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What's for dinner?
Sunday, August 19, 2012
By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Accent Editor
How is it that some nights we can’t even remember what kinds of foods can be cooked for supper?
You know how some evenings are. You’ve had a great week, buoyed by efficiency: The house is clean, laundry is all caught up and you’ve served your family delicious dinners every night.
Suddenly, the writer’s block of the kitchen hits you. It will be dinnertime soon, there’s nothing in the fridge, and you can’t even remember what some good options are. Everything that occurs to you is something you only recently served.
How can you feel on top of the world with your duties one moment, then back to square one the next? Stuck, and not sure what to do ... or discouraged that no matter how good you are, you’re always back at square one?
Other times, you’ve got plenty of groceries and ideas, but you’ve just had enough.
About once every two or three months I completely throw in the towel and make an appeal to the hubby.
“I am super busy with (whatever),” I say. “Would you mind picking up dinner tonight?”
It’s such a relief not to deal with cooking and cleaning up that it doesn’t matter what he brings, as long as it’s vegetarian and it’s on the table soon.
My husband has no such worries. If he’s had a big lunch with his buddies (or, let’s face it, too much food from the drive-through), he’ll come home and announce, “You don’t have to make dinner tonight. I had a big lunch.”
What about me and the little one? Don’t we need dinner? Naw, not really, not if he’s had enough.
Of course, I’ll cook dinner anyway. The whole time I’m cooking, he’s telling me not to.
Then guess what happens? I put a large plate of food in front of him, which he protests ... then eats every bit of, later saying he was hungrier than he realized after all.
Once in a blue moon we have “don’t tell Daddy night.” Of course, those are on the nights when the hubby is out late and our 3-year-old and I are on our own. Also, of course, neither my daughter nor my hubby know it’s called that.
However, if she’s sleeping by the time he gets home, and the next day she does not remember to tell him we had pancakes or oatmeal for dinner ... it’s fine with me. (That’s when freezing extras from previous meals comes in handy: Your partner still can fortify himself with a home-cooked meal when he arrives, unaffected by the break in routine.)
Then there are the nights the cook isn’t really hungry. That happened to me on Thursday, after I ate too many fried pies from the Bassett Community Market. The family might have been ravenous after a long day, but the last thing I could face was more food. Still, for the main cook, there’s an instinct to keep your loved ones fed and happy.
I resorted to homemade corn bread and (shudder) canned beans.
However, I had a secret weapon, a guarantee toward forgiveness.
“Dinner wasn’t much,” I apolgized, arranging apple, sweet potato, pineapple and cherry fried pies on a serving plate, “but here’s dessert.”
They grinned from ear to ear.