One of the best things about being empty nesters is not having to cook full meals every night.

Bill’s easy, always has been; he’s not the meat and potatoes kind of guy. We’re happy with soup, BLTs, burgers on the grill, my sensational ham and cheddar omelets … you get the picture.

There are some days when I feel the urge to cook and will prepare a lovely risotto or perhaps seared sea scallops over a lentil ragù. Rare but it does happen. I’m very content taking it easy these days.

But I have to draw the line at one thing: Chef Boyardee ravioli in a can. Six words that never should be put together. It’s a travesty; it’s also one of Bill’s favorites.

I was raised on pure, natural homemade Italian food. “Pasta” in a can is not food. Correction – it’s food: bad food, eye-averting food, gag-inducing food. It’s a treat for Bill to eat this staple from his childhood. He gets practically giddy buttering his bread and dipping it in the (dare I say) sauce in anticipation of that first mouthful. That, my friends, is a scene that once seen cannot be unseen.

Me? I won’t even open the can.

Gag me with a spoon!

NAR © 2023

56 thoughts on “GAG ME WITH A SPOON”

  1. Those were a staple in our house as a kid. Urgh. So disgusting.

    Today, I continue to struggle to create my grandma’s sauce. Each time I get close, I try something that takes me a bit farther away. She never wrote anything down, and is no longer here to ask.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An Italian kid with this stuff in the house? Blasphemy!

      I can empathize re your grandma’s sauce. My mother usually eyeballed everything as she cooked so her recipe cards read “some grated cheese”, “a little salt”, “a *glass* of water”. Um … can you be any more vague, mom? 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My mom always used …. dare I say…. Ragu!

        A few living relatives have offered suggestions for what their mom/grandma did, and some have helped. Grandma was Sicilian and liked sweet sauce. “A little” wine was always in there. My buddy once told me the thing your missing from the sauce is “grandma!”. So true.


    1. We went to a Himalayan restaurant not long ago and there were some Indian dishes on the menu. I am not a fan of curry which I believe is a staple in Indian food but whatever I did have (without curry) was delicious. There was a noodle dish that blew my mind and, of course, the naan bread is always a favorite. ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! That’s really great! We use pulse as a staple along with rice, and green vegetables. But snacks like samosa, kachori, bhajia, panipuri etc are not less. If you have a Punjabi restaurant, you can try some spicy nonveg.


    1. Let’s hope they don’t meet in the middle! 😂

      Yeah, I was lucky but of course I didn’t realize it back then, especially when I was teased in the school lunchroom about some of my more “exotic” lunches such as last night’s filet of sole sprinkled with vinegar on Italian bread or a meatloaf sandwich with a piece of ricotta cheese cake for dessert.


    1. I’ve never seen Heinz Spag Bol here; then again, I probably wouldn’t be looking for it. Every type of food serves a purpose and will appeal to someone. We all have our likes and dislikes.

      I love oysters and steamers. Also love chicken livers with sautéed onions. Bill can’t stand the sight/smell of them.

      Every pot has its lid.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok! We have a vote FOR the Chef! Besides Bill and his twin brother Jim, you are the only other person I know of who actually likes these!

      Well, here’s a bit of trivia, Deb: Chef Boyardee oversaw catering for the wedding reception of US President Woodrow Wilson. You’re in good company!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That was a great post, Gary. Bill also makes a lot of his jigs and lures. His late brother had an online store called Terminal Tackle and Bill would get a lot of his equipment from there. I’ll show him your post tomorrow when he’s not so tired (he was fishing all day today); I’m sure he’ll enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Spaghetti O’s are just one rung below Chef Boyardee ravioli on the ladder of horrific canned foods. They’re pretty benign with their watered-down sauce (or is it ketchup?). Either one is puny but not totally inedible.

      Top of the ladder as worst canned food (IMO) is head cheese (two words that NEVER belong together!) followed closely by SPAM. My apologies to lovers of the two aforementioned items but they are just gross.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am happy to say that this wasn’t even a thing here!
    Mi piace la pasta!
    But I love that even the Sicilian Storyteller will allow for one special occasion pasta in a can!🌹🍝

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally get it. One of my spouses “treats” from his childhood is hot dogs, spaghetti noodles, and hot dogs. Talk about disgusting. He has been banned from making it if I am in smelling distance.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh jeez, thanks Lauren! That makes it SO much better … NOT! 🤢

        I think you also missed an apostrophe in ‘spouses’; gives that sentence a whole different and very provocative meaning! What’s going on over there; care to share with the group?? 🤣 🤣 🤣


  4. This is funny because my mom and dad would eat Chef Boyardee ravioli in a can. It surprised me because they were both excellent cooks. So, I assumed it was related to them living on a budget…not sure.

    Then again, growing up, we ate fried bologna sandwiches, Swanson TV dinners and Velveeta cheese, all of which (and more) I would never put in my mouth today. We have such good whole and healthy foods to choose from today that canned pasta should not be an option.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mother is probably rolling in her grave knowing I even have that stuff in my house but it’s my husband’s favorite ‘once-in-a-blue-moon’ treat and he’s such a great guy, I can’t refuse him this small indulgence.

      Just don’t ask me to eat it!

      Liked by 2 people

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