I have no shame, sometimes. You see, I’m trying to lose a bit of weight (again) and one of my time- honored tricks is to eat a small breakfast and then a Lean Cuisine for lunch. There, I’ve said it: the LC word. Not only does it seem to work for me, but it’s also very ADD friendly. Basically, I don’t have to cook at least two meals a day and sometimes even the third, when we often pick up a salad or other ready-made low calorie, low fat dinner during the summer months. So, this plan accomplishes two things: avoiding cooking and losing weight.

The other day, I chose a Lean Cuisine lunch favorite; Chicken Fried Rice. Partly because it feels like a bit of indulgence to eat “Chinese Food” for lunch and also because the microwave time is about 2 minutes shorter than their other meals. Spending 4 minutes preparing lunch is about my max.

You, my dear readers, already know how much I hate to cook and how my lack of basic executive functioning skills prevents me from shining in this area. Yet, I *can* multi-task during meals. In this case, it’s needing to read something while eating (any Freudian types know why?), so imagine my surprise when I picked up the Food Section of my local paper and read this headline, while enjoying my pseudo Chinese feast:

“Be the Boss of your Sauce

Curious to know what that meant, I read further:

Don’t thoughtlessly dump store-bought condiments on top of your burger. Try Mango Mint Dipping Sauce, Apricot-Bourbon Mustard or LB Steak Sauce.

I nearly choked on my thawed, barely warmed chicken, rice and peas. (note to self: add an extra 30 seconds when heating).

You mean, people actually make marinades and rubs from scratch? Isn’t it hard enough to: remember to buy beef, breadcrumbs (or whatever else one throws into raw hamburger to make it tasty), prepare it for the grill, remember to turn ON the grill, figure out side dishes, remember to BUY (and) make them, and time the whole thing so it comes out somewhere around dinnertime? And now I am supposed to whip up some fancy sauce to show Rachel Ray and Paula Dean that I am also a super chef?

I read on:

Eden Israel of Scotts Valley, Calif., began making mustard a couple of years ago to give as gifts, and her apricot bourbon mustard became an instant hit with family and friends. 

Excuse me. Mustard from scratch? Doesn’t that involve mustard seeds and a mortal and pestle? I have neither in my well poorly stocked kitchen.

Here’s another:

Ketchup-making requires more time and effort, but the payoff is that you can make a sauce with more intense, complex flavors than store-bought without using highly processed ingredients.

Since the editor of that piece was obviously asleep at the grill, I add my own correction:

Ketchup-making requires more time and effort, and who in their right mind has time for that when you are obsessively checking the grill to make sure the hamburgers haven’t turned into ½” pieces of black checker board game pieces and the corn on the cob isn’t morphing into Jiffy Pop? If you want more intense flavored sauce, for goodness sake-  add a teaspoon of chili sauce to the mix. That is, if the expiration date on the bottle isn’t 2005, like it is on mine.

Finally, the piece ends with:

Whether for dipping or drizzling, seasoning or slathering, making your own condiments can turn something as simple as burgers on the grill into a memorable and personal meal. No squeeze bottles required.

Ok, I’m sure it would be a memorable meal at my house because no one would ever believe that I could possibly pull off making a hamburger sauce from scratch.

Pass the squeeze bottles, please!

And Happy 4th of July and Canada Day!