Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

Swanson Stuffing Baked Turkey

With the Christmas season coming very soon (read more on the blog to see my feelings about that particular holiday), my mind began to turn to turkey. The turkey is one of those animals that we don't really think about when we think dinner, except on Christmas and Thanksgiving, and that's really a shame. It's great tasting and it can be used pretty much everywhere in place of chicken. Now, I really like this stuff and I try to get my hands on it whenever possible. One day, I hope that my dream of Kentucky Fried Turkey will come true, but until then, I'll have to settle.

So, where am I going with this whole turkey-based treatise? Well, I happen to have a friend who knows that I love turkey, and wants me to die. To that end, they've picked up the Swanson Stuffing Based Turkey meal for me. Now, compared to last week's entry (Michelina's Zap'ems Taco Bites), this stuff is a veritable cornucopia of food. Let's go through the list, shall we?

Why only Turkey, Stuffing, Potatoes and Beans are capitalized is a mystery to me.
Why only Turkey, Stuffing, Potatoes and Beans are capitalized is a mystery to me.

Included in this meal is:

  • One (1) stuffing breaded turkey cutlet in gravy
  • One (1) serving of green beans
  • One (1) serving of mashed potatoes
  • One (1) 'brownie'

Now that's a good variety. Now, I didn't have huge expectations when I got this box, but on opening it up, I felt my heart drop just a little in response to the contents. Just look at the picture over there for a second. Now, I know the picture doesn't really show it well, but the 'brownie' was kind of plunked there in the middle of its partition when the package was created, so I'm going to get chocolate in my mashed potatoes. Unlike Reese's, these are two great tastes that don't go together.

You observant readers will wonder why I keep putting apostrophes around the word 'brownie'. Well, when I opened up the package, I realized that the 'brownie' wasn't cooked yet. It was still batter, frozen in its plastic cocoon. Yeah. According to the box, it's supposed to bake in the microwave in three and one-half minutes, which is two minutes shy of the cooking time for everything else. Now, I've baked for a number of years, and I can honestly say that I've never heard of baking in the microwave. Mainly because the ol' nuker isn't capable of actually baking, it just kind of boils everything. But that's ok, right? I mean, aren't old British puddings boiled? This can't be all that bad, can it?

So, I threw the box in the microwave and began the cooking process, while I started prepping for the review. So, while that's cooking, now would be a good time to review the rules, which I am honor-bound to follow:

  • Rule #1:
    I must follow cooking procedures exactly as they're shown on the container. I will not deviate from those instructions in any way, and I must prepare food in the fastest manner presented to me.
  • Rule #2:
    I must consume everything that comes with the meal. No hiding of disgusting parts will be tolerated. (In the unlikely event of bones or other inedibles, allowances will be made).
  • Rule #3:
    To make sure my palate is completely free of obstructions, I may only be allowed either water or alcohol. Alcohol does not include fancy-pants fruity girly drinks.
  • Rule #4:
    All food will be graded by smell, taste and mouthfeel, with less offensive qualities receiving higher marks. At the end, each part is receives an average score. The full meal is graded by the average score of each component. Appearance of the food is not graded because, let's face it, they all look pretty bad.
You got potato in my brownie!  You got brownie in my potato!
You got potato in my brownie! You got brownie in my potato!
A gun would be quicker and probably taste better.
A gun would be quicker and probably taste better.

Ok, now that the formalities are done, let's look at the nutritional info on the box. This lovely little box contains 28% of my daily fat and 40% of my daily sodium. Sweet Jesus. 4% of this stuff is pure fat. That's a great start to what I'm sure will be an entirely enjoyable meal.

So, first out is the 'brownie'. Look at it. Isn't it lovely? No, of course it isn't. It resembles a very fluffy turd, and although you can't smell it, let me assure you that it isn't pleasant. It's got a really strong, chemically-chocolate smell, with this acidic undertone. It also quivers when I poke at it with a knife. I don't think brownies are supposed to do that.

Taking the rest of the container out, you can see that some chocolate from the 'brownie' has indeed tainted the potatoes, and there's still some of it clinging to the inside of the container. It reeks, and I'm really happy to move everything out onto a plate to get a sense of civility about this whole event.

Postmodern Consumer Bourgeosis Bullshit.
Postmodern Consumer Bourgeosis Bullshit.
Stuffing Baked Turkey in Gravy

If this was ever baked, any sense of crispness to the whole thing has been destroyed by the gravy, which is greasy, but on the whole, ok. The breading itself is wet and slimy, which doesn't give anything to the dish. In contrast, the turkey is under seasoned, and frankly, I can't tell if it is turkey. It could be chicken for all I know. The gravy definitely helps add flavor to this. I'd best describe the sensation of eating this as wrapping three day old leftover turkey in a slice of wonderbread and passing it through a running faucet before eating.

Smell: 7/10
Taste: 4/10
Mouthfeel: 3/10
Total Score: (4.7/10)

Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
Green Beans

I want it known for the record that I love green beans, when they're fresh. When they're canned in that noxious fluid that seeps out of them, even after cooking, I go limp. That being said, I'm about as flaccid as a octogenarian when his Viagra prescription runs out. To add insult to injury, they somehow felt that by adding about a cup of sugar to these things, they would taste better. I gagged a few times trying to get these down.

Smell: 2/10
Taste: 1/10
Mouthfeel: 6/10
Total Score: (3.0/10)

Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are some of the easiest things to cook. How they could fuck it up, is beyond me. Hell, these go beyond instant mashed potato flakes, which I actually find good. These things have no texture and no taste. I could be eating wallpaper paste for all I know. I piled copious amounts (about 4 tablespoons, all I could get out) of leftover gravy from the turkey onto the potatoes in order to swallow it.

Smell: 5/10
Taste: 5/10
Mouthfeel: 3/10
Total Score: (4.3/10)

It's showdown time.
It's showdown time.

Now it's high-noon at the OK Corral. I'm Wyatt Earp, and this 'brownie' is suspiciously like Frank McLaurey. I will concede one point: the 'brownie' did indeed rise when in the microwave, but it remained up until this point a semi-gelatinous structure, and if I live to be a hundred and see the second coming of Christ, I will still not believe that this was an actual brownie.

This marks the first occasion in my life, where something I was eating actively tried to kill me. This 'brownie' decided that while I was swallowing it, to cling to the inside of my throat and cut off my air supply. I managed to finally drown it with a good slug from a nearby bottle of gin, which after a heart stopping moment of non-action, finally flushed the accursed thing into my stomach.

Overall, it tasted like cheap chocolate, so it has that going for it, and the chemical smell had faded completely, so it actually smelled like a brownie should. I'm still convinced that this is a strange new evolution of black pudding, and if I ever build a dungeon, I will protect the treasures within from adventurers by raising and breeding more of these 'brownies' and letting them run loose within.

Smell: 7/10
Taste: 7/10
Mouthfeel: 1/10
Total Score: (5.0/10)

The Totals:

Smell: 5/10
Taste: 4/10
Mouthfeel: 3/10
Total Score: (4/10)

Bottom line is this: apart, this stuff is for the most part awful, together, it's pretty mediocre. I guess it's like some culinary equivalent to a special-ed version of Voltron.

Ok, coming up next time is my first heart attack, and by that, I mean it'll be time to review the Hungry-Man Sports Grill Beer Battered Chicken and Cheese Fries dinner. I can already feel my arteries closing.

Fuck up my heart will ya?
Fuck up my heart will ya?

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