Garfield, Eat Your Heart Out!

   Posted by: Michael Bernier   in Yesterday's Memories

Almost everyone knows Garfield, that pudgy cartoon cat with an attitude created over 30 years ago by Jim Davis. Garfield’s “pudginess” comes in no small part from his great love of one particular dish – lasagna. He never seems to get enough of the stuff. I’m a big fan of lasagna as well; not quite to the point of devouring complete pans full of it, but well enough that I like to have it every few weeks or so.

I used to make my own lasagna using a recipe first given to me by my dad, who was also a big fan of lasagna. I fiddled with it and tweaked it over the years, adding a little here and changing a bit there, always looking to improve on it. I finally perfected it (at least for me, anyway) just before I got married back in 1993; in fact, for the rehearsal dinner I cooked and served my lasagna, receiving rave reviews from everyone and endearing myself to my now mother-in-law.

In the years since I got married, I didn’t make my lasagna very often; life and kids got in the way. In the last few years since we moved to Texas, I haven’t even made it at all. We would usually “settle” for store-bought lasagna, which was usually tasty but not quite the same as homemade.

This week, I finally got up the desire (or maybe the nerve) to make my lasagna again, and we’re having it for dinner tonight. It has been so long since I made it that I wasn’t entirely sure I picked up all the ingredients in the right quantities, so some things I know I over-bought (like too much cheese), but that’s okay because in my family nothing goes to waste! Part of the problem with making my lasagna on a regular basis is the sheer volume of it all. When I make it I go all out, both in ingredients and in size; this makes creating it an expensive proposition, hence the lack of making it regularly.

The actual list of ingredients is a closely guarded family secret, but I can tell you it involves a lot of everything – meats, cheeses, sauces, and seasonings. Once it’s all mixed together, the sauce simmers on the stove for 4-5 hours (the longer the better), filling the house with a heavenly aroma. Then when the time comes to assemble it for baking, it takes a roasting pan that is normally used for cooking turkey at Thanksgiving to hold it all. By the time it’s ready to go into the oven, the pan easily weighs over 20 pounds! 60 minutes of baking and 30 minutes to set, and then it’s ready to feed a crowd – there’s easily enough to take care of at least a dozen people, and usually many more. For my rehearsal dinner I prepared two extra-large pans, and there were enough leftovers that my in-laws invited some of their relatives over to eat dinner with them after the wedding reception!

This time will be much the same as in days past – we’ll have a big dinner and all get thoroughly stuffed,  maybe have it again for the next dinner, then package up and freeze the rest. It really does well when it’s frozen and reheated later, making it possible to enjoy this meal one or more times in the future.

But just to be sure, don’t tell Garfield where I live, okay?

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 30th, 2010 at 7:59 pm and is filed under Yesterday's Memories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One comment

Lelisia "Lee" Hall

Sounds delicious! But wow, that is a LOT of lasagna. I cannot promise, however, that I will not tell Garfield where you live, should I see him! :)))) Enjoy your lasagna for the next week or so!

April 30th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

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