Friday, September 30, 2011

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Someone once told me that if you can't say something nice about something, then don't say anything at all.

I think that's good advice.

And it may just explain why an eerie hush fills the room whenever I happen to enter...

But enough about me.

In this week's post I will attempt to comment on a few topics. And if I can't say something nice, then you will have to endure the silence.

Bestselling Florida writers who are real people. I've had the privilege to meet and chat with a few great writers over the past couple of years. Sure, these guys hail from Florida, but they are no strangers to best-seller lists. Here's what impressed me: They were willing to chat with folks that loved their work. Why does that impress me? Because I've met other artists who couldn't give a rat's ass about the "little folk" who wanted to express their appreciation for the artist's work and how it added to their lives. Of course they overlook the fact that it's these "little folk" who buy the art that gives these snobs an opportunity to appear before the cameras and commence to snubbing the same "little folk" that put them there. So, here's a hat's off to Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey and Randy Wayne White. Great writers who are also real people. I'm sure there are more, I just haven't met them yet.

Artists who despise those who pay their rent.

Locally grown tomatoes and other produce. By locally grown I'm talking about the produce you grow in your own backyard. Back in the day, when we had some real land, my wife planted a garden that produced wonderul tomatoes, squash, peppers, corn and watermelon. When we eventually moved to the inner city, we didn't have that option. Nor did we in the suburbs. The next best thing? Visiting local markets (and even good grocers) who offered something much like that she grew in our backyard.

Florida mass-grown tomatoes.

McDonalds' coffee. Okay, leaving aside all the concern about fast food and the ubiquitousness of this particular franchise, the fact is, McDonalds serves up some great Joe. I know, I know, there are legions of fans for the offerings of that other ubiquitous franchise called Starbucks, but I for one, always thought that their bitter and over-priced coffee tasted like...oops...I almost violated my principle. So...back to Mickey Dee's coffee. It's great and at a great price.

Starbuck's coffee.

Real frozen veggies. I've been a fan of frozen veggies since I learned to mash them with my gums as an infant. Sure I love fresh, but oftentimes frozen can be fresher. Steamed or nuked, I love most of them. And in soups? They can be a life-send. No salt. No addititves. Just the real thing. Gotta love it.

New-fangled processed steamed or boil-in-the-bag-with-sauce frozen veggies.  

Pasta dishes made from scratch. How easy can this be? Boil some noodles and add a simple homemade sauce (or yes, even from a jar or can.).What will it take? 10 or 15 minutes? It's fed generations and it's fed it well. Here's to simple food!

Processed pasta dishes in a can or the frozen food aisle (can you say Chef-Boy-R-You-Kidding?)

Chicken Goujonettes. This is the original bite-sized chicken recipe created by the French. Real chicken breast fillets pounded and sliced into strips, a wholesome egg and butter coating, seasoned with spices, and dredged in breadcrumbs, then sauteed in oil (rather than deep fried.) Great for lunch, dinner or snacks.

Fast food chicken nuggets.

This is a start. I know I will think of more. But again, enough about me. What inspires you to speak out? And what drives you to silence?

Let's hear what you have to say. But remember, if you can't say something nice...



  1. ChocoVine: I just tasted it today at a friends fall bar-b-que. It was a dessert in itself. I could only drink about an eighth of a cup because it is so rich, but very worth the taste.

  2. I liked this post--like a list post but better. I love your writer's voice. I totally agree about the coffee--although I still go to Starbucks for the specialty drinks and to feel cool, hip and superior.


  3. @Emmy. Have never tried this. Just may have to.

  4. @Alaiyo Kiasi-Barnes. Thanks for the kind words! And thanks for your thoughts on feeling cool, hip and superior - loved it! :-)

  5. Such a clever post! What a way to say a ton without opening your mouth.

    I'm not going to say anything about readers who leave the following comment on food blogs, "Eeeewwww!"

  6. @Jackie. Thanks! (And fortunately, I don't think I've garnered any "eeeewwwws" recently, lol)

  7. You are right... McDonald's does serve up some great Joe. I especially like their Iced Coffee. And the big one is $2. Much friendly on the pocket book. Although, sometimes I have to spoil with a Starbucks. ;)

  8. @Christine. Of course! Almost forgot about the iced coffee! Went thru a lot of that this summer here in Fla, :-D

  9. Homemade Warm Cookies

    A perfect balance of flavor, sweetness, soft gooey insides and crispy outsides. There isn't much better than cookies recently out of the oven and a nice cold glass of milk.

    Store-bought "Soft" Cookies

    Your Post

    Humorous, light-hearted and a delightful read. It also includes some great tidbits about where to get stuff and where to avoid it.

    Complainers Without Humor

  10. @Charlene. Oh man, this is too funny. You are certainly in the groove (or at least my groove.) Perhaps we should tag-team on a blog sometime, :-D.

  11. I was pleasantly surprised with the coffee at McDonald's, and great value too. I'm 100% with you on this. Though I also enjoy a Starbucks from time to time...

    Expensive and pretentious coffee.

  12. @the food dude. Yes...McDonald's coffee is very good and a great value (tho' not quite as good as the also-inexpensive Chock Full of Nuts I grew up with in New York). And I, too, have enjoyed a visit to Starbucks from time to time. If I needed to impress and if someone else was buying... :-)

  13. What a fun post! I too have a secret love for frozen veggies!

  14. @Emily Malloy. Pssst. We'll keep the secret between us, :-)

  15. I agree nothing wrong with frozen veg at all.

  16. Thanks for the kind words, and following my blog! I'm a new follower here, and I LOVE the way your write. I had to giggle over my coffee this morning (just some good 'ole folgers today).

  17. @Aimee. Glad it brought a morning smile, Aimee. I hope you baked up something nice to go with that coffee. :-)

  18. @Chef Anna. Thanks! Please feel free to drop in often!

  19. Here's something nice ... Starbucks makes a really great drain-water tasting coffee at a price that I would so love to be able to afford. And I do agree that MacD has real good coffee these days.

  20. Maravilloso blog, me encanta es muy interesante!
    Por aquí me quedo a seguirte!
    Feliz miercoles!
    Un beso grande desde Madrid,

  21. @Ping. Man, this is too funny! I've got to learn how to 'say things nice' this way. LOL

  22. @igloo cooking. Gracias, Nieves. Feliz miércoles a usted, también!

  23. Great post Warren! Although I totally agree that if you can’t say anything nice you shouldn’t say anything at all, it is not easy sometimes.
    What do you do when your opinion is being ask? Will you pretend to say something nice or try to not to hurt someone’s feelings by being honest. It’s quite difficult. For example, my mother in law can’t cook that well so normally I don’t say anything about her cooking except when she has a good day and the food tasted good. If I like it I’ll compliment about it. If it is bad I just eat less and not say anything at all. It sort of works, but I rather tell her that it doesn’t taste so good so next time she can improve. What do you think?

  24. I see we agree on much more than three of the major food groups.

  25. @marye audet. In that case, I think you should make it a point to drop in often, lol.

  26. Kohana Coffee - one of my favorite artisan roasters from here in Texas... you should try it sometime. AH-mazing


    Chipotle - I know, it is so yesterday but i cant get enough of that smokey heat

    Wendy's Frosty

    Sonic Pumpkin Pie Shake - my not so secret sin and current addiction. Please send intervention... or a tentmaker to design my spring wardrobe

    Hot Dogs

    Hots Dogs - yes I have a love hate relationship with this evil item...especially when slathered in chili or sauerkraut and followed by a root beer float

    Great blog!

  27. Kohana Coffee is on my list.

    Chipolte? I'm all over that. So yesterday or not. (I have a wonderful chipolte shrimp recipe that I sometimes use in my shows).

    Sonic Pumpkin Pie Shake? Help is on the way!

    Hot dogs? I'm already drooling. Especially since you had to go and mention the root beer.

    Oh...and Monsanto? Wendy's Frosty? Hot dogs? No comment (as per my rules). Except maybe the dogs. Now pass that chili, will ya? :-D