Karen (estherchaya) wrote,
Karen
estherchaya

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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. :)
Tags: cooking, food, superwife
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