It’s not just a meme generated cliche, making dinner can go from delightful to drudgery within three business days. When I was a kid, growing up in my grandmother’s house, dinner was on the table by 5pm every night.
Yes, that did seem a little early. It wasn’t until I was cooking for my own family that I realized how much the woman just wanted to get it over with. It’s not just the idea of dinner. It’s the planning, preparation, cooking, serving, and cleanup that sucks the life right out of you. After 40 years of cooking meals for her quasi- grateful family, the woman packed it in with frozen fried chicken and taco night.
Historically, dinner is a pain in the ass. Think of the words of Mick Jagger, ” she buys an instant cake and burns a frozen steak,” the woman in “Mother’s Little Helper” sedates herself in an effort to mentally prepare to the mind numbing experience of preparing a nightly meal.
No, dinner can’t always be high brow, gourmet or foodie-ish. Sometimes, it’s just what happens between getting home from work and going to to bed. While I do believe that it should be a family affair, most people do not associate meal time bonding with preparing the meal as much as just the eating of the meal.
These are a few of my go-to items when I just can’t deal with making “a real” dinner:
1. Eggs: Put them in a sandwich, fritatta, whatever.
3. Pasta with garlic, oil, and spinach: For some reason this one is always a hit.
4. A large salad
5. Order a pizza
Yes, when in doubt get a pizza. That’s about as close to fast food as I get but it’s usually economical and a life saver. As much as I plan my meals for the week and shop with them in mind, I realize that there are going to be nights when it’s just not going to happen. Ugh. Just thinking about this makes me wonder what I have planned for dinner.