Every day I say to myself, "I can't. I cannot make another dinner ever again. We'll have to go out or order a pizza or sit in the sealed garage with the car engine running." And every day I manage to pull myself together and pull dinner (not literally) out of my ass. We are out of whole-wheat pasta and out of canned beans and I have used almost all the root vegetables and the bags of frozen corn and frozen peas; I have one jar left of pickled beans and I can't think of a meal to make out of wild grape jam, even though, yes, there's still tons of it. "I really should shop," I say, and then don't. Last night we ate eggs and toast and clementines; the night before last we had (frozen) corn chowder and popovers; tonight we're eating tempeh bacon and roasted turnips and salad. It doesn't sound bad, and maybe it's not, and I do pride myself on making something out of nothing, but boy I am so sick of cooking with pantry dregs. Sigh.
If you're my mom: Everything's totally fine! If you're a local friend: You should definitely invite us over for dinner.
That's it. Except for Iota, which is an incredibly tiny and fun game, like a cross between Set and Qwirkle. It is a new favorite around here.
It's that kind of week at our house, too. In fact, it's just that time of year. Tiny hints of spring make me want to scrap all the winter foods we've been eating, but it's not yet time for beautiful produce and it's also too cold. So...I am in a cooking rut. Tonight we will be lame and have egg drop soup from our favorite Chinese take-out, but soon o will cook something wonderful and use your bread cumbs tip! Thanks for always writing just what I need to hear.ReplyDelete
Today was the once-every-two (or three)-month occasion in which I have dinner planned and partly prepared at 1:00 in the afternoon. (SOUP! Today's a rainy day.) So, of course, my son's baseball coach sends out an e-mail stating that since it's rainy and he has to cancel practice, let's all meet at a pizza joint for team-building. I'm not one to pass up pizza and a salad bar, so I guess we'll have soup tomorrow.ReplyDelete
I got a little hopeful and excited to see nectarines and plums at the grocery store, only to see that of, course, they're from Chile. I still optimistically bought three of each. Not surprisingly, I was sorely disappointed. One nectarine was moderately acceptable enough to add to a fruit salad. The other two ended up in the trash. In two months, I'll be swimming in farmer's market goodness, for now I have to be satisfied with almost delicious pears and Cuties. I'm in CA, so the strawberries are coming in just a few short weeks!
Also, if you want to come over for dinner tomorrow (we're having soup, of course), be here around 5ish. I'm guessing 4 plane tickets to California might be a little more expensive than just going out to dinner, though.
Thank you for the invitation. Sigh.Delete
In fact, Catherine, why don't you do this: go to Alisha's tomorrow for dinner, and then come to ours on Saturday? We're both in California, bound to be right next door, right?ReplyDelete
Sigh. We've been having quesadillas and egg-in-a-hole for dinner more nights than I care to count. I feel like I've reached the bottom of my inspiration as well - I now dread that evening hour of post-preschool nuttiness and no-food-inspirationness and getting-ready-for-bedness. Then they go to bed and all is quiet and I think: I miss my babies! I hardly got to see them today! And swallow down a hard tight sob.
Sigh again. Seriously, what should I do for dinner??!?
I'm on my way.Delete
I just served falafel pulled from the freezer, potato cakes made with aging mashed potatoes, and carrot and celery sticks. At least I had some of your crudite dip to liven everything up!ReplyDelete
We had the most awesome dinner that was delivered to us by a very dear friend. Glad I didn't have to think about it tonight!ReplyDelete
If I drank... it would drive me to it....
We had canned beans that expired in 2011 after I heard on tv that canned goods are good forever. And I cooked celery with onions to save it. We are all fine!ReplyDelete
I am now the third to invite you for dinner in California, so at this point it's almost rude if you don't come. (-:ReplyDelete
The breadcrumbs sound delicious, but have you tried the Nettletown salty seeds (did I post this here already?) I found out about them on the Tea and Cookies blog, and now I put them on everything. Seriously. Everything. Here's a like, and Catherine, you gotta try them out. (This is not my blog, by the way, just in case you thought I was shamelessly promoting myself). http://www.teaandcookiesblog.com/2011/06/nettletowns-salty-seeds.html
Ooh. I just looked. I am going to try them. Also, who's picking me up from the airport in Cali?Delete
I don't know how your Concord grapes compare to my cheap grape jelly, but... and this is embarrassing, but the thing people ask me to bring to potlucks (okay the old people at church) is anything drenched in a sauce made of equal parts grape jelly and Heinz chili sauce. I don't like it; it's kind of a bizarre bbq sauce, but I dutifully bring meatballs in it and I never have leftoversReplyDelete
I made that on New Year's! Only I was too cheap to buy chili sauce, so I mixed ketchup with some jalapeno jelly a friend had made. It sure is a crowd pleaser, just like you said!Delete
Brilliant! ketchup would take it to the very next level of... well, whatever it is. I'm going to try that!Delete
I actually made my very first pot roast this week, in a desperate effort to have something that wasn't chicken. The result? Meh, at best. The general feeling around the table was, "Well, at least it wasn't chicken."ReplyDelete
That is a great idea, thanks. I have been having one of those weeks too. Got back on Monday from an Easter week end and house is empty. Using up the hard boiled eggs in every way possible. The good part is I have finally emptied out my cupboards and freezer, which needed to be done. The only thing I allowed myself to buy yesterday was some broccoli. I made a variation of your raw broccoli salad and the whole family LOVED it! Will let you know on when I post it.ReplyDelete
It's not exactly "schadenfreude," but there is a bit of comfort in knowing that even YOU have those kind of weeks... Even with a relatively full pantry (lots of dry lentils and cans of tuna, which nobody seems to like much) I feel uninspired. Maybe I'll put some butter toasted breadcrumbs on them....ReplyDelete
Agreed, perhaps it's the "almost but not quite Spring" feeling ... even the kids said last night, "Elbows and broccoli?" and that tells me something when they notice that we're using some strange combinations of food around here. Catherine, question - and forgive me if the answer is obvious - I'm glad of a use for the ends of bread, but do you fry them up before or after you put them in the freezer? I'm guessing after? Right before you need them?ReplyDelete
What an excellent question! I just edited to answer. But yes: fry them up as you need them. xoDelete
I feel a little terrible about all the beans served at my house and when my son asked what was in his lunch thermos the other day, I said, "rice and beans!" and then added sarcastically, "because we just don't get enough of them." And he sweetly, cryptically said, "that's true. I love rice and beans!" Bless the children.ReplyDelete
I can't imagine what kind of hits you are going to get from the phrase "sit in the sealed garage with the car engine running", I know you look at these things on your analytics, should be entertaining. Or odd and sad. Naybe you will encourage someone who is having a VERY bad day to go make yummy breadcrumbs.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this. I could not for the life of me understand why I keep on drawing a blank for dinner ideas. Took spring break off with my husband (a teacher) and kids, and only bought milk during the week. I felt pretty good about the creativity I had to muster to make a meal from freezer and pantry. But in general the response was, "not great, but at least it isn't one of your other tired old recipes, mom." The kids suggestions for dinner almost every week are: tacos, pizza, burgers. I got nuthin' to combat the rut. Nuthin. Please tell me this will pass. Soon.ReplyDelete