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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 2:19 pm | Partly Cloudy 63º


Paul Burri: Obsolete Recipes

The sizes and prices of food aren't what they used to be

Back in my gourmet cooking days, I amassed a pretty large file of recipes. I haven’t used them much since I remarried and discovered that my new wife is a far better cook. Besides, she won’t allow me in the kitchen anymore.

Paul Burri
Paul Burri

So, I haven’t done much cooking for a long time. But a week ago, I got the bug to prepare a meal, and that’s when I discovered that most of my recipes are obsolete.

How does a recipe become obsolete? Well, my chili recipe calls for a 16-ounce can of pinto beans. I went to the grocery store with my checklist and discovered there are no 16-ounce cans of pinto beans. There are 14.7-ounce cans, but no 16-ounce cans.

I also suddenly discovered that I can no longer buy a one-pound can of coffee. There are only 14-ounce cans. And those half-gallon containers of ice cream? Look closely — they now say 1-1/2 quarts. That’s 25 percent less than before.

On the other hand, the prices are somewhat higher than I remember. So we are getting double-whammied. We are paying a lot more for what seems to be the same but is actually — in many cases — a lot less.

It also seems to me that while we may be paying only slightly more for other things, the amount or quality of what we’re getting is a lot less. Magazines and newspapers are getting thinner and have less — or poorer — content.

Most things I buy don’t last as long — especially the ice cream. My belts are getting shorter. My new glasses don’t allow me to see as clearly or as far as I used to. My bathroom scale doesn’t have enough numbers at the high end, and my bathroom mirror doesn’t reflect a handsome young guy anymore. All I see is some old, bald, wrinkled stranger.

The good news is that my memory has improved. I can recall in excruciating detail things that happened to me in grammar school or on my first job. I would be happy to tell you about them one of these days.

Oh? I told you already? Several times?

Sorry, I have trouble remembering things like that.

— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer and iconoclast. He is not in the advertising business, but he is a small-business counselor with the Santa Barbara chapter of Counselors to America’s Small Business-SCORE. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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