In the days before microwaves and crockpots, homemakers came up with some pretty nifty ideas, I must say.
While engaging in a little recreational reading of my 1950 Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, I came upon this section titled “Oven Meals.” Included are strategies for “making the most of oven heat” and time by planning meals in which all of the components are cooked in the oven at approximately the same temperature and for the same amount of time. The busy housewife only has to prepare all of the dishes and pop them into the oven, say an hour before mealtime… then she can sit back and do something relaxing like tend to her mending while her meal “cooks quietly out of sight.” Mmmhmm….
Admittedly, for the typical new millennium gal, that’s a whole lotta work to be termed “convenient.” But for us atypical gals, who like to make as much as possible from scratch, it does look like a way to make busy-day dinners more easily workable. For example, tomorrow afternoon, Noah needs to be delivered to Daddy’s house at 2:30, Amelia will be starting a Japanese language intensive with pick-up time at 3:30 and the toddler I babysit for is arriving at about 4:30. In other words, serving a healthy homecooked meal at 5:30 is going to be a bit of a challenge.
So, I’ve decided to conduct a little experiment… tomorrow our dinner menu will be:
Whole Wheat Nut Bread
Raw veggie platter
and for dessert, Baked Apples with Vanilla Yogurt
Now, according to this handy-dandy chart (click on the image to see a larger readable version), I can pop these all into the oven just before my little charge arrives at 4:30, and dinner will be ready to serve when Amelia and Noah arrive home at 5:30. With the exception of the raw veggie platter and the vanilla yogurt- bows to our 2008 palate- I’m going to follow the instructions just the way they were written in 1950.
And fifty-eight years later, let’s see how dinner turns out!