Lola and I had a little discussion about what was the best joke for National TV Dinner Day. We’ll let you decide:
- I bought our TV Dinners from the grocery store’s freezer section where they are sold under the subsection called Loneliness.
- Clement’s was having a Saturday night at 6 PM special: buy two TV Dinners and get a free box of cat litter.
- Buying two TV Dinners at a time should put you on a watch list and allow authorities to search your basement for hostages.
- Lola and I had a little role play night playing jail. Lola played the prisoner and I, as the guard, delivered the TV Dinner to her and slid it through the opening in the cell. She immediately threw it back at me and then started throwing her feces at me too. I gave her the hose. #DateNight
There’s really nothing wrong with TV Dinners. In fact, I think we all secretly enjoy them. They bring us back to those moments when your Mom bought you one as a special treat. You remember setting it up on a TV tray and watching television all while enjoying this fancy meal which even had a dessert. It’s nostalgia in edible form. For those that eat them regularly, I am sure there is a functional convenience to them too. It’s a full meal that tastes good, cooks within ten minutes and cleans up easily. So no disrespect to anyone that reaches for a TV Dinner. We all have our indulgences.
I did run to Clement’s tonight (Saturday night) at 6 PM and I picked up two TV Dinners. I can’t say I got any looks from the cashiers or other customers, but I definitely felt like I was a sad old man buying dinner for himself, just like I do every Saturday night since my Mildred passed on. I also picked up a box of raisins, a packet of yeast and a sparkling soda, so I wonder if the cumulative contents of my basket threw the cashiers off my scent of desperation.
To my surprise, the TV Dinner offerings were somewhat limited. There were plenty of frozen dinners. Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers have that market cornered. There were also other frozen entrees too like ones from Market Basket, Stouffer’s and even some ethnic offerings (in all seriousness, Lola highly recommends the Tikka Marsala from Tandoor Chef). But I was looking for TV Dinners which means that the dinner should offer a main offering, at least two sides and a dessert. It should also be served in a tray that is sectioned so my corn doesn’t run into my brownie. That’s a TV Dinner to me and there did not appear to be many offerings that met this criteria. Thank God the somewhat sexist folks from Hungry Man Dinners are still doing it right. I picked up their Turkey and Fried Chicken Dinners.
To my surprise, Lola was excited about this and she even made a request specifically for the Turkey Dinner (which she also knew came with an apple-cranberry dessert). I guess on special occasions, when her Dad was working and it was just Lola and her Mom, they would indulge in a TV Dinner as a treat. I pictured the two of them sitting on the couches with the TV Trays set up watching a deliciously dumb Lifetime movie and having a sweet little night together. Her Mom was great at making special memories out of otherwise unremarkable moments. She knew how to celebrate.
If you haven’t cooked a TV Dinner in a while, the directions still involve the same somewhat complicated-for-a-microwave steps. You have to remove the film over the dessert, but cut a slit over the veggies. You have to take it out after a few minutes and stir the potatoes, put the film back and then return to oven. The steps for the turkey even had the instructions to “rearrange the turkey slices” after five minutes of cooking which made it seem like I should move it next to an end table to create more open space. The scientists at Hungry Man really know how to work a microwave though, because everything came out perfect. Well, they came out like it was supposed to.
I’m telling you, these are good. Sure they are probably full of antibiotics, GMOs and all kinds of things we should be avoiding, but they were damn tasty. I know some of you are jealous right now. It’s ok. Sometimes we just have to treat ourselves. We ate ours naturally in front of the TV (you are legally obligated to eat them in front of a television) continuing our binge on Narcos (I think Pablo Escobar would have loved these too). I went fried chicken and Lola was all about the turkey. Lola’s did indeed come with an apple-cranberry compote for dessert which is kind of a bummer when you see that mine came with a brownie. However, while the brownie initially smelled delightful when it first came out of the oven, it slowly moved to a chemical smell that was a bit off putting and we ended up not eating it. I however did eat all my veggies (which were good) but Lola was strictly turkey, stuffing and potatoes.
So while all of you were out at your fancy dinners last night at top notch restaurants, Lola and I were enjoying two gourmet dinners cooked entirely at home in less than ten minutes. That’s a pretty fantastic date night if you ask me and a great night to celebrate.
Special thanks to my ol’ pal Jeff for reminding me about this song from the eighties. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this post (and a classic video to boot).
Up Next: Hot Cross Buns Day (oh, and that 9/11 remembrance day thing)