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cooking - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
estherchaya
estherchaya
cooking
Generally speaking, I don't do much cooking during the week. I cook so much for Shabbos that I just don't have it in me to cook too much during the week. So we eat leftovers, or pick up pizza, or I make chicken nuggets, or a frozen spinach pie or something like that. But no real meals. Seth's out every Monday evening and every Wednesday evening, so that makes it even easier to be lazy about cooking during the week. And the truth is, I'm a good cook, but I'm generally an inefficient cook. So throwing together dinner in 30 minutes or less is extremely difficult for me, even though I can teach other people how to do it. It doesn't make much sense, but that's the way it is.

Anyway, last week I stopped by a friends' house to return the maternity clothes that she had so generously lent me (but I mostly didn't need, as it turned out). As it turned out, I stayed for a bit and ended up invited to join them for dinner. It was simple: salmon casserole made with canned salmon, whole wheat twirly noodles, mushroom soup and milk, then baked. A one-dish meal that was perfectly satisfying. She mocked me a little bit for refusing to cook during the week, but she also spends a LOT of Shabbos meals at my table, so she very well knows how much goes into their preparation, so the mocking was good-natured.

Then on Shabbos I was talking to Sheri and she asked what I had made for lunch. Nothing. I cook dinner, not lunch for shabbos, unless we're having company. "So what will you have?" She queried incredulously. I don't know, I said, "I'll figure it out." I said I'd probably make tuna salad and have some side dishes (e.g. tomato salad) and cheese and bagels... whatever. "Is that what you would serve if you had guests?" Well, no. I mean, I would, but there would have been a lot more of it and probably another course or two, but that's beside the point. And she sighed, looked at me meaningfully, and said, "Shabbos is your guest." Yeah. She's right of course. But when I make a "shabbosdik" lunch when it's just Seth, Julian, and me... we don't eat it. We come home, we crash, we have a very light lunch, and the rest goes to waste. Somehow, later we got on the topic that I don't cook much during the week either, and that it was partly because I just can't throw together dinner that quickly. "Why?" said a shocked Sheri. Well, because I can't. I mean, I could if I really wanted to, but clearly the motivation just isn't there. So she started coming up with ideas for me... make a bunch of lasagnas to freeze. A fine idea except I hate lasagna. Make tacos one night. Yeah, um, except my tacos (which are AWESOME) are very labor intensive. Lots of chopping, shredding, whatever. Make meals in the crockpot! (My crockpot is huge... not sure how well that would work, but I suppose I COULD do it if I weren't lazy in the mornings) All fine ideas. All ideas which made me a wee bit defensive. (but which also made me realize that I cook more during the week than I give myself credit for)

After Shabbos, I made Seth call Sheri and tell her how much he enjoyed his lunch. :) (and it was lovely, by the way... I made seafood salad, and we had leftover spinach & artichoke dip, and the pan pizza that we hadn't served the night before, and also some tomato salad, I think... WAY more than enough food for two people... Julian wasn't interested in any of it) Sheri laughed, of course, and pretended like she hadn't meant anything, and whatnot. But her mission was accomplished. I was definitely guilted. And so...

Sunday morning Seth, Julian, and I went to Lauren's house to finish setting up the crib and stroller and assorted other little things. On the way back, we stopped at Trader Joes to pick up a few fun things... I got fingerling potatoes and sweet potatoes, salad makings, some interesting soups, bread, and some ground beef. Probably a few other things, but those are the basics.

When we got home, I made one of the new soups and grilled cheese for lunch. And for dinner, I sauteed onions and ground beef, added onion soup mix and some broth to make a bit of a sauce, and tossed in some cooked fusilli pasta. I served that with a garden salad (romaine lettuce, quartered cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices) and roasted sweet potato spears. It was simple, but delish. I tried to convince Julian to eat the pasta, but he wouldn't have anything to do with it, since it had been contaminated. He ate cucumber slices and ONE piece of pasta because I made him eat one before he left the table. Seth called Sheri and told her she had created a monster and that his wife wouldn't stop cooking. Hah!

Determined not to break the trend, Monday evening I made a quesadilla for Julian for dinner and he actually ate it! (I lied and told him it was a grilled cheese so I tricked him, but it worked) When Seth got home, since he wasn't learning with Shmuel, I made him a quesadilla and a salad. Actually, a quesadilla and salad would have been doable even if he weren't planning to be home for the rest of the evening.

Last night I thought my plans to make dinner (again) might be upset, because I had to go to the grocery store first, and then I had to pick up Julian, and then go to two different dry cleaners (I picked up our cleaning at one place and a friend's cleaning at another place). No way I was going to be able to make dinner right? WRONG! I made ceasar salads and pasta with mushrooms and marinara sauce. Julian even ate some pasta and some string cheese.

Tonight we're having company, a friend of mine from High School. Actually, David and I were in Middle School together too, now that I think about it. And so, again, I will cook dinner. That's THREE days in a row (and two meals on Sunday)! See? I can be the super-mom/super-wife/working parent chick! (I think I need a cape. And maybe a logo!) Tonight I'm just planning on baked chicken, rice, and broccoli. Should I do anything more? Maybe in honor of having a guest we should have dessert too. Hrm.

The point is, I'm going to cook a meal every day this week. So there. I've even got some ideas for next week. Maybe this is a new trend! Or, um, maybe not. I'm not getting my hopes up, but I AM pretty proud of myself. I used to cook dinner every night, and I haven't done so regularly for a while, and I DO feel better about myself when I do it (and ironically, my kitchen stays neater when I cook every day). So I'll just see where this goes. I have two "domestic goddess" icons... it will be nice to be able to use them again. :)

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Comments
ailsaek From: ailsaek Date: November 22nd, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
*applause* That is very very cool. I like to think of myself as a good cook, but I go in phases where I get creative, and phases where I can't imagine how I ever managed it (and my taco nights are nothing like as awesome as yours).
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: November 22nd, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have good weeks, and less good weeks. This week I'm trying not to be too creative. My taco nights are fun, but there's a lot of prep work. that's why I think they're perfectly festive enough to be shabbosdik.
debsters1101 From: debsters1101 Date: November 22nd, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
lol i am so with you on this one. when im in school, its REALLY hard for me to cook because dov and i get home at different times and i would get home at 9 some nights and yeah. now i am doing an internship and i get h ome by 530 every night but guess what! i still cant seem to manage to cook most nights. monday we have leftovers, wednesdays i get home late so dov picks up chinese, thursdays im cooking for shabbos so we have whatever, and yeah thats the week! i do cook on tuesday nights, stir fry or ... um... lol stir fry. very impressive. i thought this semester id be so domestic cuz id be home by 530 but NOPE!!! oh well. you just gave me some good easy ideas though so maybe I will implement them.. and then we can have seth calling sherri, and dov calling you, and lol itll be a whole cycle.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: November 22nd, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I used to be really good about having a real dinner every night. But I've gotten lazy. But I definitely feel better about myself, my house, and my family when we sit down to a real dinner each night. I feel like less of a "poser" then. :)
pocketnaomi From: pocketnaomi Date: November 22nd, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are Lauren and family back yet?!?!?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: November 22nd, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, indeed, they are.
pocketnaomi From: pocketnaomi Date: November 22nd, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay!!!
yeishlitikvah From: yeishlitikvah Date: November 22nd, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

STOP THE INSANITY!!!!!!!1

omg i am so utterly impressed, and mildly perturbed as to if you can juggle all the stuff on your plate, what's my excuse? lol getting a meal for shabbos even for two is ahh enough and then attemtping to be functional ina kitchen after a day from hell just doe3sn't do it for me

maybe i should work on that and like another 12 kabjillion things(yes its a measurement I've decided)

good luck keep us posted on howb your week long cooking forrays turn out
batya_d From: batya_d Date: November 23rd, 2006 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, good for you! Keep the cooking posts coming, you're inspiring me :)

I'm only a student and no kids yet, and I don't cook every single night. I'm much the same as you-- something or someone will inspire me, and I go on a cooking kick! When I do cook, say 3x/week excluding shabbos, I make double and we have it a day or two later as leftovers. Or I freeze for a lazy night.

I have a huge crockpot too, and I often use it very successfully to make everyday suppers- Last night's stewed chicken breasts with tomatoes veggies and potatoes could easily be a crockpot recipe. I I make thai chicken in the crock-- mix Peanut butter, jarred salsa and a little lime juice, pour over chicken, cook on hi. It's actully very good! I also recently made a fabulous turkey soup in my crockpot from a leftover carcass, just added the usual chicken soup veggies, let it cook all night, and YUM!

Most crock pot users do the prepwork in the morning before work and then he dinner ready when they walk in--I'm a night owl, so I prep and set everything at night and just stick it in the fridge to reheat that night.
Unfortunately some of my favorite and easiest to prepare recipes don't get made much anymore because my husband is lactose intolerant :(

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