Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's more than a meal... it's an Adventure!

There was a time not too long ago, during the Kitchen Revolution of the fifties and sixties, in which casseroles were viewed differently than they are today. While today children whimper and grown men cringe at the mere thought of a modern household sitting down to a casserole dinner, families of that more enlightened age celebrated the casserole as a modern culinary innovation on par with sliced bread and s'mores!

Back then, in those innocent times, the casserole was seen as both economical and festive. For the housewife, the casserole was a miracle dish of time management and efficiency. Instead of slaving over several dishes for extended periods of time, the modern housewife could simply combine all of the mandatory food groups into one big dish and leave it in the oven for an hour or so, freeing up her valuable time to tackle other household chores.

For the family sitting down to an evening meal, the casserole was both decorative and entertaining. The colorful patterns that the baked cornucopia of mealtime starches and proteins created were much more festive and cheerful then fresh cut flowers or fancy centerpieces; with a casserole, your meal is the centerpiece! And what could be more fun than a mystery meal in a creamy sauce or flaky crust? Is it ham or beef? Are those peas? Casseroles are a filling and nourishing meal that will have the whole family guessing long after the dishes have been loaded into the time-saving automatic dish washing machine. This hide-and-seek game with the dinner's ingredients can also take the edge off of other mealtime chores. No more tedious arguments trying to make young Johnny eat his vegetables; he won't even know where to begin looking for them!

Yes sir, those were the days, when combining an entire meal in one big mixing bowl while the electric oven preheats was one of the highest culinary art forms a devoted wife and mother could achieve!

No one new this better than Better Homes and Gardens. This is why their collection of all-time favorite recipes is an endless repository for the wisdom of the one-dish dinner. The pages of this precious volume are simply overflowing with, as the cover says, mouth-watering casseroles '...for a quick meal or a gala celebration.'

Who could resist a Pork Chop-Fried Rice Casserole, or a healthy serving of Sweet-Sour Kraut and Chops? Spice up boring hot dogs in a Savory Frank-Noodle Bake! Dig into a Turkey Souffle! If you are entertaining at a large gathering, why not wow them with a mess of Sausage Au Gratin, or a round of Toad in the Hole? And who could resist asking for seconds of Caraway-Sour Cream Cabbage?

Just think of the Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Casserole Recipes book as a time machine of taste, destination: the land that cooking forgot! Your appetite will thank you for making the journey!

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