On Monday when I arrived home from work, I decided that I wanted to make something good for dinner. We had been eating delicious leftovers all weekend (plus a picnic lunch of PB&Js on Saturday when the weather was so beautiful it would have been a crime not to enjoy it), and I wanted to take advantage of the extra time I had on the day my husband would be getting home a little later. It’s important to note that my expectations for ‘a good cooked dinner’ are pretty low. This particular day, these were the desires that were the foundation for my cooking: no frozen meals, no pasta or salad (what we had been eating all weekend), and no meat (per my hubby’s Lenten fast).
So, of course, here’s what I found – a frozen spinach mushroom pizza, a bag of frozen veggies, fresh lettuce, various pasta noodles, chicken-potato soup, tuna, a box of couscous, a can of tangerines, and two containers of chicken stock (one of which that had gone bad). Hmm…I could only work with the last three ingredients, and I wasn’t even sure chicken stock was okay during a meat fast. I pulled out the couscous and tangerines and set them on the counter. It was about this time I began to realize that my desires for dinner were not going to ‘pan’ out (and, yes, I did use that cooking pun on purpose!).
Now, there’s a chance that some of you reading this have the perfect recipe for tangerine couscous, possibly cooked in chicken stock. I’m not that creative or skilled when it comes to preparing food. While I’m trying to be open to ‘winging it’ more, what I really like is a simple recipe with realistic ingredients. Since the dinner prep was looking bleak, I instead channeled my productive energy into washing the dishes. It was about then that my hubby called, and I must confess that I was a bit snippy. I was annoyed at the lack of food to work with and the budget which, at times, keeps our kitchen feeling so empty.
Not knowing my underlying guidelines that originally propelled me into this misadventure, he offered what was the obvious solution – the frozen pizza. My frustration grew as I tried to explain to this clueless guy I live with why it’s crazy to not have anything to eat in our home! The only fresh vegetable was lettuce – just lettuce! We might as well have been consuming overly processed and packaged cookies and pop for the ridiculous unhealthiness in which we were living!!
As you may have already guessed, we had the pizza for dinner. It was delicious. I apologized for speaking unkindly to my sweet, understanding best friend who sometimes gets the brunt of my negative moments. And I realized that maybe my feelings were rooted in something deeper than the food, in something inside of me that makes me feel inadequate in my cooking abilities, something that maybe connects to my longing to be better than I am in this area.
Did I mention how tasty that frozen pizza was?