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