What’s for Dinner?

Mike had to go out of town last week for a few days.  Dumpling was at her mom’s house so this left Pistol and I to our own devices.  Pistol loves to spend a little one on one time with me but she’s not sure its worth sacrificing dinner over it.  Years ago when Mike was out on a work trip and we were sitting around eating a nice plate of crackers and cheese for dinner (and wine) she spouted out, “Mom, what would we do if Michael wasn’t with us?!  Crackers and cheese is not dinner!”  I believe that if she had her own glass of wine she might not jump to that conclusion so quickly but that’s just me.  Mike left on Sunday and within a few hours she wanted to know if we would be eating at my parents house…

Mommy Sha (Molly’s Mom):  She’s always been that way.  When she wakes up she wants to know the agenda for the day and that includes dinner.

Molly:  I know, I know, but I felt like I was letting her down by not providing her with a ‘Martha Stewart’ type of meal.

Mommy Sha:  (muffled laugh) You’re very talented honey but cooking dinner is not where you like to put your energy.

Every morning she woke up and asked, ‘What are we having for dinner?’…

Every day after school she asked, ‘What are we having for dinner?’….

What’s with the whole dinner thing anyway?  Pistol is such a picky eater.  There is many a night where she turns her nose up to whatever deliciousness Mike has produced for us.  Does she really want to know what the menu is or is she just confirming that dinner is still included in the room and board here?

We did not have crackers and cheese.  I had my faithful standbys ready- pasta one night, frozen pizza the next.  The third night was tough.  She could feel I was running out of steam in the cooking department.  Mike would be home around 7 and I knew I should have dinner on the table.  Making dinner would be the last thing he would want to do.  That morning Pistol wanted to know “what time is Mike coming home?  Will he be able to cook dinner?”  No,  honey I’ve got this (maybe).

6pm came around, I opened the refrigerator.  It was full of food.  I pulled things out, tried to get the same look of inspiration on my face that Mike often has when he searches through the refrigerator but it didn’t come.  I scanned down and saw we had 7 dozen eggs.  We gotta get through these eggs.  If I propose an omelet she’ll just say, “It’s dinner time not breakfast!’  God that kid really needs to open her mind a bit.

Hmmm….a frittata!  We have those purple potatoes and tons of veggies.  It’s not breakfast (but it really is)!

I did it!  Mike came home just as the frittata was finishing up.  He had a slight look of surprise that I had something in the oven that wasn’t a cake and the kitchen was looking like this:


Later the next day he asks what we did while he was away and finally, what did we eat.

Molly:  Do you really think I can’t survive without you for a few days?

Mike: Well, I knew we didn’t have any crackers…

Molly:  Hey Buster, you know I lived on my own for many years!

Mike: Hmmm…

I didn’t tell him that the kitchen looked like this the entire time he was gone!


Obviously I was doing something!  This kinda mess doesn’t just happen…


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  1. Jeff | Sustainable Life Blog
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Heh, that’s about how my kitchen looks now.  I totally know how you feel about cooking for a small number of people.  Its so hard, and eating leftovers or a frozen pizza is so much easier it make s the other things (just about anything else) quite a bit of trouble.

    • Posted October 13, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      For a while there I had us on a routine meal plan just like the cafeteria at grade school.  It was easier to plan and shop for.  I always had an answer to What’s for dinner? Well, it’s Tuesday so it must be pasta. Molly’s trying to be gluten free so that killed pizza and pasta nights.  Now I need some new fast and easy meal ideas to get back on track.

  2. Kidoine
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Molly, you are so lucky to have someone cook for you!  I love cooking, however, so I wish I had someone for clean-up.  Recently, Ben and Kathryn visited and she made roasted peppers with other veggies.  The kitchen was humming as she roasted the chiles on the open gas range, the smoke alarm went off and scared the wee ones, and the kitchen was a MESS when she was finished.  She’s a great cook, and I don’t mind cleaning up afterward, but the other day I realized my whole fan and hood were loaded with pepper cast-offs.  When I saw your blog about the Hatch chiles, I thought that would be a great thing to have around here.  I’ve never seen them before, and we certainly have lots of chiles we could roast.  Still enjoying your adventures.

    • Posted October 13, 2011 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Whoop!  That is so funny about the your hood!  
      My mom always told me I didn’t have the best taste in men but they could always cook (Mike is exempt from  my bad-taste-in-men category 🙂 ).  It’s a nice share of the work so it doesn’t seem so much like a chore.  It’s so great to hear from you!

  3. Posted October 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Your kitchen looks so cute and homey. 

    If I was married to a Michael I would soooo be the same way as you.  I cook because I have to, but I’ve never enjoyed it.  I just don’t get inspired by ingredients.

    Our kitchen starts looking like photo #2 on Thursday, because I know the babysitter won’t be back until Tuesday so I don’t have anyone to impress. 🙂

    • Posted October 13, 2011 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it strange?!  I really do try and feel grateful I don’t have to try very often 🙂
      I have a rule (yes, it’s my rule I brought into our family) that whoever cooks does not have to clean up.  I’m pretty sure my mom came up with this one since she was the cook in the house.  It’s tough to clean up after a big dinner though!  I’m so sleepy with all the great food in my tummy.

  4. Grumpyrumblings
    Posted October 13, 2011 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Sounds like it is time for Pistol to take over some of the menu planning and cooking!

    Crackers and cheese is a favorite dinner around here.  Also breakfast for dinner.  Pistol needs to lighten up!  If my 4 year old can handle it…

    • Posted October 13, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Last year we had the girls making dinner on Thursday nights.  It kind of petered out because it was more work for me to keep it going and I got tired of having their default  (nachos) every Thursday.

      • Posted October 13, 2011 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        Ya think!  Although nachos did get very boring but we have gotten very lackadaisical with the kids chores and getting them to do their fair share around here.

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