Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bay Leaves - the Sea Monkeys of the Culinary World

If you think I'm not still seething with anger over being conned by Sea Monkeys, you'd be completely wrong.

I can feel my heart rate elevate every time I even THINK about a Sea Monkey.

I remember the packaging, with the little seahorse looking creatures with crowns on them, prancing around in their little sea monkey palaces, and I remember DISTINCTLY anticipating the joy a little bowl of swimmy royalty was going to bring me. All I had to do is add water. 

Freaking liars.

I can also tell you that the heartbreak which ensued when I did NOT get oodles of crown wearing Sea Monkeys, or even one TWITCH out of the lame, clearly expired shrimp eggs is vividly burned into my memory as the precise moment in my life when I stopped trusting human beings completely and put all my faith into animals. Real animals, not Sea Monkeys. I have yet to hear a story about a border collie tricking a small, impressionable little girl into buying dried shrimp eggs on the premise she'd have a castle full of lively sea monkeys.

If you know of such an instance, please let me know and I'll rethink my position.

Well I've recently taken a stand on something equally important - the Sea Monkeys of the culinary world - bay leaves.

Oh, please - before all you devotees start in, please know I recently conducted a very well controlled psychological experiment on Facebook, the result of which is exactly the premise I started with. Bay Leaves do nothing for food. Every single koolaid drinking bay leaf user admitted that they cannot, in fact, describe what they THINK bay leaves do for their dishes, and not ONE of them conducted a controlled experiment, in which they made one pot of nekkid stew and one with sea- er, bay leaves in it and objectively compared them.

They just roll along, doing what someone told them to do, and adding bay leaves with no EVIDENCE.

I reject ALL sea monkeys. Even the ones in your soup. I will not succumb to this cooking chicanery. 

My heart has a scar in the shape of a sea monkey, which will not allow me to love a fake food enhancer.

Instead, I choose puppies. 
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10 comments:

  1. I don't always get a chance to comment but I just love reading your posts!

    Cute card!

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  2. LMAO! I will, however, tell you that bay leaves DO, in fact, impart a very special je ne sais quoi to the dishes that call for them. But no, I have not conducted an experiment, because it's rare I make even ONE dish, much less two. Pffth. I suggest you call Bobby Flay and ask HIM to do the experiment.

    Come on in, the Kool Aid is just fine.

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  3. LOL.....I just love you, my friend. I do have to tell you though...my beagle tricks her brother and sister on a regular basis....every time she wants the pillow and they are on it she acts like she wants to play with them and as soon as they get up she steals the pillow. Hrrmmmmmm....yep, a trickster for sure ;)....as for the bay leaf thing, I have nothing to add in either direction, but I sure did enjoy reading your post. :)

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  4. You know I love your blog, right? I comment often to tell you so. And I am totally with you on the blasted sea monkeys. I have emotional scars over them also. But I will pray that your bitterness will not carry over to my beloved bay leaves. You mustn't turn against them - your food will be missing a very important flavor. My mother told me so - and she wouldn't lie to me.. right?

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  5. Sea monkeys, never heard of them! They must have been an American phenomenon that didn't make it over here - and maybe for that I should be grateful! I do love your little puppy, but what's this heresy about bay leaves not imparting any flavour!. Seriously, ask my DH. He's always asking me not to use them. Try making a chowder without and tell me you don't notice the difference. Or a South African Bobotie... But like good inks and bad inks, I think some bay leaves are better than others :D.
    I'll make an exception in the case of a recipe I tried for Sicilian caramelised onions - I don't think that finely chopped bay leaves added anything at ALL to that, and I spent more time picking the bits of leaf out than I did eating the onions.

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  6. Korin: I too have sneaky puppies! My male doxie plays the same trick on his sister as your beagle, but it's always for the raw-hide. :) Then he'll wind up with two raw-hides, and his sister is looking at me as if to say "Moooommmmm.....he took my bone!"

    He also attempts to trick me into feeding him a second dinner every night. My hubby will feed them at 6:00, but the next time I enter the kitchen, he will go straight to the pantry and sit by the door so I'll think he hasn't been fed! LOL

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  7. Lydia, I was at Toys R Us Friday buying toys for Toys for Tots, and saw boxes of sea monkeys there. I thought of you, and did not buy any for the kids. ;)

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  8. My eyes! My eyes!!! Oh the horror, you are bringing back night terrors from my childhood Lydia. I had some beloved sea monkeys, well, at least I did until my evil mother was on a cleaning spree and in one swift move her elbow toppled their castle off the windowsill to the kitchen floor and right up into the vacuum. I was horrified.... come to think of it, my pet bird, Sam, died a strange and mysterious death too. Hmmmm... I will have to ponder my mother's mischievious ways and her propensity to make my pets disappear.

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  9. I'm with you on the Sea Monkeys. Arggghhhh!

    But ... if & when I do make another pot roast ... it will always include a couple of bay leaves. ;-)

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  10. I so agree with you re: the Sea Monkeys. Argggggggggggghhhhh!

    However m'friend, if & when I do make another beef pot roast or regular beef roast ... it will have to include a couple of bay leaves. We can still be friends though. ;)

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