An Open Letter To Meijer

Dear Meijer Corporation:

I love you guys. You guys are great. I know it's tradition for Internet "open letters" to be extended complaints, but nah, you're great.

But you know, I do want to air just one tiny grievance. 'Cause this is the Internet and all, and that's what we do here. But rest assured, it's just a tiny little thing. Hardly worthy of note. But I thought I should point it out anyhow.

I recently found myself low on a couple of ingredients, and stocked up at Meijer. Specifically, these ingredients:

Now, again, no complaints about the goods themselves. Nice price compared to the competition, good quality.

But... might I just observe that on the off chance that one is trying to make a French chicken recipe that calls for 16 ounces of white wine, that there is the teensiest, tiniest chance that someone might not necessarily end up with the desired good?

I mention this out of purely academic interest of course. A purely abstract exercise in marketing and visual design only. I have a wide-ranging set of interests in such things that caused me to just, you know, notice this, and randomly post about it.

On an entirely unrelated note...

Entirely Unrelated

I managed tonight to claw away our household's title for Worst Meal Ever.

I promise you, this has nothing to do with that picture whatsoever. Or that bottle of White Wine Vinegar that was completely full and unopened, say, this time yesterday.

My wife made an early strong entry with her Pizza à la Cardboard, I believe in our first year of marriage. In case you'd like to try this one at home yourself, here's the recipe:

Pizza à la Cardboard


  • Prepared Store Pizza with a Cardboard Round.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fahrenheit, Kelvin, Celsius, your choice, really.
  2. Place pizza in oven, leaving it on the cardboard.
  3. Cook until smoke alarm tells you to remove it.

Black olives are a classic topping for this dish. Best paired with visiting inlaws.

It's actually even worse than it sounds, because it turns out the cardboard ends up smoking the pizza, as in, "mesquite grilled", "applewood smoked", that kind of smoked, and the cheese and the olives greedily absorb it all. And... well... you may notice that your local restaurant chains never proudly proclaim that their food is Cardboard Smoked! There is a reason for this.

Not very long after that, I made a credible pass with "Army Somethingorother". The recipe as I recall it after all of these years:

Army Somethingorother


  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb hamburger


  1. Add water and flour to pan, with small amount of oil.
  2. Mix into a paste.
  3. Add hamburger and brown.
  4. Serve.

This dish is best served with a look of confusion as you ponder why somebody thought this was worth writing down, and is ideally paired with a freshly-emptied trashcan.

It's been over 10 years, and I've learned a lot about cooking since then. It is very possible that it actually called to mix the flour with butter, in which case it was trying to call for a roux. Even so, there's more to making a roux than just pouring flour into butter, and this recipe's instructions did not make this clear at all. As the Wikipedia entry mentions at the end, it might still have just been water, too. And, years later, looking back, even had we been successful in making a roux, a roux combined simply with browned hamburger is still a waste of perfectly good ingredients.

Today's dish was to be Coq au Reisling, which we've never made before. Instead we got Coq avec Douze Onces de Vinaigre. Or perhaps even Douze Onces de Vinaigre avec Coq. While we were both able to eat a couple of bites of this and swallow, as compared to the Pizza à la Cardboard which involved no swallowing at all, the judges unanimously agreed that the combination of the effort put into the meal and the value of the ingredients put it ahead of the previous reigning champion. The fact that this was several hours ago and my tongue is still tingling a bit from a chemical burn adds another couple of points to the total, too.

In my defense, my feeble, feeble defense, I would like to point out that I did grab the thing that said WHITE WINE in bold white letters. Who's to say that what's underneath that is important, anyhow?

As I look out into the future and survey the many meals we have yet to cook, I see there are good odds that somewhere out there is an even worse meal. And when that day comes and we meet this Meal of Infamy, my one hope, my one fervant desire... is that she made it, not me.