Friday, October 23, 2015

Frozen Food and One Pot Ravioli

Since leaving the 1950's I have become rather lazy sometimes with my meals. I realized, however, that the cooking skills I gained there has given me the license to fairly good meals with ease. When I was disparaging how easily I threw something together the other day to a friend, thinking as I spoke,"Oh what a lazy cook am I", she responded. You make it sound so easy, but I just can't put any meals together. It's too hard.

I am sure even in the 1950's new wives often felt a bit overwhelmed. Although many were taught cooking and baking skills either at home or in school. Today, in my post 1950's life, I often opt for simple and easy meals. As good fresh veg as possible (either my own or from local farmers market or what's in season the rest of the time), simple cuts of meat, and fruit. Makes life easy.

Yet, I too am want to make things easier and I admit to buying some frozen things as well. When I lived in the '1950s' in our other dear little house I had a vintage fridge (it is still there now, I just don't use it but I wonder what my tenants think of it) whose freezer was exactly like this. It's size dictated the few things I could choose to have in there. It was never prepared TV dinners, though, I can tell you that.

Now, at Toad Hall, we inherited a large double door refrigerator with an entire half that is just freezer. It is a monstrosity I would never buy myself. The first few months here it sat rather empty save occasional ice cream and of course some bought ahead, cut up and marinated meats. As I have got used to it, it has become fuller. Yet I only really realized the other day that there is also storage on the door of the freezer. It still is sitting empty. I just don't buy that much or keep that much food in the house in the freezer.

However, I did buy some lovely cheese ravioli and had it in there. The other night I wanted a quick meal and so I thought of it. I am sure this is no revelation to any of you who already cook with frozen, but for me, who used to make the dough, roll it out and fill them (which I will still do and freeze them myself, but not as often) it is a breeze to just grab a ready made bag of food. I boiled them per directions and them added simple jar tomato sauce. To this, of course, I revelled in the lovely tomatoes I am still getting from our little green house and cut them in as well as placed a few on top. We both love cheese, so I cut Parmesan and Romano and mixed it in. And then I placed on top crumbled blue cheese. I had a few croutons in the bottom of a bag, I am loathe to toss things since my sojourn in the 1950's, and I crumbled those in as well. The whole thing took very little time, the longest being the 6 minutes to boil the frozen pasta. I baked it all at 350F for 30 minutes and it was delicious and traveled well in Hubby's lunch box the next day. It was delicious and I served it with fresh cut basil on top. It couldn't be easier but would have been almost cheating in my 1950's time.

The 1950's did have its share of frozen. And really post war American, with its over abundance of energy, electricity, and factories wanting to pump out something to replace all the weapons they had been making, certainly provided the 1950's housewife with a great selection of freezers and food to go in it. Any way you slice it, the ease of frozen and ready made foods can make dinner time pretty simple and you can 'add in' as much high end or local grown items as you choose. I still prefer homemade, as I am not a fan of GMO foods nor the unknown put into processed eating, sometimes a gal is just lazy. I hope, however, to never be so lazy as to need a frozen Thanksgiving TV dinner.

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