra 4oz.

  15. j@jj--I don't run into the metric stuff very often in my area, but I can stand in front of an item in varying sizes FOREVER, trying to figure out the best deal if the unit pricing is not on the shelf tag. The boys have a Hotdog Story that they like to tell after going grocery shopping with me once that illustrates this. It ends with Jared yelling, "Oh my God, Mom. Just grab a pack of fucking hot dogs!" Sigh.

    And I rarely eat hot dogs. They weren't even for me.

    Rick--You Chardonnay whore. Anything with a bottle of that is your best dinner. XXOO

    Shirley--Not serving SIZE. Serving SUGGESTION, as in, a suggestion for how to utilize the noodles. If you look on any food item, the label usually has a picture of the item itself in a bowl, or as part of a dish, and really tiny, it will say "serving suggestion." Like, "here's how we suggest you serve this soup". After I saw the peppers, I actually went through almost all of the pantry items in my kitchen and looked to see if any other ones had such goofiness on them. Nope. All the rest were sane. Take a look at yours and see if you have any wacky ones like my noodles. I'd be so interested to know.

    Pet Sonny a few times for me, too!

  16. A few weeks ago I ran into a problem with UP-sizing packaging. I was making lemon-ricotta cookies with a lemon glaze, and the recipe calls for a 15-oz. container of whole-milk ricotta. All I could find in the dairy case were containers proudly labled "25 PERCENT MORE". So, I had to measure out 15 ounces of the ricotta into a glass measuring cup, leaving me with not enough left over to do anything useful with. Wouldn't have been a problem If I'd been making lasagne, but baking is chemistry, and you don't mess with proportions.

    The cookies were delicious. Giada's recipe.

  17. Love the description of your kitchen. And, yes, I am painfully aware of the fact that you live in OHIO. And that I live in the land of Ignorant Tea Party Pisspots and Old White Men with a Lot of Guns who continue to elect the likes of Rick Perry and Ted Cruz. *sigh*

  18. Ortizzle--Oh, we have our gun nuts, too, believe me. Lots of them although the biggest concentration of the TX-type live in SOH.

    NEO has mostly gangsta gun owners. (Like that's any better...!)

    Glad you like my kitchen. I do, too. I just wish it were larger.

    fauxprof--I love ricotta, but you're right--tough to just "use up." It's good in pancakes. It's good stirred into spaghetti sauce. It's good whipped with cinnamon and sugar and spread on bagels. There. LOL.

    Giada drives me nuts, but the cookies sound lovely.

  19. My only defense ... "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." I wish petting Sonny would help me focus. ;-)


  20. Maybe someone who handles the artwork bet someone that they could put random vegetables on the packaging and nobody would say anything. If they're still working, I guess they were right! : )


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