I know that. Don’t rub it in.
But I’m starting small in my quest to become a good cook. Recently, I wrote about my guilt over relying on restaurants, instead of preparing meals for my son.
Now, in fairness to me, Hamburger Helper wasn’t my idea.
Blame my son, actually. Connor and I were at the grocery store, and he abruptly handed me a box of Hamburger Helper for the first time.
“This looks good,” he said.
Immediately, I thought back to my childhood in the 1970s. My mother often made Hamburger Helper casserole for us.
It had just been introduced, and it became an instant it. Back then, it seemed revolutionary – just brown a pound of hamburger meat, mix in the noodles and spices, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. And you’ve got a tasty meal for the entire family!
Ever watch That ‘70s Show? That was my childhood – the era of green shag carpet, yellow wallpaper, Coppertone appliances … and Hamburger Helper.
I went into a trance in the grocery store, remembering those days as if I were watching a grainy old home movie.
“Dad,” Connor said in the grocery store, holding the Hamburger Helper box. “Can we get it?”
“Sure,” I said. “Yea.”
In my recent cooking article, I wrote that I had checked out several websites that had quick, healthy recipes for busy folks like me – and you. I even signed up for some cooking newsletters, which I’ve begun to receive.
I envisioned trying a recipe from a newsletter, such as Tomato-Basil Linguine with Chicken from EatBetterAmerica.com or Chicken Florentine Skillet from DinnerMadeEasy.com. Then I would write about my success – or, more likely, failure.
But fate intervened, and Hamburger Helper became my calling. The fancy recipes will have to wait.
OK, I’ll end the suspense: The Hamburger Helper turned out perfectly. A culinary success!
Connor, who is a picky eater, lapped it up. I loved it, too, savoring the taste and the memories it evoked.
Hamburger Helper comes in an astonishing 40 flavors. The Housewright household sampled Italian Sausage. We will be trying the other varieties as well.
I promise to undertake the complex newsletter recipes eventually. But it’s nice to be able to fall back on Hamburger Helper, an old friend I rediscovered. Hamburger Helper will always be there for me. It won’t embarrass me by posing too big a challenge.
Hamburger Helper is like an old girlfriend you stumble upon by chance. She’s still pretty, and she’s single. She’s just as fun as you remembered. The chemistry between you is still there. Yes, she’s a little plain and unsophisticated. You don’t want to marry her. (She knows that, and it’s OK.)
But the two of you can have a great time together – whenever you choose. No strings attached.
Thank you, Hamburger Helper.
Don’t aim too high when it comes to cooking. If you’re a novice, look for some confidence-building meals like Hamburger Helper. It beats a greasy cheeseburger and fries from the drive-through.