Let me take a moment to put on my “El Predicto” hat and take a look into the future. With the progress being made in the minimum wage, and just the overall increase in everything, I believe that going out to eat is going to get even more expensive. Face it, even fast food isn’t cheap anymore. I would argue that it never has been a bargain, but the convenience seemed to offset the price for most families.
In the search to feed our families, where will we look to? The supermarkets, grocery stores, and even the farmer’s markets. Looking to save a few of their precious dollars, people will actually go back to cooking more.
Today’s supermarket is a far cry from days gone by. They still offer a wide variety of products, but now they also offer for sale a wide range of ready-to-eat, convenient foods that make even the most inept cook look good.
One of the first things that might have grabbed your attention is the rotisserie chicken. For the most part, they are cooked fresh daily and range from pretty good to excellent; priced below raw whole chicken, these beauties have warded off more than a few of the hunger pangs of anyone needing a quick, easy meal. Most if these chickens are good enough to use for leftovers in salads and sandwiches.
But what about actually buying something and cooking it? Certainly prepared tomato sauce (marinara, spaghetti, and such) isn’t new. The best part of these is that they are certainly less expensive than making them from scratch yourself. Is it a crime to heat up some sauce and throw it on some pasta? Probably. But the only victim is you, and I really doubt anyone is going to call the police over this. But I do encourage you to do something to this product. Adding some chopped onions, fennel, garlic, or just about anything, is going to improve jarred tomato sauce. Try a small can of diced tomatoes and half cup red wine to help enhance the texture and flavor of your dish. And who doesn’t have a half jar of sauce in their refrigerator? Use it on your scrambled eggs or add a couple of tablespoons to a canned soup.
I also believe that supermarkets will become more educationally inclined. That is to say, it will become easier to find someone on the staff that can actually help you with your questions about the products they sell and how to prepare them.