While I may have eaten my share of Banquet style t.v. dinners growing up we didn't actually have a t.v. until I was about 12. My parents did a fair amount of socializing so weekend evenings always featured some frozen dinner in an aluminum tray that my mother heated in the oven. My favorite was the fried chicken with a dollop of instant mashed potatoes, frozen mixed vegetables and a spoonful of warm applesauce, chicken potpies, or Salisbury steak in some kind of gelatinous gravy with macaroni and cheese. We had 6 kids so this kind of convenience food defined my mother's cooking. We sat around the kitchen table, eating our dinner until the babysitter showed up, not realizing that these dinners were meant to be enjoyed in front of the t.v. My parents eventually got a small black and white t.v. but it was reserved for news and The Laurence Welk Show. My mom would tuck the T.V. cord into her purse, which plug into the t.v. as well as the wall, and off they went leaving us to other activities. It didn't take long for us to discover the blender cord was a viable substitute and we moved our t.v. dinners into the family room to watch Hogan's Hero's, The Brady Bunch and Bewitched.
I have redefined the 1950's style t.v. dinner! Gone are the aluminum trays, replaced with a microwavable tray and a delicious home cooked meal. I do a great deal of cooking for other people, delivering meals in times of celebration or crisis. I know most of my friends are very busy shuffling children here and there or taking care of elderly parents. I love to deliver a meal to ease the stress or help in celebrating a special event.
This week I delivered Indian inspired dinners to friends overwhelmed with an unexpected stressful event. Fried chicken and instant mashed potatoes are out! These dinners feature halibut fillets with a coconut milk-mustard seed sauce, greens with garlic and raisins, sweet potato curry and lime-flavored rice with roasted yellow split peas. The beauty of Indian food is that it saves well and is easily reheated, even gaining some flavor over time. Recipes coming in the weeks ahead.