Monday, January 21, 2008

The 30 Minute Meal

It's Friday night. I call my kids and ask if they will be home for dinner. Anthony and Thomas say "yeah, sure". Christine says, "don't worry about me" (only to later come walking in the door hungry). I plan dinner for 4. Shop for about $60 worth of some special meat or fish, expecting to make something like broiled stuffed trout with broccoli rabe or fillet mignon with sauted spinach and roasted potatoes. I pick a wine for Tony and I and go home only to find out that I have 30 minutes to get the food on the table. The kids made plans to go out with friends, to a game, or whatever and are leaving at 6. It is now 5 and I know, if they do not eat at home tonight, like Cinderella, this beautiful, wine-worthy dinner turns into the leftovers which will shrivel up and die an old, slow, unappealing death in the refrigerator. So with determination and a focused look on my face that is translated to "get out of my way, I'm on a mission", I am now rushing around to serve a gourmet meal in half the time. Rachael Ray has become famous for her meals in 30 minutes. Well, I could turn chopped meat around in half an hour too, but I reach higher. It's my fault for two reasons:
  1. I haven't learned to stop making things from scratch. I've never bought bottled salad dressing and sauce in the jar just tastes all the same to me - overly tomatoey.
  2. I still cook as if all 5 of us are together at dinner, even though most nights, we are not. I still shop at Costco at least twice a month. I always think I should have more food just in case one of the kids invites a friend over for dinner. Truthfully, that hasn't happened since high school.
Old habits die hard. This Friday, I will plan a dinner with my husband, buy a nice bottle of wine and forget about the kids. Yeah right. I will probably do the same thing I always do and hope they will be there to eat.


jen said...

You should seriously consider changing the name of your blog to "Life after kids-almost". We're not quite there yet. But maybe that's a good thing.

Rachel Ray can be helpful, but try Sandra Lee's "Semi Homemade." I'm not ashamed to admit that that's more my style.

kristen said...

I'm happy to come over and help you eat, anytime. Especially if there's wine. Actually, all three of us are happy to come. You can trade your three kids for the three of us. Would that help?

Ginny said...

There is always wine!

©hristine said...

I just showed this blog to my whole office and we've decided to make your wish come true. We will ALL be at the house for dinner so be ready!