Friday, November 4, 2011

Made Up Meals

Lots of time when I come home at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is cook dinner. I'm not a plan ahead type of girl. I fly by the seat of my pants, so usually I never have anything thawed out. My Mom on the other hand, plans her menus out by the week and that way, she doesn't waste money at the grocery store and she never has to stand around the kitchen wondering what she's going to do.

In my first marriage, my then husband suggested that I make an organized shopping list. That way, we wouldn't end up with 12 tubes of toothpaste because I couldn't remember if I had gotten any. In his defense, we did have lots of multiples. We might not have fresh milk but by golly, we had enough toothbrushes to last us 100 years. Of course, he was very analytical and I'm not, so to make such a suggestion was something that just sent me into orbit. I was very insulted. I tried the list for a while and he had a point - it worked but dad gummit - it caused me mental strain because I had to remember to update the list and print it out and carry it with me. Sometimes, it stayed on the counter along with all of the coupons that I had spent lots of time cutting out. I was a failure at being organized.

I'm an artist and we don't always adhere to the normal way of doing things. We tend to procrastinate and be flighty and bubble-headed. I know I am. I like grocery shopping. I find it very calming. All those cans lined up side by side which produces a color pattern along the rows cheers me up. I honestly don't care if I have a list. When I don't, I can wander all of the aisles and I get my exercise because usually I make my way aisle by aisle through the store, then remember something I forgot on the opposite side of the store so I have to trek back. I do this back and forth shopping a lot. I like to think that it's helping keep my hiney from getting too big.

Since I don't shop well, or plan my meals ahead we have lots of mystery meals for dinner. We might have fried eggs and beanie weenies for dinner one night and cooked ground meat and roasted cauliflower with balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese the next. My Mr. Wonderful doesn't ever complain. He's been a bachelor for 48 years so he's used to making do. Hell, I'm a gourmet cook to him!

Occasionally I get the urge to cook something good. I look at menus I've saved and actually make a grocery list and get all of the ingredients. Then after shopping and stowing the goods away, I get distracted by something and by the time I've made it back to the kitchen, I've lost track. A day or so later, I'll wonder why I have truffles in my pantry and 3 kinds of special cheese.

Another hazard I face when preparing dinner for everyone is this: I get home after a long day, my back hurts really bad and I don't want to pop a pain pill. So I pop open a beer and start preparing the food. The first beer was pretty good so I decide to have another. Eventually, I lose track of what I'm doing (surprise, surprise) and I forget that I'm cooking. Most of the time, I don't burn anything but every once in a blue moon things get...singed. Everyone around here is used to having to scrape the dark stuff off of the outside of whatever it is I'm cooking.
I'll keep trying and my hungry family will probably keep eating whatever it is that I come up with. I can't guarantee that I'll use a shopping list either. Some days I do, some days I don't. If you're in one of the area grocery stores and you see a goofy looking lady cris-crossing across the store from side to side, it's probably me. And if you ever stop by my house around dinner time, come on in and sit down. I can't guarantee that you'll recognise what you're eating, but it'll fill you up.

Bon appetit!

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