The heat has finally broken here, so I am excited to use the oven and stove again for longerthan a few minutes at a time. Tonight I’m making a feast–what you see here are white beans, pre-soaked and then simmered. They’ll be used in Mark Bittman’s , which seems to be making the internet rounds these days. I’ve been itching to make it, and while the recipe calls for two lemons and I have but one, I think it’ll be fine. I’m making focaccia to go with it; nothing fancy, just the foccacia I’ve made here before. With both of them, I plan to make pasta with a hearty mushroom and tomato sauce that I found in a Gourmet freebie–Weeknight Meals, I think it was called–discovered during the joy that is packing.Have I mentioned how much I hate packing? Oh, the happiness.Anyway, this feast is in honor of tomorrow being Mr. Pea’s last day at his job, a job he likes ok but which frustrates him more than it satisfies him, and the departure from which signals a lot of potential new things. So hooray for that.But as I waited for my pictures to upload on Flickr (my computer is waging a mutiny by routinely slowing down these days), I started thumbing through a coupon section from an old Sunday paper that’s being used as packing cushion for fragile things like vases. And I found this. I’ll enlarge it so you can see it:This ad….I don’t know. Weirds me out. Makes me kinda cranky. For one thing, it plays upon the fear of average working and middle class Americans of a looming recession, which, in all likelihood, will impact them more than other people. Things aren’t great right now, but technically, there isn’t a recession, but thanks for using it to boost your profit margin, FR. Anyway, above the photo is a receipt that proves this is a wise meal–that you can feed 4 for less than $10–and it includes pasta for $1.25, italian bread for $1.79, salad for 2.50, dressing for 1.59, and FR for 1.99. Grand total, $9.12. Ok. Now I know not everyone can/wants to make Italian bread or quick and easy focaccia, so I’ll let that go. Even the salad. But I guess what makes me kind of sad is that you could make a whole lot more for $9.12. Making your own sauce is going to cost you, on average, a buck and a half, so you’d get your 49 cents there, plus you’d be consuming less preservatives or whatever else goes into a jar of FR. Buying lettuce and a cucumber is likely going to set you back the same amount as “salad”. And you could make your own dressing, though I’m lazy and buy Newman’s Own all the time. But I also really like their generosity–buy three jars, get one free. Way to make an effort! I think it’s the pushing of the buttons that gets me. Pushing of the buttons in the name of profit, which is kind of what got us in this mess to begin with.Rant over. Sorry about that!