I would just like to start by saying that I fully and completely understand that figuring out what to make for dinner every night shouldn’t be so difficult. I get that it is just a matter of planning and prepping. How hard is that really, when you think about it. And yet…
It. Is. So. Hard.
Why though? Why is it so hard? Why is it that I literally can NEVER think of ANYTHING to make? My sister and I talk about this all the time, and we both agree that on paper it seems easy. On paper it looks like this: On Monday we’ll have such and such, on Tuesday we’ll have whatever… And then you just figure out the ingredients that you need for each meal, and you shop accordingly, and voila! Easy. Peasy. Lemon. Squeezy.
Except it’s not.
It’s like this:
Monday ~ Meatballs. Awesome. Meatball Monday. I’m going to make that a thing. From now on, I declare Monday to be Meatball Monday. Done.
Tuesday ~ Taco Tuesday, naturally. Wait, except that then we are having ground beef two days in a row. That can’t be good. Monday should be a chicken dish. Gross. I hate touching raw chicken. But, whatever. For the good of the family, Monday is now some sort of chicken dish.
Monday ~ Some sort of chicken dish. But what? Roast chicken? No. I can’t even bear the thought of pulling that slimy bag of innards out. Chicken cutlets? That’s always a big seller at my house…but then I have to dunk the stupid chicken in egg, and dredge it in bread crumbs, and fry it on the stove. So. Much. Work. I can’t even go there. My mind is whirring! What the heck are we going to have on Mondays?
Wednesday ~ Ummm…sandwiches? No! Hot dogs. Hot dogs, or sandwiches. Or macaroni and cheese. Wednesday can be choice night, and those can be the three stellar choices. Sandwich, hot dog, mac and cheese, or starve. Wait, that is four good choices! Four! They are so lucky to have me as their mom.
Thursday ~ You have GOT to be kidding. I have to think of ANOTHER thing to make?! Okay, fine! I’ll make American Chop Suey. My husband’s favorite. Yes, another meal of ground beef. This just feels wrong somehow. Not to mention the fact that up until I met my husband I always thought American Chop Suey was some sort of chinese dish. Whatever. The problem is, this is how American Chop Suey usually goes down in my house:
Kid: “What’s for dinner?”
Me: “I’m making American Chop Suey”
Kid: “What is that?”
Me: “You know, that thing I make with the hamburger in the spaghetti sauce over pasta? Dad’s favorite dinner? Remember?”
Kid: “Oh, yea. I hate that.”
Me: “Well, then, don’t eat it.”
Kid: “Can I just have the meat after it’s cooked, but before you put it in the spaghetti sauce?”
Other Kid: “Can I have just the meat and the spaghetti sauce but not over the pasta?”
Another Kid: “Can I have pasta with nothing but butter and salt?”
And Another Kid: “Can I have the pasta with the spaghetti sauce without any hamburger in it?”
And yet Another Kid: “Can I have a peanut butter sandwich?”
Mental note, American Chop Suey is coming off the menu.
Friday ~ Pizza Friday. I love Fridays. Pizza and wine. Two great tastes that taste great together.
Saturday/Sunday ~ It’s the weekend. I feel justified in insisting that everyone fend for themselves until Monday.
And then it starts all over again.
It’s never ending! And how did I become the family chef, anyways?! Are there people out there who actually like the planning and the cooking? Do their kids eat what they make? Would they be willing to adopt me so that I, too, can eat a satisfying meal cooked with love every night?
Are there any support groups out there for clueless dinner makers like myself? If not, there should be.
“Hello, my name is Debbie, and I don’t know what to make for dinner tonight.”