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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm back!! My modem was fried and I had an amazing time at my reunion. It was a step outside of my comfort zone. I faced a lot of fears in just a few days: airplanes, I-294, O'Hare, classmates, having to drive through the intersection where my father lost his life a few years ago, and just being back in that area. I'm constantly moving so it was good to be around people who knew me. For a weekend, I was not a stranger in a strange land. I did not browse through thrift stores in search of another cookbook. I think I spent Sunday talking about how they are stores full of dead people's stuff. Dispute that if you, but if someone dies, where is the first place their belongings go? 

What surprised me was that a few of my former classmates have read this blog and they like it. I had a few suggest I even try cooking some of these foods.!!

I went from 90 degrees to 50 degrees and felt every degree lost when I arrived and felt every degree gained when I returned. Luckily after modem was replaced and my sleep was restored, I found a book tabbed and ready to go.

Casseroles! Hot Dish! Whatever you want to call them, they are all made of pretty much the same stuff and prepared the same way. Dump a few cans of this and a few cans of that and sprinkle some cheese on it and surely everybody in the family will be drooling with anticipation. I know they have their purpose, but again, if there's a dated book on the subject, I'm going to satirize the hell out of it. 

Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Casserole Recipes, 1977
Or casseroles can be given to people who had a baby or a relative die. Because during both events, nothing pleases a new parent or the bereaved more than a hearty baked dish with asparagus and hard boiled eggs. In either case, don't be the asshole and demand your dish back. Just write it off.
I'm going to point out the irony. Casseroles all look the same, smell the same, and somehow taste the same. Even when they try to do none of the above, there's still a lingering taste of casserole. You don't even have to mention what type. Just say, "We are having casserole tonight" and the heads will start nodding because they know it is SSDD.

Well that just looks good doesn't it? The top casserole (hating that word) looks like it underwent a fasciotomy to release the pressure of the underlying swelling, maggoty chicken (can't they just learn to photograph rice without making it look like maggots?) and a pie of unknown origin. Dig in!

I can almost believe that the creator of this casserole really and truly planned on the cornmeal topper looking like a lattice design.
Two layers of Cheesy Hash-Spinach Pie! Tasty as well as thrifty? How about thrifty but probably not tasty? Corned beef hash, spinach, mushroom soup, cheese, and pimento filling. Le yum.
Crushed stuffing mix for coating fish? Well, I never! They were on the right path, but fell right off the cliff by baking it atop a bed of instant mashed potatoes, chopped spinach, and sour cream. So close and yet so far away. You were almost there. Really, those three can be served separate. It is possible. I know, I know. Crazy. 
Should I ever resort to the "Tuna Noodle Surprise" days, I just found a few more names for canned fish crap product. Cupboard casseroles? How about trailer food?

Never try, never fail. I look at this and want to reach for some Tums, two pinks and one orange.

I see where this is going. Make something "substantial" like Salmon-Macaroni pie that has canned salmon, shredded cheese, and canned macaroni in it, have it taste like it sounds, blame it on the masterful young cook. Is there any other sound more vile than macaroni being stirred?

How self righteous can a book be? This is making Betty look good. I should buy a few extra pounds of ham just to make this with the leftovers? Seriously? Why?

I think the time being wasted on garnishes could be better spent making quality food but that's just me. My take on garnishes is if it isn't going to be eaten then it's not going to be on the plate. I'll accept my naked food and savor it.
I'm pretty sure my family would mind eating last night's roast beef if I made it like that. Basic rule of grammar would be not to end a sentence with an adverb. It shall be rephrased as "This popular casserole will frequently find its way into your meal plans." You're welcome.
Another valid reason why I don't like to eat vegetables stuffed with anything.
As difficult as it is to ignore the bottom two casseroles (ugh), I have always wondered how one would eat corn cobs like that. If it's a stew, it is intended to be eaten with a spoon or maybe a fork. The ingredients should be bite sized. Is it proper etiquette to pick up a sloppy corn cob and start gnawing kernels off of it? Wouldn't said cobs be too hot to handle? Are there corn shaped holders on the side for instances such as this?
If my friends were real friends, they wouldn't care how inexpensive the Highbrow Haddock is. They would know that I am on hard times and perhaps feel honored that I am dipping into our meager rations to serve this to them. If I had to call it "Highbrow Haddock" they would probably get the idea that I am cheap.
The lack of color in this is soaking up my will to breathe. It's just so, sigh, bland..Sigh..

I was lost at the first four words in this description.
Okay if this is a paella to anybody that's great. I'll just continue to contemplate the amount and strains of bacteria coating that wooden fork.

If my husband had a gathering and I had to make this, then whatever side effects they incur will be on them because this will stink up my house and I hate food that stinks up my house days after I made it.

 Obviously, a cassssss(hisssss)erole is not something that will be making its appearance in my meal plans. 



  1. how brilliant!your blog cracks me up and I love it! haven't seen anything like it keep up the good work :) xxjaimelynn