Okay, if you are utterly opposed to boxed meals, go ahead and skip this post. It isn’t even exactly in praise of Hamburger Helper, but rather some amusing anecdotes. I don’t know the history other than it was created in 1971 and was probably considered an “advancement” for busy people and those who were perhaps limited in culinary ability. After all, being able to brown hamburger, measure milk, stir in the other few ingredients in the box, and keep from burning the dish isn’t too challenging. A fairly complete meal in a single pan is welcome when it comes to clean-up.
My first introduction to it came a bit later, when I was involved in a somewhat serious (not long lasting, but that’s not the point) relationship with a guy who made it very clear he wouldn’t have it as a meal. Apparently in his brief and badly matched marriage, this was basically the only meal his wife was willing to prepare and he refused to eat it again. (I don’t know if he ever got over that.)
I don’t recall when I did prepare it the first time and as with many of these conveniences, adding ingredients such as onions, peppers, a few more seasonings does give more depth. Hubby is in fact a fan although one of the only versions I don’t care for is the classic Cheeseburger – his favorite. That’s one of the dishes he often makes for himself when I am on a trip. We will be having the Stroganoff this week on Thursday because that’s Camera Club meeting for him and it’s easy for me to have dinner at normal time and him to zap in the microwave when he gets in much closer to nine o’clock. That’s the version with the noodles, not the potatoes.