Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bake It and Take It!

In the movies, baked and savory items under tinfoil are taken to the bereaved and infirmed—and in some chick flicks, like Waiting to Exhale, they’re meant for the handsome guy moving in next door. But I say portable meals are welcome in any bustling household. Picture it. Mom—even if she doesn’t work outside the home—has finally parked the family truckster in the driveway and gotten out with the understanding that she’s not getting back in. Everyone is home from school, sports and/or band practice, done with their homework and “in for the night”.

And guess what? They’re hungry. So Mom goes to the fridge to hunt for enough milk, ground turkey, cheese and breadcrumbs to shove something akin to a casserole into the oven; but wait! The inside of the fridge looks very white; a little dirty, a lot bare. It’s painfully clear that nobody replaced the items she needs to pull off dinner. Though the kids will love it, she cringes at the idea of phoning Domino’s, and wonders if any takeout flyers have been attached to the doorknob touting healthier options. Mom prides herself on retaining nothing from the local take-outs, but the rubber bands they use to attach coupons to her front door. She prides herself on never running to the ATM to cover these types of extravagances. But tonight may be different. She’s just too tired to cook. Today, it’s just not happening.

Where Are the Little Elves and Magic Fairy Dust When You Need Them?

Freeze this scene and hear a director yell “CUT”. Enter into this harried scenario “Elise Keaton” from the 80s sitcom, Family Ties. She is sent spinning in her own kitchen, when the door is forced open by her rambunctious kids. Her eyes implore them, “What are we gonna do for dinner?” Wouldn’t it be great if Mallory, Alex or Jennifer could then say, “Uh, Mom. Did you check the freezer? There’s a wrapped up casserole in there from grandma.”

And in many freezers across America this may very well be the case…or at least, it should be. With the media buzzing lately about how important grandparents have become (check out this article I found in my city newspaper that confirms it), I say that there’s new breed of superhero out there, one with the faintest whiff of meatloaf on her cape. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s GRANDMA!, stopping by with 2 dishes from what I like to call my “Freezer Pleaser” line of baked goods. Imagine sitting down to a nice dinner, one that need only be warmed up, and treating everyone to Lasagna with Chicken, Broccoli and Mushrooms one night, and Veggie Enchiladas the next.

When In Doubt, Take Them a Meal
TOP NANA’S Freezer Pleasers are breeze to make, as welcome as any gift from a department store when you visit your grandkids, and slide right into my new favorite thing: Pyrex Portables with insulated carrier. I’m just passing on some advice based on what I’m seeing out there, which is to say I’m seeing grandmas helping out in a lot of ways. We take turns with the parents, picking up our grandkids from school, we cover a shift and babysit if both parents are working—and we take them a meal sometimes. “It’s a cool gift to give someone—old-fashioned and yummy—and it makes us feel good because you can’t put perfume or a scarf in your tummy.” Remember, next time you’re shopping for a birthday or holiday present, the time TOP NANA bust this rhyme, and think that it just right be the right “thyme” to cook!

May the Spatula be With You. Always.

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