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Neglected Kitchen: I've Felt Unwanted Since You Gave Up Cooking

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A recent Nielsen study showed that Americans spend just 30 percent of their grocery money on fresh foods. Europeans, meanwhile, spend 53 percent and Asians spend a whopping 60 percent.

Forget the usual excuses -- a recent study of at-home dining in Los Angeles showed that dinners made up of convenience foods don't really save any time compared to dinner made from scratch. And 76 percent of the meals where the whole family was at the dinner table were cooked using fresh ingredients. Even Michelle Obama approves. Only this voicemail recently left on your phone suggests that someone else is even more upset than she is about your current habits. Here's the transcript:

Hi there -- it's your kitchen.

I really wanted to talk about this in person, but you haven't been through in a while, and the last time you were here, I tried to get your attention, but you couldn't hear me over the groan of the Keurig machine, so I thought I'd try calling. But I guess you're busy. Maybe at the grocery store! That would be cool! Anyway, voicemail it is.

Here's the thing: I feel neglected. I don't mean to complain. I know I owe everything to you. And I shouldn't be ungrateful. It's just ... I feel sad.

You come by less and less often. When you do walk in, usually you're just heating up Trader Joe's mac-n-cheese in the microwave or using that damned Keurig machine, which I'm now actually convinced is trying to sabotage me, to make a quick cup of coffee. You hardly ever cook a whole meal from scratch. I miss the days when you used to sweat over the cutting board for a half an hour at a time, chopping zucchini and potatoes and and ginger and tofu for stir-fry. I didn't even mind that it got my got my walls spattered with garlicky canola oil and made me smell funny all night!

For a long time, I felt like there was something wrong with me. That my shabbiness and the way you couldn't open the plate cabinet and the liquor cabinet at the same time annoyed you. Also the slowness of the old coffee machine. (I guess the Keurig isn't all that bad. At least it gets you in to see me. And keeps you away from Starbucks.)

But it's not me -- it's you. The fact that you spent all this money renovating me and then, after a brief period of enthusiasm, went back your old lazy ways, proves that. Why can't you be more like the humans in Asia and Europe, and cook a real meal once in a while?

I may be invisible. But so are the rest of American kitchens. And together, we form an invisible army. We will take back what is ours -- the dining room. With fire and blood!

Err... well, actually, that may have been an exaggeration, I guess. Maybe I should cool it on the HBO? But still, you get the point. I'm lonely. Come back to me.

OK, well, I guess that's it. Give me a call back. Or just swing by. You know where to find me. I hope.

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