**Disclaimer: I’m going to curse a lot in the post, because I don’t know how to talk about this topic without cursing, and because when I took the expletives out it was far less fun to read.
The year is 2018. A young food enthusiast, a hungry young woman, a hearty girl is scrolling through her favorite blogs to pass the livelong workday.
She happens upon a one pan meal post and is bit with debilitating ire.
She wonders who the hell coined the phrase “one pan meal” and its cousin “one pot meal” in the first place? It’s too difficult to pin down, she cannot pin it down after 20 minutes of googling! This causes her to discover that Betty Crocker was never a real woman, but a phantasm created by a bunch of shithead businessmen at General Mills trying to identify with middle class women across the country who resembled their wives, sisters and daughters whom they probably made less of an effort to understand.
The phrase “one-pan meal” is a frustrating euphemism for casserole, and searching for the origin of the casserole is a futile endeavor. She might search for the origin of the cassoulet, lasagna, or moussaka. She asserts that americans stole the traditional dishes of other cultures and fused them into an easier and shittier concept devoid of custom or nutritional benefit (that’s the American way!). (She admits that moussaka requires making a sauce and cooking ground lamb prior to assembly, and a cassoulet involves pre-cooking beans and the euphoric mess of duck confit).
Reading the Wikipedia page for casseroles, she is struck dumb by one sentence: “Cooking in earthenware containers has always been common in most nations, but the idea of casserole cooking as a one-dish meal became popular in America in the twentieth century, especially in the 1950s when new forms of lightweight metal and glass cookware appeared on the market.”
“One pan meal” is a fucking marketing ploy for selling cookery!
She feels delicious validation for her initial sense of fury at the usage of “one pan meal.” Those continually producing, or reading “one pan meal” content are cucks buying into a 70 year old sales scheme!
She thinks about the book she once bought as a child, Cooking with Foil. The blatant Reynolds Wrap advertising and obtuse understanding of gastronomy made her laugh repeatedly, yet she felt unable to convey the joke to anyone else.
But back to the tangent at hand.
A broader frustration roots itself… misguided language, perpetuating this beguiling notion that feeding oneself is a complicated and inaccessible activity. She thinks this bullshit is the reason most Americans don’t cook and our national cuisine consists of a variety of processed foods and sandwiches. The continued use of “one pan meal” suggests that all other meals require a collection of pots, bowls, soup spoons, ladles, grills, and fry pans.
Nearly everything can be a one pan meal with a bit of ingenuity. She would turn any skeptic to the Martha Stewart-cooking-pasta-in-a-frying-pan recipe.
In a final sad whisper she asks herself if she will ever live in an apartment with a dishwasher and be able to afford to use multiple pans and utensils to cook a meal.