Above the recipe for basic pancakes in “How to Cook Everything,” Mark Bittman makes the comment, “Americans must have been sadly alienated from the kitchen for pancake mixes to ever have gained a foothold in the market, for these are ridiculously easy to make.”

I have to wonder what he would have to say about how alienated we are from this kitchen after seeing this product I noticed in the grocery store earlier today.

Yes, that’s pre-made, frozen grilled cheese in that box. The tagline reads “Pan-grilled taste in about a microwave minute.” I suppose a microwave minute is 120 seconds because the cooking directions say to microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds and then let it sit for 30 seconds.

This is why every kid, every person, needs to be empowered to cook. There are very few easier dishes to make than a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s one of the first foods I taught my boys how to cook on their own.

I’m not commenting on the quality of this product. I’m commenting on the fact that it exists. When making a grilled cheese takes less than five minutes, and it’s so easy, this seems like the product that says, “we’ve just given up on cooking.”

Parents and caregivers, make sure your children never have to resort to buying frozen grilled cheese because they don’t have the skills to make one. Please.

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