The Age Old Question

What’s for supper?

My, my, my. How I used to probably annoy my poor mother with this question. Now I get to annoy myself silly with it.

This question elicits a great deal of emotion from me. It excites me to think of the endless yummy possibilities for what will be my final meal of the day. Perhaps if I lived in Espana, what’s for lunch (or: ¿Qué es para almorzar?) would be the more exciting question, as lunch time is traditionally the Spaniards’ big meal of the day. But sadly, I don’t live in beautiful Espana. Nope, I live here. And here, I get to focus all my food energy on supper. Breakfast can be slim, lunch can be drab, but please don’t make me eat a weak supper.

While this questions makes me salivate more than one probably should, it also elicits a weary dread. Especially Mondays through Fridays. Don’t get me wrong I am fascinated with (ok, obsessed really) eating, food and cooking. I don’t profess to have talent, but I do love to cook. Just in a leisurely sort of way.

But let’s face it. The weeknight meal is a challenge. I don’t care what Rachel Ray says. Inevitably, as the week progresses, suppertime becomes more like battle time. My senses and stomach yearn for pleasurable, warm fulfillment. My mind and limbs yearn for ease and minimal effort. (My wallet simply yearns for no take out orders.)

Thus, an enraging debate ensues that goes a little something like this:

Mmmmm, I bought all the ingredients for chicken tetrazzini this weekend. I should make that tonight! I am soo good planning out all our meals in advance. I even thoughtfully put the chicken in the fridge last night to thaw out. Go me, I rock! This is going to taste awesome. Now let me just go get the recipe…

Whaattt?? I don’t remember this recipe having this many steps on Saturday. It looked so easy then. Crap. I should have cooked the chicken yesterday, so that I can have one less step today. Oh well, next time I will be more prepared. I’m so excited! Yummy, warm, cheesy pasta goodness. In my tummy. And it’s cold outside. Which makes it extra yummy. This dish also has mushrooms and peas. I love mushrooms and peas! I am like, sooo healthy. All it took was that one article in the SELF magazine and I have totally transformed myself into a health nut. Look at me! Cooking with real vegetables. I rock!

Ugh, wait I don’t have any mushrooms. How did I forget those? They were on my list. Crap. I really don’t want to go to the store. Double crap. Somanna just pulled up, so I can’t make him, err, ask him to go to the store. I hate going to the store. Especially for just.one.thing.

It’s ok though! Substitute!

Right-O. So it won’t be completely by the recipe, but that’s ok. That’s what real cooks do anyways. They adapt. They’re flexible. They make do with what is in their pantry. Brilliant! Food Network should hire me. I am a genius!

Except, err, our pantry has …..black beans, taco seasoning and cereal. The fridge has lemons and celery? How old is that celery? Oh Sweet Heavens. Ok. That won’t work. Geez, now I feel guilty for wasting the celery. I had total intentions of eating it in lieu of chips and salsa as part of my “get healthy 2009 plan.” I don’t think black beans will exactly substitute for mushrooms. Hmmm, I wish I didn’t keep thinking about that silly cereal staring me in the face. It would leave approximately 1.5 bowls and 2 spoons to load into the dishwasher. And it is already after 7 ….

NO! I will persevere! I will forge through and cook this scrumptious, healthy meal to please da hubby, my inner health nut and my inner hippie, not to mention my depraved taste buds and stomach. I’ve read all the books. Eat at home, cook more, eat green things = better for your waist, wallet and the earth. Yes! We will act out our own social protest right here in this very kitchen! Big food industry with all your pollutants and chemicals, be damned! Fast food chains with all your fat and salt, suck it! I just have to pysch myself up, that’s all. I can do it! I CAN DO IT!! Ok, first let’s just assemble all the ingredients and get this socially protestin’ badass tetrazzini show on the road!

Holy Guacamole Batman! There are just way too many dishes here: a pot to boil the chicken, a pot to boil the pasta, a casserole dish, a cutting board, a mixing bowl, utensils. And don’t forget the standard two plates + two forks + two glasses by the time we actually get to eating, which according to the recipe is roughly about 45 to 55 minutes away….. assuming I don’t mess up, which is probable as I feel hunger pains rendering my mind delirious. I wish Somanna would quit giving me dirty looks that say “I cannot believe you would make me clean up that many dishes on a weeknight at 9:00?” I mean after all, I am cooking him dinner. And he knows how my feminist ovaries feel about that.

Well I’ve assembled everything. Just have to dive in now and chop up the onions and garlic.

Grrr. I loathe chopping.

What’s that Somanna? American Idol has already started?

Aww, the hell with it. Cereal it is then.

Suck it up Senses. Your culinary delight awaits you on the weekend…..

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4 Comments

Filed under the drama queen

4 responses to “The Age Old Question

  1. Brittany

    Wow. That sounds exactly like my inner monologue concerning food. It is such an inner struggle!! Excellent & entertaining post 🙂

  2. Becky

    I love that we are not the only couple that has this battle!!! Weeknight meals are tough, no matter what they tell you on Food Network! I’m a big fan of buying tilapia–it cooks up quick, and you can still feel healthy because, after all, it’s fish! Last night I made blackened tilapia and boil-in-bag brown rice… I love boil in bag rice… its a gift from heaven. 😉

  3. May

    Beth — this is freakin’ hilarious. Seriously, this is exactly what goes through my head most nights of the week — especially the whole “good for your waist wallet and earth” bit. I always have that inner struggle about creating a mess of dishes for Joey to clean up, but justify it by the fact that I cooked a gourmet meal. Funny, funny stuff.

  4. Elaine

    I appreciate the acknowledgement at the beginning of this very clever, very entertaining, and very accurate description of “The Evening Meal”!Why do you think we had spaghetti or hot dogs and mac and cheese so much when you guys were living at home?I applaud you for the lofty goal of gourmet meals during the work week. One suggestion is to cook on week ends and freeze individual servings for the week nights. I only did this a couple of times because it was too much like leftovers which none of you really wanted. Try it out though–it might work for you!

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