Friday, October 15, 2010

What's for dinner?

Last night my sister and I were having a conversation about making dinner. Ok, it was more about how we hate to cook and making dinner for ungrateful people day in and day out is a pain in the ass and don't you tell me otherwise. But I digress. The point is, she brought up an idea for a dinner delivery service and then we started talking about those places that are cropping up all over now, where for the price of one month's mortgage, you and twelve of your closest friends can go and stand around in a commercial kitchen for an evening, churning out a dozen or so "dinners" that you can pop in your freezer and take out conveniently on any given evening so that your family enjoys a piping hot, "homemade" meal instead of the usual slop you normally serve. Oh the joys! And you can drink wine while doing it, which means that come about recipe number five, you're reading the ingredient list and "1 cup cheese" turns into "1 fuck sheesh" and you end up dumping the whole bucket in. Because, hey, cheese is good! And so is this wine. Anyway.

The thing is, you create these dinners that you "just" have to add salad and bread to make a complete meal. JUST? Do you know how freakin' time consuming it is to make a salad? I love it when people say "Oh, I'll just throw together a salad and call it dinner". Whatever! You have to wash and tear the lettuce, probably breaking at least one nail on your turbo charged salad spinner, wash, chop and add other brightly colored veggies, and then toss it all with a wee bit of low cal dressing. And, hello, that's WORK and isn't the point of have prepackaged meals supposed to be cutting down on the work that is making dinner?

Then, there's the whole freezer thing. These dinner places suggest you take your meal out the day before so it can properly and safely thaw in the fridge while you go about your business. HELLO? More work, and if I could remember to take anything out of the freezer, we'd have food ready to cook every night and I've have no need for the stupid prepackaged meal service in the first place! Who remembers to thaw their meal two days before? I don't even know what I'm having for lunch at breakfast time. I can't plan that far ahead!!!

Dinner is the biggest meal of the day, prepared at the end of the day, when people are at their worst. We're tired, starving and some kid just got on our last nerve. The last thing I want to do is realize my stupid dinner is stuck in the freezer. I want to eat NOW! Never mind that the ravenous pack of kids around me can't wait one single minute and thus are chewing and slobbering their way through snacks so that by the time I've prepared a meal, they've already eaten a meal of crappy snacks. And I'm supposed to feel guilty now because  I didn't provide a nutritionally balanced dinner? Because it was stuck in the freezer and I'm so tired that even tearing a piece of lettuce requires a muscle set I'm sure has been exhausted by noon that day? Uh-uh!

So, I say, be warned, my friends! Do not be fooled by the wine and the "girls' night out" at those make-your-own-dinner places. Sure, you'll have fun assembling ingredients and chatting it up with your friends. You will exclaim over adding oregano to a chicken recipe like you just found the freaking holy grail, and a little light will go on inside you saying "oh, I could totally make this at home". But do not be fooled! You will go home with twelve large-sized ziploc bags full of delicious meals for four (except there's six people in your family, stupid) and those meals will mock you in the freezer for months until, one day, very far in the future, you will pull out a mysterious rectangular lump completely encased in ice and say "what the hell is this?" and dump it in the trash. Dinner's Ready? No it fucking isn't! Just open a can of Spaghetti-o's for the kids and take that bottle of wine into the bathtub with you. You'll save money AND feed your family and what's not to love about that?


jeff said...

Wow! Good attitude:) Sounds like a time management issue to me:)

Mary-Leah said...

Shut up Jeff!

Mimi/Papa said...

LOLOL I think in growing older, I have found that "history does repeat itself."....I have felt that way for many years about cooking a nice meal and no one is hungry when it's all done! Oh, I know, some of my meals were served a little bit later than planned (because the cook and helper were drinking wine and bickering [Mr. and Mrs. Bickerson, remember them?] so the 6 p.m. sharp dinner was 8 p.m. sharp....oh well, that time is gone but it's really funny to read your thoughts on fixing dinners and knowing it was like that so many years ago when we had hungry groupies! hahahaha