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(The Atlantic)   Making dinner from ingredients purchased solely at Ikea. The potatoes and lox were great, but it was a pain assembling the meatballs without metric hex keys   (food.theatlantic.com) divider line 76
    More: Spiffy, Ikea Swedish Food Market, ingredients, potatoes, food writers, Scandinavian, Arctic Circle, James Beard Award-winning, Statue of Liberty  
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8685 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jan 2010 at 1:41 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-01-05 01:07:20 PM
Sometimes, when you endeavor to write an article such as this one, you hatch upon an idea that seems so quirky, so innovative and clever and fun, that you worry during the composition that you might be playing it too safe. You have, of course, the natural comic's understanding of the power of brevity, a keen comprehension of the importance of getting in, making the joke, and getting out before the real laughter has even started. You know that to belabor a point can lose your audience, leave them cold, leave them staring at you with a cold and sullen silence.

And yet, you worry. What, after all, of the writer who cuts himself too short? Who, out of fear of a fickle audience tuning out, self-edits to the point of losing the meat and heft that the piece actually requires? What if this is the time that, in cutting your word count by half, did you lose the very soul of what you intended to say? What if this is the time that you clipped away so much of the edge that the heart of the matter was lost? Did you cut too close to the quick?

Oh, the struggles. The questions? Is this the time? Is this the time that you've gone not too long, but too short? Is this the time that you've denied yourself the space you truly need to express your idea? Is this the time that you've allowed your own fear to control your creative energy?

The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. And you shall not fear. This time, you shall not fear. This time, you shall write, and you shall let the words fall where they may. This time, you will not doubt. This time, you will express the full breadth of your wit. You will compose, and you will draft, and you will add and watch the words grow upon the screen and this time you shall sit back and this time you shall post and this time you shall enjoy the full measure of your merit. Which is to realize, alas, that this was not the time.
 
2010-01-05 01:39:28 PM
i253.photobucket.com

:)
 
2010-01-05 01:44:26 PM
Cinnamon Rolls hot and fresh at Ikea.

Take that Dunkin Donuts'
 
2010-01-05 01:44:45 PM
Dude!

Swede!

ntrg.cs.tcd.ie
 
2010-01-05 01:46:01 PM
ikea has a cafe?

DNRTFA
 
2010-01-05 01:49:29 PM
So, somebody went to the food section of Ikea...and...bought...food?

wow.
 
2010-01-05 01:49:59 PM
Pocket Ninja - perfect!
 
2010-01-05 01:51:14 PM
Having lived in Denver for an aeon and now El Paso, I've never set foot in an Ikea.

I guess I could go in one while on vacation. But nah.
 
2010-01-05 01:51:43 PM
They make it sound like such a big deal.

Have you ever been to Ikea? There are never less than 200 people having a full meal there at any given time. They even have special holiday meals, veggie options, and weird traditional stuff that no one ever buys except the random Swede.

The best thing there is the almond cake:

www.crumbscraper.com
 
2010-01-05 01:52:00 PM
tuna fingers: Having lived in Denver for an aeon and now El Paso, I've never set foot in an Ikea.

I guess I could go in one while on vacation. But nah.


Ikea is like mecca.
 
2010-01-05 01:52:44 PM
Cue the "IKEA furniture is crap" elitists in 3...2...1
 
2010-01-05 01:53:24 PM
Never been to Ikea - is it worth it just for some lunch?
 
2010-01-05 01:53:25 PM
DontMakeMeComeBackThere: So, somebody went to the food section of Ikea...and...bought...food?

wow.


Agreed. I've purchased many things at the Ikea cafeteria, but not a single one of them would I actually call "food."
 
2010-01-05 01:54:08 PM
www.wyvern.org
/hot
 
2010-01-05 01:58:20 PM
evilbender.files.wordpress.com

Take it back and exchange it for a wobbly CD rack,
and some of those rancid meatballs.
 
2010-01-05 01:58:25 PM
Rev. Skarekroe: Never been to Ikea - is it worth it just for some lunch?

Depends on what you're used to paying. In Burbank, I think 12 meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a side of lingonberry jam is about 6 bucks. It's a pretty good deal in that neighborhood.

Oh, those cunning lingonberries.
 
2010-01-05 01:58:39 PM
Pocket Ninja, you are awesome.

The Atlantic used to be a fine magazine, with fine writers and even better editors. Why they have let the brand fall to this I'll never understand...
 
2010-01-05 01:59:45 PM
Apparently Ikea meals are as easy to assemble as their furniture. Their restaurant meals are both inexpensive and nourishing. I wish they would offer boat rides to their Southern Ontario locations.
 
2010-01-05 01:59:55 PM
Rev. Skarekroe: Never been to Ikea - is it worth it just for some lunch?

I don't mind going there with my girlfriend when we don't have much money. The one near me has a fairly decent eatery upstairs, then close to the registers downstairs there is the hotdog/cinnamon roll place. For $2 you can get 2 hotdogs, a bag of chips, and a soda. 50 cent hotdogs are awesome. One of these days I am going to achieve my life goal of eating $5 worth.

I sound fat, and poor.
 
2010-01-05 02:01:14 PM
DontMakeMeComeBackThere: So, somebody went to the food section of Ikea...and...bought...food?

wow.


Back in high school, my entire English class had a subscription to The Atlantic, and I continued mine for several years after. Has the magazine really gone this far downhill since then?

As for Ikea, I buy the lingonberry jam (yum!) and tend to keep the gravy packets kicking around for 6-12 months until I remember them and do up a dinner. I've trained my husband to make meatballs, so that's just as easy as frozen, and have found that roast asparagus goes wonderfully with the cream sauce. ...But you don't see me writing articles about it.
 
2010-01-05 02:02:03 PM
Ikea cafeteria is okay if you are hungry and you don't want to pay a lot for your food. It is family friendly with stuff for the kids.

And Ikea has lots of furniture in all types of prices ranges... those elitists can shove a Billy bookcase up their whatever. And textiles, and flooring and appliances...
 
2010-01-05 02:05:49 PM
The Angry Hand of God: Rev. Skarekroe: Never been to Ikea - is it worth it just for some lunch?

I don't mind going there with my girlfriend when we don't have much money. The one near me has a fairly decent eatery upstairs, then close to the registers downstairs there is the hotdog/cinnamon roll place. For $2 you can get 2 hotdogs, a bag of chips, and a soda. 50 cent hotdogs are awesome. One of these days I am going to achieve my life goal of eating $5 worth.

I sound fat, and poor.


Anyone that berates you for that life goal deserves a swift and decimating cockpunch.

And I'm a reformed fat guy.
 
2010-01-05 02:06:27 PM
I went to this IKEA two weeks after it opened and after shopping for three hours with my BF (my friend is one who likes to take her time)those damn meatballs were like magic sustanence. Cheap good food and the cakes kick ass. And everybody seems to enjoy working there which is rare these days.
 
2010-01-05 02:08:16 PM
My previous apartment was virtually an IKEA showroom. It was a tiny studio apartment, and I furnished the whole thing via multiple trips to IKEA.

Now that I've moved in with my girlfriend, whose furnishings were mostly from antique stores & garage sales...the juxtaposition of Shabby Chic and Modern Minimalism makes for an interesting atmosphere.

oh, and IKEA's food is bland & boring, and while that may be what I like in furniture design, I prefer the opposite in my foodstuffs. (Which is why I go to the Mad Mex across from IKEA when I visit IKEA in Pittsburgh.

/I hate Pittsburgh, I wish Cleveland would get an IKEA.
 
2010-01-05 02:09:08 PM
Pocket Ninja nailed it.

Damn, but that's a terrible article. I'd wager that your local college paper does a better job than that. Repetitious and trite language, poorly structured, no theme, no conclusion. This is what happens when a semi-celebrity writes the article and nobody has the balls to edit it.
 
2010-01-05 02:09:14 PM
Mea Culpa Mea Culpa

I don't think it means what you think it means.
 
2010-01-05 02:12:42 PM
I am addicted to the ABBA Kalles Caviar.

It is creamed fish eggs that comes in a toothpaste tube.

/cool story bro
 
2010-01-05 02:12:49 PM
Ikea's little food mart sells a "family meal deal" or something, where you get meatballs and gravy and lingonberries for a couple bucks off the regular price. They prominently display this. They also have shelves full of yummy but affordable appetizers, like pickled herring. So why someone thought it was article-worthy to assemble an "all-Ikea" dinner is completely beyond me.

(I've done the meal deal a couple of times, and it's not bad. Way cheaper than going out, but still probably costs a little more than cooking from scratch. Pick up a package of the latke-like things to go with your köttbullar.)
 
2010-01-05 02:14:27 PM
Um Yeah: I am addicted to the ABBA Kalles Caviar.

It is creamed fish eggs that comes in a toothpaste tube.

/cool story bro


I'll take a chance on that.
 
2010-01-05 02:16:11 PM
Close2TheEdge: Cue the "IKEA furniture is crap" elitists in 3...2...1

Well, it *is* crap. Is it functional? Yeah. Is it attractive? Some of it. Is it well-made? Hell no. It's basically prettier Wal-Mart furniture. And that would be fine, if it was REALLY CHEAP. But it's not.
 
2010-01-05 02:22:44 PM
realmolo: Close2TheEdge: Cue the "IKEA furniture is crap" elitists in 3...2...1

Well, it *is* crap. Is it functional? Yeah. Is it attractive? Some of it. Is it well-made? Hell no. It's basically prettier Wal-Mart furniture. And that would be fine, if it was REALLY CHEAP. But it's not.


I ain't gonna say IKEA has stuff to pass onto the grandkids but at least a lot of their furniture is made of actual wood, in the big box places you don't even get plywood anymore, it is all compressed cardboard and sawdust.
 
2010-01-05 02:24:27 PM
img695.imageshack.us
 
2010-01-05 02:34:08 PM
That article read like it had been translated into Swedish, then back into English again. It was like the things she was saying might have been charming and witty in another language, but somehow got lost in the translation.
 
2010-01-05 02:46:36 PM
We drove Ikea put of our town before it was even built, so I've never been in one. The city was going to use eminent domain to take people's homes for the Ikea. The people can win if we fight hard enough.
 
2010-01-05 02:50:54 PM
As a long-time shopper of IKEA/Target/other big box retailers for my home furnishings, I'm starting to see the appeal in finding things at lesser-known outlets. There's something disenchanting about hearing someone, upon walking into your apartment, "Oh, I saw that in the catalog", or "Wow, your place looks like a magazine".
 
2010-01-05 02:51:36 PM
"herring in mustard sauce" Mmmmm. At least the food isn't made in Asia.

"I sound fat, and poor."

"Anyone that berates you for that life goal deserves a swift and decimating cockpunch.

And I'm a reformed fat guy."


This. I'm a thin guy and I have random goals like that. Like eating 2lbs of 1/4lb $1 cheese burgers from BK. Which I finished, and felt like a champion, a slightly nauseous champion
 
2010-01-05 02:58:06 PM
Pocket Ninja: Sometimes, when you endeavor to write an article such as this one, you hatch upon an idea that seems so quirky, so innovative and clever and fun, that you worry during the composition that you might be playing it too safe. You have, of course, the natural comic's understanding of the power of brevity, a keen comprehension of the importance of getting in, making the joke, and getting out before the real laughter has even started. You know that to belabor a point can lose your audience, leave them cold, leave them staring at you with a cold and sullen silence.

And yet, you worry. What, after all, of the writer who cuts himself too short? Who, out of fear of a fickle audience tuning out, self-edits to the point of losing the meat and heft that the piece actually requires? What if this is the time that, in cutting your word count by half, did you lose the very soul of what you intended to say? What if this is the time that you clipped away so much of the edge that the heart of the matter was lost? Did you cut too close to the quick?

Oh, the struggles. The questions? Is this the time? Is this the time that you've gone not too long, but too short? Is this the time that you've denied yourself the space you truly need to express your idea? Is this the time that you've allowed your own fear to control your creative energy?

The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. And you shall not fear. This time, you shall not fear. This time, you shall write, and you shall let the words fall where they may. This time, you will not doubt. This time, you will express the full breadth of your wit. You will compose, and you will draft, and you will add and watch the words grow upon the screen and this time you shall sit back and this time you shall post and this time you shall enjoy the full measure of your merit. Which is to realize, alas, that this was not the time.


tl;dr
 
2010-01-05 02:58:53 PM
Actually, I really like their meatballs and the little potatoes, and the gravy they come with though I really don't want to know the fat content for it... They have a salad bar at the one I go to (Queensway, Toronto) and the garlic bread isn't bad either.

It's also pretty cheap & they have super-cheap breakfast specials though I'm never at an IKEA that early.

And yes, my husband and I actually went there once just to eat. Hey, there's not that many restaurants that serve Swedish meatballs.
 
2010-01-05 02:59:31 PM
radioman_: We drove Ikea put of our town before it was even built, so I've never been in one. The city was going to use eminent domain to take people's homes for the Ikea. The people can win if we fight hard enough.

To be fair, that has less to do with Ikea and more to do with shiatty laws.

If it was Walmart, this thread would be getting mighty warm right about now.
 
2010-01-05 03:03:05 PM
They have excellent meatballs. The SO said that when he went to Ikea in Europe, they had reindeer.
 
2010-01-05 03:11:46 PM
FrancoFile: Um Yeah: I am addicted to the ABBA Kalles Caviar.

It is creamed fish eggs that comes in a toothpaste tube.

/cool story bro

I'll take a chance on that.


New keyboard please
 
2010-01-05 03:13:24 PM
They have a grocery section? Not just a cafeteria? Seems an odd place to buy groceries...
 
2010-01-05 03:13:31 PM
The metric hex key is one thing, but it was a pain in the ass putting together a wine rack with about 20 bolts that were all made for a metric hex socket wrench.

I had to use a manual adjustable wrench while my power drill laughed at me from the corner.
 
2010-01-05 03:16:21 PM
Um Yeah: I am addicted to the ABBA Kalles Caviar.

It is creamed fish eggs that comes in a toothpaste tube.

/cool story bro


I've never quite trusted that stuff. I usually buy the $4 jar of herring roe on the shelf next to those tubes.

/I like the way the eggs pop in my mouth.
 
2010-01-05 03:19:15 PM
Amberwind: Um Yeah: I am addicted to the ABBA Kalles Caviar.

It is creamed fish eggs that comes in a toothpaste tube.

/cool story bro

I've never quite trusted that stuff. I usually buy the $4 jar of herring roe on the shelf next to those tubes.

/I like the way the eggs pop in my mouth.


Amberwind
, I've got some huevos ready to pop. Where's your mouth?
 
2010-01-05 03:19:27 PM
APPROVES
http://tinyurl.com/y8ld6qf
(copy and paste, NSFW)
 
2010-01-05 03:20:10 PM
realmolo: Close2TheEdge: Cue the "IKEA furniture is crap" elitists in 3...2...1

Well, it *is* crap. Is it functional? Yeah. Is it attractive? Some of it. Is it well-made? Hell no. It's basically prettier Wal-Mart furniture. And that would be fine, if it was REALLY CHEAP. But it's not.


I've only been to an Ikea once in my lifetime; I really hope I never have to go back (my wife talks about it - ugh).

I had watched something on Discovery channel (or TLC?), back when we had television; I liked some of the founder's philosophy on things, so I though I would give the one in Tempe a shot.

That was a bad decision.

Imagine a maze; one way in, one way out. Now, imagine you have a crowd behind you, pressing you onward. That wouldn't be such a problem, but you are nearly REQUIRED to only move in one direction, from the entrance to the exit (we stayed on the ground floor, never made it up to the upper floor where the displays were). See something that you like, but you want to compare it to something you saw earlier (but didn't pick up)? Trying to match styles/colors/textures? Trying to browse the store?

It is almost impossible to do; you have to move against this flow of people (all moving from the entrance to the exit), to get back to the other display. Doing this without a cart is difficult; with a cart it is nearly impossible. My wife and I were picking up a few items to decorate a small room in our house, we managed to get a cart full of stuff (probably had close to $300.00 worth of stuff), when it just became too overwhelming to move against this mass of human flesh. The store is purposefully designed this way; it makes no sense (the only explanation I have ever heard to make sense of it is that you are supposed to catalog shop at home or design shop in the upper floor, then grab the stuff you want as you pass it on the lower floor; seriously, if this was really effective here in America, land of the department store invention, don't you think we would have done it this way already?). We kept getting rude looks from other "shoppers", none of whom seemed to be shopping, just looking at crap and not buying it (or putting it in their carts). We were FED UP.

We ended up leaving the cart behind, attempting to make a "beeline" for the exit - except, WHERE WAS THE EXIT?

The place is set up so you can't leave without following the pre-determined path (imagine trying to grocery shop in this manner!), until we found the "secret"...

You see, employees seemed to appear and disappear, without following the path at all. So - we started to follow the employees, and discovered their "secret" trails between the dividers and stuff. Several times we were called out "Hey, you can't go in there", etc - after pleading with them to "please eject us from the store", with them giving us blank looks (Why would anyone want to leave...?), we just shouldered past them, until we came to the checkout area.

Bedlam! Madness! People everywhere! The only way to exit seemed to be through a checkout stand, but there were a ton of people in the way, none of them giving an inch. So, we did what any good person does during the height of the SARS "epidemic" - we faked heavy-duty, body-wracking coughs, full of phlemn and vigor, alternately wondering out loud "whether the doctor's prescription was right".

It parted the sea like Moses, and we made it back to our car (incidentally, we had to park it quite a distance away from the Ikea at a nearby fitness gym, simply because even with a parking lot the size of Texas, there still wasn't enough room for everyone - I've seen better parking at theme parks), and went home.

I am not even sure what the point is - everything I have ever heard and experienced with their products is exactly like everyone else has complained: crap products, with almost useless picto-diagram "instructions", stuff that falls apart with any actual usage, not much better than Walmart stuff (neither one seems to use "real wood" - in fact, Ikea seems to skimp in areas and rather than use solid MDF, instead used hollow core with MDF spans). I tend to wonder how safe their lighting products are, as well as how long one of their kitchen cabinet sets last.

You get what you pay for, I guess. Not worth it, IMO.
 
2010-01-05 03:25:55 PM
ErinPac: They have a grocery section? Not just a cafeteria? Seems an odd place to buy groceries...

They do. It's quite good, well worth stopping by from time to time even if it is just for meatballs, jam, and sweets.
 
2010-01-05 03:29:37 PM
ErinPac: They have a grocery section? Not just a cafeteria? Seems an odd place to buy groceries...

In ours, near the mini-cafe by the registers that serves cinnamon rolls and hot dogs, they do in fact have a small grocery section. If memory serves, it has all sorts of preserved fish, lingonberry jam, cheeses galore. If I ever do a Scandinavian-themed dinner party, I'll probably be sourcing a lot of ingredients from there, as the prices on some of the items are quite literally a third of what the high-end grocers charge (none of the regular grocery stores stock lingonberry jam).
 
2010-01-05 03:30:39 PM
cr0sh: had watched something on Discovery channel (or TLC?), back when we had television

heh, nice
 
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