Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Homemade Lasagna and Chicken Pot Pie

The past couple of days, I have felt an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude every time I open my refrigerator. Perhaps this is just my overly-dramatic way of appreciating that I consistently have access to nutrient-rich, organic, ethically raised & farmed foods, and that I'm married to a woman who loves to cook.

Or it could be a reflexive, visceral response, left over from times when I was much younger and would open the fridge every day after school, hoping that my family had been able to shop that day for something new & exciting to eat.

When, more often than not, there was nothing available except milk and bread, or canned applesauce and peaches from welfare pantries, my hopes would feel a bit dashed. Grateful, of course, for the shredded pieces of bread I would pour milk and sugar over for breakfasts, and the "free lunches" served at school, I was always looking forward eagerly to the few outstanding, intensely memorable occasions when my Mom would come home from a store with an abundance of foods, which she would then use to whip up delicious homemade loaves of bread, cinnamon-sugar-coated tortilla chips, fruit salads, pasta dishes, or casseroles.

These days, I can't recall the last time I had only bread & milk available to eat . . . I can't even recall the last time I purchased any type of milk or meat that was not organic or locally produced. So when I open my fridge, I am consistently filled with excitement and gratitude because these days, I have enough . . . I actually have more than enough, and it's an absolutely amazing feeling.

About a week ago, my wife and I spent a good deal of time chopping veggies, mixing various cheeses and sauces together, and layering together the ingredients for a lasagna recipe that has left us with an abundance of this delightfully tasty & filling dish to enjoy for lunches or dinners throughout the week.

Then, a couple of days ago, we worked together similarly to chop all the meat and veggies, stir together the flour-and-chicken-broth sauce, and roll out the dough for the most amazing chicken-pot-pie I've ever sunk my teeth into. Okay so when I make it again someday I'll add just a bit less salt . . . but on a perfection scale, I think it was about at 98%!

And now, when I open my fridge, there's a round container with chicken-pot-pie, a square one with lasagna, and a big round bowl full of rice . . . we won't have to use up limited after-work energy any day this week to enjoy an amazing home-cooked meal! I just had to share these successes with you all, because I would love to share recipes of things that you & your loved ones prepare over the weekends, to last you through the week! Most people I know cook this way these days, when we are all working during the days and (in my case) haven't yet figured out the slow-cooker.

So if you have a favorite prepare-ahead recipe, please share it in the comments here! If you're interested, I'll share the recipes that we've been using for these two great meals.

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