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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dumb instructions or dumb instructees?

Welcome visitors from this week's Medical Grand Rounds. If you're wondering about the name of the blog, please look in the archives for the post of Wed March 8th.

Of late, there have been a few articles in the press about cooking and the average American's ability to cook. One of the topics was the "dumbing down" of recipe instructions. Instructions like cream, braise, saute have been all but removed from modern cookbooks. Or, like the Joy of Cooking, there is now a glossary with definitions of cooking terms. Tonight my husband and I tried out a new recipe. We decided to buy some frozen garlic bread to heat up and have with our dinner. I found the instructions very amusing. First we were to cook the bread as is in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Then we were to open the bread and cook it for another 5-7 minutes. The amusing part, was that they specified to place the bread "spread side up" when cooking it open. Is the average American home cook that stupid? It would make sense to cook it spread side up, otherwise it would make a horrible mess and likely burn. I think that deserves to go on the list of really stupid things on instructions. Like the instructions on the portable iron that say not to iron clothes while wearing them.

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