Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Five Meals You Eat in Heaven

Zucchini pie: the most recent meal I took a photo of.
Not one of the meals mentioned.
I have some trusted friends whose families are at about the same stage as we are – with one teenager still in the house.  My friends and I have agonized together about one of our biggest challenges – figuring out what to cook for dinner.  Yes, you know life is good when that’s your challenge.  But still, figuring out what fits in the Venn diagram of food that a) each and every member of the family likes, b) is healthy, and c) I know how to cook – it’s practically an impossibility.

My friend said that she has posted a list of meals that everyone in her family likes, and when she is stuck for dinner ideas, she just picks from that list.  I thought I would compile such a list for my own family, so recently, after dinner, we had this conversation.

Me:  Name five meals you would like to eat.

Common Household Husband:  Meatloaf, biryani, pad thai, …

Me (interrupting, before things get out of hand):  Name meals that I can cook that you like to eat.

Husband, Son, and Younger Daughter:  (prolonged silence)

The silence threatens, but no one says outright, that they do not like any of the meals I have cooked, ever.  YD breaks the silence.

YD: Mac ‘n’ cheese!  Ramen noodles! Pizza! 

(Son laughs, because he knows that preparing these foods does not count as cooking in my book.  Also, all those starchy foods are, like, a thousand Weight Watchers points.)

Son:   I like peanut chicken.

Husband:  Turkey scallopini.

Me: I just made that and nobody liked it.

Husband:    I liked it.

Me:   YD wouldn’t eat it.

YD:  I like spinach enchiladas.  … And chicken parmesan.  And tuna noodle casserole!

Son:  You can cook chicken parmesan on a campfire!

Me (getting surly):  I’m not doing foil cooking.

Husband (tries to be reasonable but quickly veers into the impossible: How about spaghetti and meatballs?  Or… I know! Stuffed guinea hens!

YD:  Goat meat!

Son:  Peacock!

Husband:      Peacock isn’t kosher. 
(We shall ignore the fact that we don’t keep kosher, and just go with the fact that there is no possible way to legally obtain peacock meat. All these meats flying back and forth make me think back fondly to earlier in the summer, when Older Niece cooked some great vegetarian meals for us.)

Husband:  How about pea soup?

Me:  YD, will you eat pea soup?

YD:  I’ll eat it, as long as it has plenty of bread to go with it.

Son:  So you’ll have a pea soup sandwich.

* * * * *

I really can’t complain too much.  Cream of mushroom soup was not mentioned once.  And for my birthday earlier this month we did get to go out to an Indian restaurant where the food was divine.   Indian food is definitely served in heaven, as are fresh ripe peaches on cereal, Maryland Silver Queen corn, caramelized onions on anything, and my mother’s apple pie.

What would be on your list of divine meals?


smalltownme said...

My idea of divine meals: lobster rolls, prime rib, caesar salad made at your table, cheesecake.

I cook for husband every night, and older adult child (who did not leave home farther than the apartment over the garage) many nights. They are pretty chill about what I cook. As long as said son doesn't have to eat squash or other questionable vegetables. I make notes on my calender of what I served, 1) so I know how old the leftovers are and 2) so I don't repeat myself too often.

I flipped my calendar open to a random week and this is what we had: corned beef hash, goulash, homemade hamburgers and TaterTots, Ina Garten's salmon cakes, "Tiki bar" (apparently this was my birthday and we went out for real food later), fish. There would be salads or some other green stuff with the entrees.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I want to eat in Heidi's heavenly restaurant.

I hope the zucchini pie was loved. Tonight was grilled zucchini as a side or substitute for spaghetti, with a rather yummy sauce made by my husband. However, I'm growing tired of zucchini for dinner and need to go on a baking spree to use it up. On the plus side, there were whole cherry tomatoes in the sauce and they burst with warm flavor into our mouths.

If you need a couple of easy recipes, I have one for Parmesan chicken and I love Idiot's Kitchen recipes!

smalltownme said...

I second Idiot's Kitchen recipes. Claudia always has something divine.

Patience_Crabstick said...

Hah, I have similar difficulty getting my family to name home cooked dinners they like to eat. Our standbys are homemade pizza, a wide variety of Mexican "bowls" and tacos, and avocado toast for those nights when I'm too busy to cook.

Cassi said...

Wow, divine meals . . . brie on crackers with a good cabernet is certainly one of them. Most things Mexican would be in there. A melt-in-your-mouth filet mingon, and roast lamb also. Creamy potato and leek soup. There are too many foods I love :-)

I've really given up feeding my teen. Either she's not home, or she's not hungry. These days I offer some of what I've made, and if she chooses not to eat it she's on her own. Sometimes she suprises me --the other day I made some rice in the rice cooker and steamed broccoli along with it. THAT she wanted!

The Crislers said...

I started laughing here: "The silence threatens, but no one says outright, that they do not like any of the meals I have cooked, ever. YD breaks the silence," and didn't stop until the end. I love your commentary on your family's conversations.

Divine meals? I can tell I'm stuck in a family supper-prep mindset because all that immediately comes to mind are meals I make that our family likes. I love this cajun potato salad my mom makes very occasionally; it involves making mayo from scratch and other time-consuming things. I'm a Mexican food fanatic, but it's hard to find really good Mexican food up here, and I'll admit I'm pretty picky about it. Excellent, classic cheesecake. Coffee with creamer. Upside-down apple cake with vanilla ice cream. Endless chips and endless salsa. Anything with lemon.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I feel you on this problem. I have 3 kids and a husband, nobody likes the same things, it's a pain in the butt. But my favorite meal would be pork medallions with a mushroom risotto, a good salad, braised green beans and creme brulee or a lemon dessert. Now I am hungry when I shouldn't be.

Common Household Mom said...

My conclusion, after reading all of the comments, is that I should go to all of your houses for dinner. But I think I will leave the rest of the family at home with their ramen noodles.