What’s for Dinner?

food-569158_1280I think I’ve mentioned before that I am not a cook by any means. I was raised on boxed macaroni and canned green beans. My mom meant well, and all the food groups were usually represented, except on spaghetti or sloppy Joe night, but she was feeding a family of five on a budget. Creatively speaking, cooking was a survival skill rather than a nurtured talent.

So when I make it through a week, or most of the way through the week, with well-planned, well-balanced meals, I feel pretty proud of myself. I’ve accomplished something beyond my abilities.

The thing is, however, my culinary audience is not always as pleased as I am with what’s put before them.

Like most households, I assume (because to think otherwise would be an even bigger blow to my already diminished cooking ego), my dinner’s are usually met with less than enthusiastic applause. Except from my husband, God bless him.

My husband is pretty easy going and rarely, if ever, complains about what’s served. I’ve come to realize after 15+ years, however, that speaks less about my culinary skills and more to the fact that he knows he would be the one responsible for dinner if he were to speak otherwise. Did I mention, he’s a smart man, too?

So this week, I stayed on budget. Our main course menu consisted of things that had leftovers, though they may not have been some family members’ favorites. We had stew (it lasted 2 nights –nobody complained, at least not on the first go around. They even said it smelled good); Mexican Quinoa (served with tortilla chips so they could eat it like a dip – it was met with wrinkled noses and looks of disgust, and they ate more chips than quinoa); Garlic Parmesan noodles (no one really complained, except I can tell they’re getting tired of it – it’s my emergency, nothing left in the cupboards “go to” and I’ve served it way too often); greasy chicken (pre-prepared from the grocery store – my favorite kind of food, not necessarily their favorite, especially when it’s served with a side of greens); green sauce enchiladas made from the leftover chicken (with one side order of cheese quesadilla since the girl doesn’t like enchiladas). Nothing exciting…like I said, survival food.

That brings us to last night. I just couldn’t bring myself to cook one more planned meal. Maybe it was all the cookie dough I ate earlier in the day when we were making chocolate cookies, but I just couldn’t do it.

Last night we resorted to fast food tacos. My son and I got tacos and my husband got some wrap thing with bacon, potatoes, steak…let’s just say I don’t know what he was thinking. Oh, and the girl made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because she won’t eat the #1 rated fast food taco restaurant in America.

See, there’s just no pleasing everyone. You think they’d be grateful. I don’t make them eat Melba toast and wheat germ, and I don’t get anchovies on the pizza (even though I’d love that). I don’t even cook fish because my husband can’t stand the taste or smell of it.

So when they ask “What’s for dinner?” I’d rather not answer. My culinary ego can’t handle it anymore. I guess to please everyone, we’ll have to stick to pancakes for dinner all the time. On any level of the food pyramid, can maple syrup be considered a vegetable?

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