Monday, April 14, 2014

A to Z: Lasagna

Lasagna is delicious.  I think that we can all agree on that.  All that cheesy goodness melted in with the pasta sauce and the noodles...yummy.  I am not one of those master chef types, and reports of the many times I've set fire to my kitchen are not exaggerations.  Yet I make a decent lasagna, if I do say so myself.

My first attempt at lasagna was made in college.  I had an apartment with an actual kitchen, and I decided that it was time to venture forth and start cooking.  I searched the cookbooks for a meal that caught my eye and found a lasagna recipe.  Most people just starting out on a cooking adventure would choose something less complicated, but not me!  With the adventurous optimism of the young, I was off to the store to purchase my ingredients.  I even called up my friend Arnold, who was a football player.  I told him to bring a couple of friends.  I was that confident.

It was at the store that I first realized that I was making a meal "from scratch".  There would be no shortcuts, because at that time, there were no shortcuts.  I would have to chop up the tomatoes and garlic, and ground the beef, before I could even begin layering stuff in the pan.  It was here that I first noted that I would have to cook the noodles as well.  I would have quit at this point, except that I'd invited football players over for dinner.  They would come hungry, and Lord only knew what they would happen if they had to leave hungry!

I'd just have to suck it up and do my best.

I boiled the noodles, per the instructions, and laid them out while I finished making the sauce.  I had a bit of trouble with draining the grease off of the ground beef.  I cut myself twice while cutting tomatoes, and once while chopping garlic.  And it was hot in that little apartment kitchen!  The only pan I had that was big enough was a pan that someone had written "rectal" on the inside(thanks Dad!), but it was too late to run out and purchase a new one.  I carefully followed the layering instructions and placed the lasagna in the oven to bake.  Then my roommate and I cleaned up the best I could and waited for our three guests.

Who came in the door, said hello, and proceeded to inhale every last scrap of lasagna(the recipe said it would serve 12 people), plus two loaves of garlic bread.  And then they left, no doubt off to some other girl's house, to eat another meal or two before they felt less peckish.  Arnold did say that the lasagna was very good, and I suppose the fact that the entire pan disappeared was a compliment. 

These days, I take advantage of the shortcuts. I've made lasagna enough since college to feel comfortable with the whole process of making it, which I consider progress. I use jars of pasta sauce, and buy garlic already chopped.  I buy oven ready noodles that don't have to be cooked.  I modify the recipe that is on the back of the box of noodles, and add different types of cheese, or use turkey instead of beef.  And I use the crockpot to cook when I can, to save time.
My husband loves it, and he has not had one case of food poisoning, so I guess I'm doing it right.   

What is a recipe that your family loves? 


  1. My son's favorite meal is ham and my daughter's is cheeseburgers...not a lot of room for flair there...although I do make homemade mac & cheese to go with sometimes.

  2. I make a mean lasagna that's super easy - I go to the store and buy the frozen one in the green box and pop it in the oven. No muss, no fuss, and it's pretty tasty. :-)

    I'm still wondering what a pan with 'rectal' written on it was used for.

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,


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