Categorizing Food

I have 25 categories, so far, a list which has grown and been organized a few times to have sub-topics to try to keep the menu from going out of view on tablets. Then I added the category widget to the sidebar so readers could see the number of posts in each category. Occasionally, but not too often, I go back and add categories to recipes that I think will help searchers find them, and it’s not too hard to do since this blog is fairly new and the number of posts is still small.

Today, I wondered if it could really be true that I had only made one casserole in all this time (plus one I re-blogged from Ina Garten), because I think it must seem to most cooks that the casserole is a standard dish. But there it was, just one—Tuna Casserole. So I decided to look up casserole and see if I was getting the definition wrong.

Among other things, Wikipedia says “Casseroles in the United States or continental Europe usually consist of pieces of meat (such as chicken) or fish (such as tuna), various chopped vegetables, a starchy binder such as flour, potato or pasta, and, often, a crunchy or cheesy topping. Liquids are released from the meat and vegetables during cooking, and further liquid . . . may be added when the dish is assembled. Casseroles are usually cooked slowly in the oven, often uncovered.”

That sounds about right, but I still wondered if I were missing a few recipes that could fit in that category. As I mentioned, I also marked a re-blogged post, Ina Garten’s “Potato Basil Frittata,” as a casserole, because it is baked in the oven, although I think casserole is a stretch for a frittata. I found two others that I have since added to the category, with justifications: “Converting a Recipe: ‘Decadent Pork Ragu’ in a Slow Cooker” (just because I think you could make it in the oven) and “Chicken Tamale Casserole” (which is cooked in the oven, but is not the traditional combination bound with a starchy sauce).

I roasted a lot of vegetables this summer, later combining them with other ingredients, but not baking all together in the oven, so I’m not including those. I suspect the winter will bring more casseroles. Geez, I haven’t even made macaroni and cheese yet, but it’s coming.

So, what’s the category of this post? Meta—a term in some fields that means self-referential or about itself, so here about the blog or main topic of the blog. This post will be the 6th meta post on the site.

Author: Barbara

I have a PhD in American Literature and taught in higher education for over twenty years and directed two Centers for Instructional Technology before retiring.

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