Dinner Dilemma

I like food. Who doesn’t? However, I find food to be a means to an end. I do not feel that I need to have meat and potatoes every night (It’s a mid-west thing). I would be happy with cereal in a pinch. I like cooking, but I find cooking for two irritating, especially when the other party does feel they should have meat and potatoes every night. Don’t misunderstand, it is not something Doug demands, it just comes up in our endless conversations about what we should have for dinner.

Our unfortunate routine:

Doug: What do you want to do for dinner tonight?

Me: I don’t know…, you?

This conversation often ends up with breakfast for dinner…

Sometimes I get a bug up my butt, and will actually make preparations by making sure something is thawed, that I have the necessary ingredients to cook, but I admit that it is rare. A common statement from Doug is, “She makes great enchiladas, but I think she lost the recipe.”

I grew up claiming that I could burn water. That is rather harsh, and of course it wasn’t true, but cooking was lost on me. I did not believe I could do it justice. Efforts to cook with my mom always ended up with us both being annoyed at each other.  Strangely, it is Emeril Lagasse that I credit with helping me figure things out and ease up on myself. I learned from him two very important things:

With cooking, you can wing it. Do what you like – add, remove, tweak. Just use good, fresh ingredients.

With baking, it is a formula; don’t mess with the formula.

Now I can fairly wing it with the best of ’em. I screw up sometimes, but even the screw ups are at least edible. I do a fair job with enchiladas and lasagna, home-made mac & cheese is hit or miss with me and I haven’t figured out why; I found a great shish-ka-bob marinade recipe as well as fajita marinade recipe online, and I can make a mean carrot or acorn squash soup, so I’m way past boiling water.

Doug is a good cook, and often does for us, but where I typically plan and fairly follow a recipe, Doug’s strength lies in winging it. He’s great at it, though we have experienced some super salty selections on occasion.

I am guilty of the “don’t care” stance when it comes to dinner. I have worked all day at a job that is endlessly annoying, and don’t really feel like whipping something up that takes 30 – 45 minutes to make, less than 10 minutes to eat, and then takes an hour to clean up.

So, what do you want for dinner tonight?

© L. Rose

Sunny

Photo by Linda Rose
Photo by Linda Rose

Looking for a sunny day
amidst the drops of rain.
I know the sun shines brightly
above the clouds of gray.

So let it burn and break through,
and woosh the clouds away,
if only for a moment;
give me just one day.

It’s not the rain I mind at all;
it’s the volume and the gray.
Amidst these drops of rain I see,
I crave a sunny day.

© L. Rose

via Daily Prompt: Sunny

How I Spent June 17, ’17

This past weekend, Doug and I trekked up north to Bayfield, WI for a show. (When I say ‘up north,’ I mean Up.North. It is a five-plus hour drive one way). We went to see a band called “Riders in the Sky” at the Big Top Chautauqua, (a large circus tent at the bottom of a ski hill, under which they host various musical artists). It was an evening of great classic Western tunes.

The goal of Riders in the Sky is to entertain, of course, but also primarily to keep alive the music of Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry, and other such Cowboy classics. There are four members, Ranger Doug (guitar/vocals), Too Slim (upright bass/vocals), Woody Paul (fiddle/vocals), and Joey, the CowPolka King (accordion/vocals). Before they came out, we were briefly entertained by some classic reels of Roy Rogers and snipits of songs. Then the Riders took the stage and Doug and I found ourselves, smiling widely, laughing, singing along (of course), and otherwise, in complete awe. The music was nostalgic, familiar, beautiful, and just plain fun. We heard such classics as “Don’t Fence Me In,” and “Cool Water,” “Back in the Saddle,” and of course, “(Ghost) Rider’s in the Sky.” It was an amazing show.

As for the Big Top, neither Doug, nor I knew what to expect while we made the long drive. Once we arrived, we found the venue at the end of Ski Hill Road, where we were greeted by the gatekeepers, a nice collection of volunteers who took our tickets. We parked and walked up the steps. Before us was the ski hill, and off to the left of where we entered was a tented concession stand, an information/raffle tent and a souvenir tent. At the far left was the Tent – the Big Top – blue and white, canvas-like material – covering a stage with seating for plenty. The seats we had were surprisingly comfortable, and though the house was not ‘packed,’ there were plenty of guest, considering it was the first concert of the season, and we’ve had some pretty lousy weather – which was threatening that night. But we were dry as a bone, and happy as clams.

If you happen to notice the Riders in the Sky come to your area, check them out, it’s a fully family-friendly show.

If you’re ever in northern Wisconsin in the summer months, check out Big Top Chatauqua. This year, they have such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Travis Tritt.

I appreciate your tuning in, and always welcome feedback. Sorry there’s no music clips to share, but I’ll put something together some time later. ~ Linda