Monday, February 05, 2018

My Merit Badge


The Air Fryer

Yes, I bought an Air Fryer after Hucker (restaurant owning son) got one for Christmas and regaled us with pics and testimonials.  So, what's the first thing I did?  That's right, I took the chicken from a TV Dinner and cooked it ala carte.  I know, a famous gourmand (shucks) does not mess with frozen dinners, but there is a back story here.

The original T.V. dinner was introduced in 1953 and sold for a whopping, even prohibitive (in our houses) 98 centsCutting to the chase, I saved my money and bought one prior to a weekend  Boy Scout camp-out at Chicago's Camp Fort Dearborn (which was located near O'Hare field, and I have more stories about that). 

I wanted the cooking merit badge, and figured this was the best way to get'er done.  I cooked it by covering the tin foil package with hot coals, and prior to calling the Scout master over to verify my cookery, placed the dinner in my mess kit.  It got raves, and I got my merit badge.  This is all true. So, to this day, I have an affinity for what is now called a Hungry Man dinner -- which, by the way, actually does produce a fairly crisp chicken in the microwave. But not crisp enough.

Anyway, after reading the basic instructions for the Air Fryer, I plucked the chicken out of the package and cooked it for 5 minutes, or so, while the rest of the dinner was spinning in the microwave.  The result was impressive, and I have since had this meal twice more.  By the buy, I bought the  Power Air Fryer XL (5.3 QT Deluxe, Black).
  It's actually just a mini convection oven, but heats up quickly and is great for reheating pizza.
You're welcome


Skoonj said...

The TV dinner was indeed introduced in 1953. It's popularity really took off the following year during the Army-McCarthy hearings. One of the questions McCarthy asked of the Army, and which has never been satisfactorily answered, was "Who Promoted Peress?" Dr. Irving Peress was a dentist at Ft. Monmouth, NJ, part of the Signal Corps. Peress was promoted despite it being known that he had been a communist. So, who, knowing that, would have promoted him?

Americans wanted to know the answer to that question, and put up with TV dinners rather than miss a minute of the hearings.

Eskyman said...

By 1964 the novelty had worn off a bit, and competition had set in: so when I was attending UNM I lived mostly on TV dinners costing $0.25. Sometimes there was a sale at Globe Discount City, and I could get 6 for $1.00!

Somehow back then those TV dinners didn't make me fat. Maybe it was because I didn't have (and couldn't afford,) a TV!

Juice said...

Hungry Man chicken dinners were the only ones I would eat back in the day, mostly because they didn't contain peas or carrots. Fried chicken, Corn, whippers, and a desert made my favorite dinner. Not so sure about the air-fryer idea after reading reviews at Amazon regarding low quality of the product materials, but if you are having fun with it, no matter what others think.

Juice said...

Oh yeah, congrat's on the merit badge! Smart move for a clever kid.

Anonymous said...

French fries, onion rings, tempura! Anything breaded yes!
You just have to watch the temps as it's a bit easy to overheat.
-Marc M

Unknown said...

'Sorry, Raja, but your story of fraudulently obtaining your cooking merit badge reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. What you did wasn't cooking; it was heating, in the same way that Hemingway said, about the work of Jack Kerouac, "That's not writing. That's typing."

Rodger the Real King of France said...


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