The term "ping cuisine" is one that I recently picked up from the most unlikely source. At a dinner my great aunt’s new beau (a guy not on the good side of 70) told me he was into "ping cuisine". I've never heard the term and so he explained: "Ping cuisine is the microwave kind. Frozen microwave meals where the 'ping' sound of the microwave indicates the meal is done."
I was rather shocked that this accomplished businessman lived off "ping cuisine". As a recent divorcee he had no idea how to cook for himself – microwave meals saved his life.
I have always been violently opposed to microwave meals. My mom did all the cooking. I only saw it on TV when, Peggy Bundy from Married with Children, the poster mom for TV dinners, served up mystery cuisine of the microwave kind. The meals always reminded me of the food astronauts ate in space. It also struck me as kind of sad sitting there with your little compartments of vegetables and some meat product. I made a pact with myself then (at the ripe age of eight) that I would never ever eat microwave meals…
Ping, Ping, Ping
Of course, I have seriously changed my tune, since living away from home and cooking for myself. So I've to succumb to pinging. In my defence microwave meals have changed considerably. The days when the frozen meal had a "creamy" sauce that resembled glue and tasted like the box it came in, is long gone.
Microwave meals have stepped up in a big way. Why bother to cook when you can pop into your local Woolies and pick up a frozen feast from any part of the globe. Indian chicken korma, Asian noodle cups or "Steam It" meals for those diet suckers who believe it's healthy to just steam!
However, I draw the line with chicken mayonnaise in a tub or frozen ready made chicken mayonnaise toasted sandwiches! How unhealthy is that? Salmonella anyone?
Variety is the spice of life, so to all of you dedicated "pingers" out there, set yourself a challenge and cook something at least once a week. Because let's face it, there is nothing better than a good old home cooked meal and who knows, you might even enjoy it!