Happy new year, clowns!
Boy, I didn’t think I’d make it to see 2016. You guys see what I eat on a weekly basis and it is very concerning to most people, including me. It is a miracle I am still alive, to be honest. I make a lot of poor decisions. I started 2016 with another bad decision when I went back to the toy store (this is the third time in the history of this blog) to look for some more culinary inspirations. A 34-year old man wandering around a gigantic toy store while wearing sunglasses isn’t creepy at all.
At this point, I know where all the food toys are now, so it is easy for me to shop for food at the toy store. As I rifled through the food toys, a brightly colored set of hanging boxes caught my eye (they were situated next to a heavily discounted toy called “Diaper Surprise”). These boxes were adorned with pictures of pizza, sushi, and cheeseburgers, and I stopped dead in my tracks.
I did not know that I would come to regret this decision.
The children’s food kits I found are from a company called Yummy Nummies (their website makes me want to shoot myself in the dick), and I picked up three versions: The Pizza Party Maker, The Best Ever Burger Maker, and the Candy Sushi Surprise Maker.
The name should have been a clear warning from the start. I firmly believe that the word “nummy” should be removed from the English language forever. If you have ever written or spoken the word “nummy,” including to a child, please go away and do not come back. The sight and sound of that word is worse than seeing your mother naked.
As I checked out at the register, I nervously said, “These are for my children.” I do not have any children. This was meant to be verbal camouflage to hide the fact that they were for me. The cashier just looked at me for a long moment and bagged my items wordlessly.
I became angry at myself for buying these kits when I came home. Sometimes I wonder what happened to me as a child to make me hate myself so much.
As I shook the boxes with a nummy rage, I whispered to myself, “Dannis Ree, you spent money that should be going to rent on food novelties for five-year old children. But now you must make these and write about them. Then, torch the boxes in a garbage can out back. Nobody should know you bought these things except for the entire Internet.”
One of the things that caught my eye was the small text stating “Food Ingredients Made in USA.”
I wonder if this is ever a crucial tipping point for people who are on the fence for buying these. The rest of the kit was made and assembled in China. I guess many Americans are convinced that Chinese people sit around in circles deciding to put toxins in food for the specific purpose of killing Americans.
I started with the Pizza Party Maker.
All the kits contain the same items, including trays, spoons, knives, cups, (all of these things are very small), and dry ingredients.
I immediately screwed up on the first instruction and I hadn’t even been drinking.
I dumped all the sauce powder, not the dough, into the dough powder tray. This type of typical Dannis Ree behavior may explain why I’m still unemployed.
Then, I screwed up the second step right away by pouring the entire contents of the dough package into the tray without measuring it using the square and circle scoops.
I did manage to microwave the dough properly afterwards. I am an adult. I should be able to read basic instructions. I did not feel good about myself at this point.
The tray makes four pieces of miniature pizza dough, even though the kit contains enough ingredients for 10. This means you have to rinse out the entire tray after you use it the first time. Don’t worry, you won’t want to use it more than once.
Next, you will need to create the sauce from the sauce powder packet by mixing the powder with water.
The white powder turned into a bright red sauce resembling ketchup as soon as water entered the equation. I found this very interesting, then I rubbed the remaining powder all over my balls.
I put the ketchup-looking sauce on the mostly raw pizza dough and nuked it again.
It looked more like one of those jelly thumbprint cookies than it did a tiny partially constructed pizza, but it is for children who don’t know anything in general.
Finally, I sprinkled the cheese from the packet onto the pizza base and regrettably shoved the artificial disc into my mouth hole.
The pizza dough was barely cooked on the outside, giving it a mealy underbaked cake texture in the center. The sauce has a classic dried oregano-spiked flavor, but it is so sweet that it tastes like an actual toy. The dried cheese is much like Parmesan from a shaker can, but it’s loaded with so much sugar that it tastes like a practical joke.
I tackled the Best Ever Burger Maker next. I did not have high hopes.
See that? You’re looking at powdered hamburger that is being combined with water. The powder smells like a beef ramen packet, but with a strange chemical note to it. After I checked the ingredients this made more sense — there’s no actual beef product in the powder. It’s not often I get to refer to something as “simulated meat dough.”
I mixed the bun dough powder and placed both mixtures into the designated tray spots, and microwaved the whole thing as instructed for 15 seconds.
I learned a lesson from the pizza and decided to microwave the abomination for another five seconds just to be safe.
The cheese powder reconstituted into a nacho cheese-like substance.
It’s more or less cheese powder from a macaroni box, though the resulting texture was a little more grainy. It reminded me of something that fell out of your mother’s crotch once.
You’re supposed to smear the cheese mixture onto a small wax paper rectangle that’s included in the kit.
However, when I say small, I mean small as fuck. Even my infant-sized palms make this piece of paper look tiny.
I wiped the cheese glop on the piece of paper with some difficulty and split it in half, hoping it would set up.
Spoiler alert: It didn’t.
There’s also a french fry portion of the tray you use to cook the fries separately.
If this whole endeavor sounds exhausting, that’s because it is. I’ve cooked multi-step French recipes that were simpler. They should provide a fifth of whiskey with this package for the adults supervising this bullshit.
The potato mixture comes out in one solid block, after which you chop it into little slices.
Even the easiest task is difficult — this thing crumbled as soon as I touched it. This is a metaphor for my entire life.
Here’s the ketchup powder mix.
No matter how long I stirred the mix, it would not stop being lumpy. There’s nothing that gives me a food erection faster than the words “lumpy ketchup.”
I assembled the whole mix, including the tiny cup of cola, and put it all on a plate to serve to Harvey and Mr. Bee.
After they sniffed it, they did not take a bite, because they are stuffed animals and do not consume calories to survive. I took the miniature burger down in one fell swoop and found myself getting pissed off, which is an awesome reaction to food. Both the bun and simulated meat are spongy in a starchy way; the meat, which is supposed to be the star of the show, does seem to have a beefish flavor, but it has a pancake-like texture. The cheese is also inexplicably sweetened, and the metallic overly sweet reconstituted ketchup dominates the entire bite. “Best burger” my ass.
The french fries, however, are fine — they taste like microwaved powdered potatoes.
The final kit was the Candy Sushi Surprise Maker.
It proudly proclaims that it’s “Bursting with artificially flavored cotton candy, watermelon, and orange flavors!” As a parent of imaginary children, that is not something I would prefer to feed them.
The counterfeit rice mixture doesn’t take much liquid and shrinks down from a large quantity of powder into a dense Elmer’s paste fairly quickly.
Since children are fond of eating boogers and paste in their formative years, I find this reasonable. For children, boogers are a fine delicacy. I have even seen plenty of adults eating boogers in their cars while they think nobody is looking at them. If you are one of these people I do not wish to kiss you but it’s probably too late.
The fish candy molds are pretty cute.
They come in two rectangular shaped fish slices along with a miniature fish shape. Once you hydrate the powder and pour it into the molds, the baby fish bits set up in the refrigerator for 10 minutes while you mess around with the remaining steps.
Here’s the interesting part: There’s a portion of this kit that involves modernist cuisine (sometimes called “molecular gastronomy”).
If you’ve ever heard of modernist cuisine or molecular gastronomy, it’s the fancy stuff you see on food TV shows where they use actual sorcery to create your tiny bites of food. These bites are often suspended in the air with magnetic waves, they give you handjobs, and are plated with tweezers and microscopes.
The mock fish eggs in this children’s food kit are created with specialized components; the little spheres contain sodium alginate, a compound you find in seaweed, while the liquid that solidifies them contains calcium lactate.
When you drip the egg droplets into the special bath, you call upon Ba’al, a pagan god that feasts upon your genitals while magically transforming liquid into loose solids, called “spherification.”
Ba’al solidifies the exterior of the suspended droplets, creating spheres that have a thin skin with a liquid interior, much like caviar. It’s a fun technique that you pay a lot of money for at extremely fancy restaurants. The Westboro Baptist Church is firmly against spherification.
Okay, I made that part up. But it’s just as dumb as calling a cooking trick “spherification.”
You’re supposed to form the fake congealed rice mixture into firm rectangles, but its texture prevents that from happening.
Instead, what you get is misshapen sugar blobs that stick to everything they touch, especially your fingers. That part doesn’t matter too much since you’re just layering the fish jelly candy on top of them.
The result is surprisingly cute.
Harvey loved to look at them. Mr. Bee could care less since it is candy fish and he is a bee that is supposed to enjoy honey. Also, they’re still stuffed animals. Too bad the candy tastes like Willy Wonka’s diabetic ass secretions. The puffy sugar rice mess has a strongly artificial cotton candy flavor, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world — it’s the gelatin watermelon fish. The fish tastes like an entire Bath and Body Works store jammed into one tiny edible object. While the imitation caviar adds a pop of entertaining moisture, it can’t undo a trainwreck.
As cute as this busted-ass diminutive toy store food is, this nummy shit may be among some of the worst edible material I’ve put in my mouth since I started this blog. And it’s actually supposed to be eaten.
Ever get angry from the taste of food? Neither have I. This is a new experience.
With that, welcome to 2016, dickfaces. This is the year of Dannis Ree’s culinary rage.