When I was a kid my mom made dinner every night. A REAL dinner with a salad, main dish, vegetable, and starch. There were four of us kids, and we all took turns setting and clearing the table. It was like a well-oiled machine. Can you imagine making dinner for 6 people every night? Neither can I. We rarely went out for dinner because, well, people didn't then. Sometimes, when my parents went out we got to have Swanson TV dinners. Yes, sadly enough, that was a real treat. My personal favorite was the meatloaf dinner. Remember that one? Meat loaf in a tomato-ey sauce, little tater tots, green beans, and that brownie. That brownie that was never cooked properly. It was always a bit too mushy or after it was put back into the oven, a little overdone. And that was back in the day when the TV dinner came in a tin container with tin foil on top and had to be cooked in the oven. Yep, we had to wait about 30 minutes (not counting preheating time) for that "special treat". It's not like today where you can pop that paper container in the microwave and have your dinner cooked in the time it takes you to put the box in the recycling bin.
When I had my kids, I looked forward to the days when I could make lovely family dinners. In my imagination it went something like this: My sweet, freshly-bathed little darlings would gather 'round the dinner table, sitting perfectly with napkins on laps. My husband would be at the foot of the table and I would bring in dinner from the kitchen. I would walk in with Chicken Marsala, or Meat Loaf or perhaps Soy-Glazed Salmon. With all the trimmings, of course. Their little faces would light up as they saw what was for dinner and they would excitedly hand me their plates to be filled up.
In reality here is sort of what it's like at my house: Mr. Minivan travels and works late. Boy #1 likes red apples and green grapes and would be happy eating pizza every night for dinner. Boy #2 likes green apples and red grapes and everything from sashimi to cheeseburgers to tilapia. A very common comment (usually from Boy #1) at dinnertime is "This is a horrible dinner!" As you might imagine, my cookbooks are covered in a very thin layer of dust, which is so sad, as I love to cook.
That meatloaf dinner is sounding better and better. I have to go now and make a quick stop at the grocery store....
2 days ago