Friday, August 17, 2007

Posts-About-Something-Close-to-Nothing: Casseroles

If there’s one word I’d use to describe this blog, it’s “extreme”. True, our existing standards are already pretty low, but let’s make them extremely low. Hear our cry—Extreme Semantic Minimalism! We will smite the Shackles of Meaning with our mighty hammer of Posts-About-Something-Close-to-Nothing.*

Growing up in Virginia, casseroles were a common part of the culinary landscape. But the other day, Louise took a test-like-thing, and one of the questions was about casseroles. She didn't know what a casserole was, which is not surprising. She never eats them. These days, not that many people do. The Golden Age of the Casserole is undeniably over.

Should we be sad? (I think I might be. A little bit. A little bit.) Should there be a museum? With real casseroles? Preserved for eternity? What would you put in it?

Not nothing, but something close to it.

5 comments:

  1. I am sad. I loved casseroles(and I am sure that if you went to some church suppers here in Virginia you could still find a fair number). In your museum I want my casserole with green peas, asparagus, cream of mushroom soup with the bread crumb and cheese crust!!

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  2. Never fear! The casserole lives on in the Midwest as the ubiquitous "dish to pass"!

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  3. Who says casseroles are passé? They are a weeknight mainstay at my house, where I arrive home too late to cook for my starving dependents. A casserole is something I can cook ahead, and they can heat up and hoe into. Ditto crock pot meals. Without them, my spouse and kids would be eating drive-through every night.

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  4. Anonymous9:01 AM

    I'm from New Orleans, and before air conditioning it was so hot people often avoided using their ovens. So we don't have a great tradition of baking nor of casserole cooking. But there are some great casseroles out there.

    Would anybody have a recipe for one I had years ago (out of town) that was sort of Asian -- with canned tuna, celery, cream sauce, and a couple of layers of those baked Chines noodles? There were other things besides. It was nice and crunchy and delicious. The lady who cooked it was from Hawaii.

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  5. My aunt has a fifty year old cookbook her uncle gave her called The Casserole Cookbook. It is widely believed in my family that this is the best cookbook ever written. I was skeptical until reading it, when I realized that all sorts of one-pot meals counted as casseroles. My favorite was the veal stew--delicious! Things like beef bourgignon also count--also a magnificent dish. The world with fewer such meals is a paler, thinner, and more watery one. And less salty.

    I dig green bean casseroles too.

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