Microwave Skillets

Kraft has added to its several varieties of just-add-chicken (or beef or tuna) boxed dinner mixes (which serve five) a separate line of Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Singles — complete shelf-stable dishes that go in the microwave for 60 seconds, after which you squeeze out and stir in the packet of cheese sauce. At one store, the new 9- or 10-ounce single-serve items were $3.29, and the five-serving just-add mixes were $3.54. With the $2 for the tuna or, say, $4 to $6 for the beef or chicken you just-add, the mixes actually cost between $1.10 and $1.90 per serving.

Of course, that lower dollar figure for the mixes doesn’t include any value for the time and effort involved in browning the beef or chicken (or draining the tuna) and cooking the pasta. On the other hand, based on the cholesterol and protein content on the singles’ nutrition labels, they contain nowhere near the amount of meat that you’d just-add to the mixes.

Lemon Oreo

How often can the overworked team charged with generating peculiar new Oreo flavors come up with them before they burn out? Golden Oreos Lemon Twist, the July contribution, has appeared less than a month after the previous one. Mr. Tidbit feels this is a worryingly brief interval.

In any case, Mr. Tidbit is unable to determine the significance of the word “twist” in this context. Nothing about the cookie or the filling suggests that there has been any twisting involved — unless “twist” refers to the manner in which some folks separate Oreos. But if that were the case, all of the many kinds of Oreos should be called whatever Twist.

Anyway, although Mr. Tidbit is pretty sure that this is the first time there has been a lemon Oreo, when he first tasted one it seemed extremely familiar to him. But what that tasting evoked was no recent cookie, but something more remote. Perhaps something from his childhood in faraway Milwaukee, from his days of eating cookies while reading Proust.

For the record, nothing similar happened to Mr. Tidbit when he first tasted the Oreo Triple Double Neapolitan.