Friday, March 28, 2008

Pull Tab to Open

I have recently discovered a light and delicious lunch option: the Panini. These are yummy little low calorie (around 330 each) sandwiches available in the frozen food aisle at your local supermarket of choice. On Monday, while perusing said frozen food section, I saw that the Healthy Choice version of these was marked half price, so I said “giddy up” and had a meal for just $1.79. This was so convenient and tasty, that I purchased a few more Paninis during my next shopping trip (the Lean Cuisine version this time, for alas the sale had ended).

While my first attempt at cooking a Panini was uneventful, I found that I was totally unable to open the box the second time around. Perforations were clearly visible, but I could not seem to decipher where to begin, and I ended up mangling my box, partially maiming my Panini. Unfortunately, the Panini comes with somewhat elaborate directions for a frozen food item, presumably to achieve a grilled consistency to the bread rather than the soft gooey mush typically obtained by microwaving. In the process of mauling my box, I also ripped the “patent pending” silver tray which is supposed to be placed on top of the box and under the Panini during cooking. As I searched for the cooking time on the side of the box, a small printed tag caught my attention. It said “Pull tab to open.” Duh.

I actually had two frozen meal mishaps this week, and I learned of an interesting phenomenon. After dropping my Lean Cuisine Pesto Pasta with Salmon, the cooked spinach took on a distinctive liquid-like behavior as it literally splashed all over me and the kitchen at work. However, it returned to its typical consistency of gloppy green slime shortly after impact, making it a joy to clean. Several hours later, I noticed spinach in my hair when I looked in the mirror. And you thought it only got it your teeth.

Anyway, assuming I have not scarred myself for life, I think I will add frozen meals to my daily rations. My sandwich was good, but a little mushy. I assume this was “user error” and I do not blame Lean Cuisine. I even added “Panini” as one of my lunch options on my spreadsheet.

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