Being a bit of a keen cook, and someone who likes to do things reasonably properly if possible, I know Delia wasn't really aimed at me. I mean, there's just no way on earth you'll find frozen mashed potato in my freezer.
I do take shortcuts myself - whilst I make my own Thai Curry pastes (have you ever tried buying one without fish sauce in them?), I buy in Indian equivalents, partly because I've not yet found a decent recipe for making your own (or indeed, any recipe for making your own) and hey, I don't make my own pasta. But there's time and a place for shortcuts. And there's some that just get my goat.
And Delia did provide in last night's show. Pre-grated cheese.
How much time and effort does it take to grate cheese? I can whisk out my grater and deliver a mound of grated cheedar in a mattter of moments - seconds longer that it would take you to rip open the plastic bag of the shop bought stuff. This stuff isn't labour saving - you're not suddenly going to release hours a week by buying it. Mashing potato is, at least, something that does takes a bit of time and effort. But grating cheese?
Is it really effort to grate cheese? No - with a cheap square bottomed grater, it's easy as pie (cheese pie perhaps). And the time you save comes in at seconds - and for that, you fork out three times the price of the solid variety. It actually really annoys me when you see people like Delia Smith standing on TV proclaiming that this stuff is actually a timesaver. Rubbish!
Perhaps I am in the wrong mindset. I can still distinctly remember someone at university proclaiming that she bought a big block of cheese but never bothered to use it. Then one Sunday, she just grated and grated like mad and put the whole thing in a tub in the fridge. Then she started using cheese all the time� Maybe more people can't be bothered to grate cheese than I ever imagined� And if so, what a strange world we live in.