|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!
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?