Years ago, when a friend had emergency surgery, she was overwhelmed with dinners brought over from caring neighbors who wanted to help. She also was overwhelmed with Italian meals. Everybody made lasagne, spaghetti or some type of pasta bake. It's true, those meals are easy to heat and they feed a crowd. But my new go-to dinner to deliver is pot roast. I follow directions I learned in one of my very first cooking classes, and it always produces a perfect roast flanked by vegetables. Lately, though, we have been noticing a lot of prepared seasonings for pot roast in grocery stores. We found three liquid seasoning pouches and one dry blend that required added water. We tried all four on chuck roasts and vegetables, according to package directions, and cooked them in our slow cookers overnight. These might even be easier than my dependable cooking school recipe.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent