I am not the ashamed to admit that I am unafraid to serve my kids some convenience foods. Sure, our diet is undeniably “homemade” for the most part, but even the best “home-made homemaker” has a few tricks up their sleeve.
I try to limit the foods I serve that fall into that category and to do this I follow a simple guideline. Condiments aside, I pretty much only serve it if it’s something my mom would have served me. I mean, if my mom fed it to my sister and I as kids, chances are it’s ok to eat, because she was eating organic foods before it was cool. Sure, times and food manufacturing processes have changed, but it’s what I know so you can take it or leave it.
Generally this also means that these foods are guaranteed to be comfort foods. They are things like Stouffer’s StoveTop stuffing, Lipton’s chicken noodle soup from a box (which is just about the best hangover food ever invented BTW. Why else would it have like 40% of your daily allowance of sodium?) and frozen fish sticks.
So to make a long story about my eating habits as a child short(er) I’ll just tell you a story about today.
Today it was very snowy in Seattle, with more snow predicted overnight. The boys were headed out the door literally at the crack of dawn to go snowboarding in the closest mountain pass. Lilli and I had to go to the grocery store, sans car. Her in the sled, me pulling. I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on dinner but I wanted it to be warm and filling and comforting to the hilt. So I settled on kind of a cheesy potatoes au gratin type of thing. And frozen fish sticks. I guess I had frozen things on the brain.
I have to say that this is one area where I have never used a recipe and I know that this is kind of crazy. I don’t know why. I can’t even remember looking at a recipe. Ever. But I just kind of dug my heels in and went for it anyway. The results were not pretty but they tasted amazing.
I used too much cheese and not enough liquid, and for some reason I decided to add a couple of eggs. I guess because you put them in kugel, and they were so fresh I couldn’t resist.
Anyway, it went very very well with the frozen fish sticks I served, alongside a heaping salad of butter lettuce and sweet pink grapefruit. That salad might have been the only redeeming part of the meal, it turns out, because Joe decided he needed to have an apres ski bevvie in the style of the lodge at Steven’s Pass, where he didn’t go today, and so I had to have one too. The recipe is my new project, so more on that in a couple of days.
All in all it was a good day and a good dinner. But if you have a recipe for sort of cheesy potatoes au gratin, do pass it on.