Friday, May 26, 2006

Kraft Dinner

So, I'm just doing some nutritional slumming today and eating kraft dinner for lunch (for those of you in the US, that would be the inferior non-Kraft brand maccaroni and cheese), and it reminded me of a funny story. I think of this every time I make Kraft dinner.

I used to work at this garden centre, and I was the only white employee there (and the only one born in Canada). The family that ran the place was from Taiwan, and the other employees were all from India. I usually made and ate my lunch in the office with the Taiwaneese family.

One day I was in a hurry, and didn't want to bother making a sandwich, so I grabbed a pot, a box of KD, and a little container with some milk and butter. At lunch time, my boss was curious because I was boiling some water on her hotplate. She became even more interested when I took out a box and dumped some noodles into the pot. By the time the noodles were boiled, she and a family friend who hung out at the garden centre when he was in Canada came to watch what I was going to make. I explained to them that this was the Canadian version of instant noodles, and they ooed and aahed as I took out the butter and the milk, and they watched me mix it all together. I told them I had enough that they could try some, and you could see them getting more and more excited.

Then I took out the instant cheese packet and dumped it into the pot. Their faces fell. They were dismayed and a little bit disgusted that I had put powdered cheese on the noodles. I asked them if they wanted any.

My boss shook her head and said, "Ah, Jill, you forget. I'm a good Buddhist. I don't eat cheese." She and her friend walked away, shaking their heads and chatting in Mandarin. So much for intercultural understanding and experimentation.

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