Define “Homemade”

March 9, 2011

The doorbell rang just as I was pulling the lasagna out of the oven.  “Perfect timing”! I thought.   The bubbling hot lasagna and the warm garlic bread filled the house with delicious smells as I opened the door and invited our guests in for dinner.   It was a small dinner party, but we wanted to have a few couples from church join us for dinner so that we could get to know them better. 

Dinner went well and everyone enjoyed the food and fellowship.  One of our guests commented on the lasagna and asked if she could have the recipe.  I chuckled and contemplated making up an excuse about it being a “secret family recipe” but then decided I might as well be honest and tell them the truth.  “Oh, it’s a really complicated recipe” I replied with a smile.  “First, you go to the frozen food section at Walmart or Meijer’s and purchase a family size Stouffer’s Lasagna.  Next, you bring it home and let it thaw slightly so you can pop it out of the plastic tray and put it into a real pan (I use a Pampered Chef Rectangular Baker).  Bake as directed on the package and about 10 minutes before it’s done you pull it out and add extra cheese on top. Voila! Homemade Lasagna!”   The guests were all laughing and the one who had asked for the recipe said, “Wow – I never would have guessed that this wasn’t homemade lasagna! It tastes wonderful!”  I corrected her and said, “Well, I still consider it ‘homemade’ … I made it in my home and I still had to heat up the oven!”

With four kids, a full-time job and all the church activities we have going on each week this is about as “homemade” as it gets around our house.  My brownies come from a box and many of our meals are microwaveable and/or frozen.  I rarely make cookies from scratch but usually buy the pre-portioned “place and bake” variety and try to keep the kids from eating all the dough before I can bake it.  I have also learned that when you bake frozen foods like lasagna, chimichangas or enchiladas they will seem more “homemade” if you throw some cheese on top during the last 5 or 10 minutes of baking.  (Don’t forget to bake them in a real pan since the plastic pan is always a dead giveaway.) 

Happy “almost homemade” baking!


5 Responses to “Define “Homemade””

  1. mindy Says:

    that’s GREAT!!! 🙂 Love it! LOL!

  2. Sandi Ormsby Says:

    This is me! I wasn’t really taught how to cook and by the time my mom actually said “let me show you” I was a busy teenager yelling “not now” and taking off in a car.

    Now that I have a family, I’m excited when chicken is made, and we have a rice cooker which is easy and works fine…but WHY bother when you have those 90 second rice packets that you can easily mix with corn or peas and some chopped chicken a little onion and VOILA! It’s a pretty tasty dish.

    See, I knew you were my kind of blogger! 🙂

  3. […] just write about her children, she writes about life in general…like her amazing home cooked meals!  There is something for readers of all various backgrounds to […]

  4. Mo Says:

    Ha ha, that is brilliant! I never thought of putting the frozen lasagne into my own pan. If only I can remember to partially thaw it first. I love Stouffers!

    Also, hats off to you for knowing that the important thing is the company, and that you don’t have to stress out to put a five course meal in order to have a good time & please your guests!

  5. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for coming to visit my blog earlier. I’ll check out more of yours later. With the crazy lifestyle we live, sometimes the best meals come from a box. I admire you for admitting the truth, and not making someone feel inferior that you could do it all when you really can’t. 😉

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