Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kid Cuisine Halloween Dinner!


Halloween may be over but I will be damned if I'm not going to continue to get millage out of the shit that I've got laying around. Besides if I do not cover this Halloween themed Kid Cuisine meal right now... it is going to sit around in my freezer until the end of time.

I have a special connection with Kid Cuisine dinners. Growing up I spent essentially every day at my grandparents house during the summer months. My parents would drop me off early before work and would pick me up at a little after supper time.

It was a pretty good pawn on there behalf. Essentially they found a free babysitter and managed to get out of feeding me breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Clever stuff. I can't wait to do the exact same thing to them when I have my own children.

My grandparents were fantastic and I would not trade those times in for anything in the entire world. Not even Ecto Cooler. And like most grandparents, my grandmother was an amazing cook. Everything you could ever want... all made from scratch the old fashion way. How I am not an eight hundred pound diabetic, I've no clue.

And because grandparents are awesome, I was allowed to pick out cool stuff when they went grocery shopping. Inevitability this lead to many Kid Cuisine meals entering my life.

I was only allowed one once a week, so you better believe that when I finally microwaved a Kid Cuisine, it was motherfucking thrilling. Forget the fact that this was just cheap frozen food... this shit came in a blue tray with a penguin on the package.

It was epic.

Everything about the Kid Cuisine was an adventure. The food was completely secondary (though I was partial to the taco and mac n' cheese variations). The back of the box always had different puzzles and games. Inside you'd often find different stickers and standees. On rare occasions you'd get to cut things out and assemble together crappy cardboard games.

I've finally figured out where my love for packages came from, Kid Cuisine's. I would save the boxes and cherish them for all they were worth. It was fun times.

I have not had a Kid Cuisine since... I don't even know, but 1998 seems like a pretty valid estimate. When you get right down to it the meal portions are clearly designed for a seven year old and like I said earlier... it is just cheap frozen food. The same as any other TV dinner.

But just because I have not eaten them does not mean I've not been paying attention. I still check up on Kid Cuisine's. It's not like I go out of my way to hunt them down but... they are pretty easy to spot while freezer food shopping.

I've watched them morph and update over the years. Toss in different promotional characters for popular movies and cartoons. Everything you'd expect them to do... they've done. Including on rare occasions going fucking nuts and giving us seasonal Halloween and Christmas versions.

Halloween Kid Cuisine 2014!
Click for Larger Image!
Holy shit. They most definitely did not do this when I was a kid. But I am glad they are doing it now... this is my "in"! This is my reason for justifying purchasing kid oriented television dinners at considerably beyond the target demographic.

Realizing I've spent way to long writing an opening paragraph about a crappy kids TV dinner for a season that ended two days ago, I'm still going to gush-the-fuck-out over Halloween Themed Kid Cuisine TV dinners.

My absolute favorite gimmick in the history of marketing gimmicks is when packaging glows in the dark. Literally nothing else matters after that. If you've got an item and the box glows in the dark, I will buy twelve of them.

I won't lie... I've used old timey photo manipulation techniques and an actual black-light to make this sucker really pop in photo form. The actual box under normal everyday lighting doesn't glow anything like that. But I still find the effect impressive. It's the thought that counts.

And I adore how Halloween the box looks. It glows in the dark and it has a dark purple background littered with Jack O' Lantern faces. That's like a double score. And you know what, I feel like we can all give extra appreciation to this box because it is now slightly out of season.

Christmas is great but isn't dark purple packaging so much better? Hint: it is.

Halloween Kid Cuisine 2014!
Click for Larger Image!
The back side isn't as impressive as the front, which is sort of alright just based on the length of this article. 90% of you probably won't even make it this far. I bet I could toss in dialog from Last Action Hero for a solid paragraph and get away with it.

Give me a break. It is the first time I have been anyplace real. This ticket, it worked in one movie. Could Benedict use it again? On other movies? Why would he do that? I don't know. But it is a start. The possibilities are limitless. But I have realized that freedom would elude me until Jack Slater was, forgive the pun, taken out of the picture. And I thought you might be inclined to help.

My memory remembers the back of Kid Cuisine boxes being packed with different games, mazes, and word finds. It's sort of a bummer to see so little on the back of the Halloween edition. Seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Halloween Kid Cuisine 2014!
Click for Larger Image!
Perhaps the spookiest part of the dinner is the food lurking inside. It gets the job done and is actually not as bad as I was anticipating, but it is still not exactly anything to write home about. I guess you could do much worse, though.

Also... I will freely admit you probably shouldn't stick the cooked food under a black-light before you eat it. It makes the already strange looking 'nuked food look even less like something meant for human consumption.

The Kid Cusine dinners that I grew up with used to come with a brownie and it was always my favorite part. Because kids are fat and parents are lazy we get dumb fruit shaped snacks instead. I used to eat these things all the time and I turned out alright.

Depending on how you define 'alright'.

I am really glad that Halloween themed Kid Cuisines exist. I am equally as glad that I chose to write about them... and somehow doing so after the rush of the Halloween Season was over made me appreciate this relic from my past even more.

My fingers are crossed for a Christmas Edition.

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