I asked my husband what I should write about today. He said, “think about what you want for dinner,” instead.
Ugh. Dinnertime. My nemesis. I didn’t used to feel this way. I’ve always had a fairly loose knowledge of cooking, and when we were first married, it was fun for me to try out new recipes, cook ones my mom used to make, and also learn what my husband liked to eat.
Expectations always play a part, right? When we first moved into our little twin home, my husband went off to work and I stayed home to unpack our cute little house. So when evening rolled around, and my husband came home and asked, “What’s for dinner?” I said, “huh, I don’t know. I didn’t cook.” I can’t help but laugh when I remember his crestfallen face. He had lived at home prior to our marriage, so he almost always had a home-cooked meal to eat, courtesy of his mother’s stellar homemaking abilities.
I, on the other hand, had lived with a roommate, and was used to fending for myself, which usually meant Wendy’s, if I’m honest. <-That sentence had a lot of comma’s.
Anyway, from that point on, I tried harder to have a dinner ready when he came home. We both worked full-time, but I was usually home first. It was fun cooking for myself and my spouse.
Now, fourteen years and four kids later, and I absolutely hate dinnertime. I try to plan ahead, but I’m not the type to make a menu for the week. What if my mood changes, and I don’t want meatloaf on Wednesday?? So now, 3:00 rolls around and I can feel the terror building. What am I going to make for dinner? What is the fastest, easiest, healthiest way to fudge this?
I say fudge, because I try to make it look like I’ve put at least some thought into our evening sustenance, but if I’m being honest, I’d rather not. And in my house, we don’t eat quick things, like frozen lasagna, ramen noodles or cold cereal. One reason is because we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and another is that my oldest daughter has Celiac disease, and it’s next to impossible to find a quick freezer meal that’s also gluten free. Ugh.
I also say fudge because I have no imagination whatsoever when it comes to cooking. I can walk in the pantry, see a plethora of ingredients and still have no idea what to make.
My husband, on the other hand, can come up with the most amazing meals and flavors out of thin air! One night, he made this bacon wrapped chicken meal with sauteed apples and onions–with NO recipe at all. And of course, it was delicious! I try to make up a meal and…well, it’s best to say that I’m sure you can get better airplane food. Which is fine because I can stick to someone else’s recipe and usually turn out a decent meal. I just wish I didn’t dread it so much.
I’m very lucky that I have a husband who is willing to cook dinner 3-4 times a week. He knows that I hate it and that it stresses me out, so he helps out on weekends and often on weekdays, even after he’s put in a full day of work in front of the computer screen. He’s amazing. Seriously.
Another one of the reasons I hate dinnertime, and I’m sure I am joined by mothers all over the world when I say this, is because my kids won’t be happy no matter what I cook. I’m blessed that I have kids who eat, and they have good palates. But not everyone likes the same dinner, so I get to hear some form of grousing each night when I present the evening jambalaya (I make that one a lot because it’s a one-pot meal. SO easy, tastes good; win-win).
I could probably go on and on about this, but then it would get redundant. So I’ll wrap it up and stop procrastinating what I’m really supposed to be doing right now… figuring out what we are going to eat for dinner.