Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Caveat emptor

Both my grandmothers were opposed to restaurants — eating at them, that is. For one thing, no restaurant chef could whip up food that truly tasted homemade, they used to say. For another, when you eat out you just never know what you're getting. More specifically, you never know who's handling and preparing your food, and whether they're, well, clean.

I could literally count the number of times I saw either of my grandmothers eat out. Special occasions, usually, and then they'd pick at their food, a look of consternation on their faces. Never, ever, would they eat at a fast food joint!

Needless to say, I don't have the same attitude about eating out. Sometimes eating out or getting takeout is my salvation. And though I'm not a fast food fan myself, my kids would live on Wendy's and pizza — and Taco Bell — if I allowed it.

But Nana was right. When you eat out, you just don't know what you're getting. The current E. coli outbreak at the Taco Bell chain is a good example. Nana cooked for herself and made just about everything from scratch. There's no hope of doing that in the context of my lifestyle. Though I have been known to make my own tacos.