Cheese, eggs, milk, butter, half and half, bacon, blueberries and walnuts are each mentally weighed and measured with a glance. Whole frozen organic chicken, various deconstructed chicken parts, pork tenderloin, skirt steak, tilapia fillets, shrimp, and Eskimo pies are noted. I keep opening the fridge and freezer and standing there staring, hoping that either inspiration or a fully cooked dinner for six is hidden inside. After the third trip I realize it is not working, close the fridge door and look in the pantry.
Kashi cereal, Garofalo elbows, penne, fettuccine, risotto and refried beans stare back without comment.
Bubkes, zip, nada, I got nothing.
After 27 years of marriage, three children, two husbands, one live in father-in-law and roughly 9855 dinners cooked, the imagination and creative meal planning well has finally run dry.
Please feel free to check my math. Thats 27 years x 365 days = 9855 dinners cooked.
What about eating out you say? Recalculating….one moment please…
Eating out, let’s be generous and say one meal a week, although there were years when that was a no-go. Two toddlers, high chairs and cleaning restaurant floors of their cast off, non-eaten, food debris wasn’t high on my list of things to do. But I’ll give you 1 meal a week. Thats 52 weeks in a year, so 52 x 27 years = 1404 meals away from home or ordered in.
9855 dinners cooked – 1404 dinners delivered or eaten out = 8451 dinners cooked.
Oh wait! Weekends means lunches made too! Ok ok I can hear you whining already…. I’ll only count one weekend lunch a week.
1 weekend lunch a week so… 52 x 27 years = 1404
Which brings us back to 9855…you follow?
Lets not forget the momma ain’t doing no dishes or cooking today, days… -27 mothersdays, and – 27 birthdays.
Current running total 9855- 27 birthdays= 9828- 27 mother’s days= 9801 meals.
Don’t even get me started on brown bag lunches packed, or hours shopped or heaven forbid dishes washed…despite the showing of my numerical acuity today, math is not my forte.
What about vacations, traveling, dinners at friends and relatives homes you say?
Feeling generous, I’ll throw in two years worth of dinners…Thats right lets just subtract 365 x 2 = 730 dinners.
Grand total 9801- 730 (the imaginary and generous two years off dinner duty) = 9071 dinners served.
After over 9 thousand dinners, my well is dry, and standing in front of an open fridge hoping the contents will start making themselves just ain’t work’n.
Time to go to the Goddess, the goddess of the Food Network.
Giada de Laurentiis the Goddess of Food.
Laptop open, address #1 on the favorites bar, she is always only a tiny click away.
Like an epicurean Genie, she appears a flash. The miniscule white apron wrapped waist, effervescent smile, simple steps, food that my family will actually eat, this cooking icon never fails to inspire.
She appears next to me in the kitchen we stand eye to eye, but lets just say the size similarities end there…
“I am out of ideas” I whisper head hung.
“Let me see what you have,” she opens the fridge.
She tosses me the goat cheese, bacon, and frozen shrimp. She opens the pantry and brings out the organic penne.
” Is that fresh basil I see out in your patio?” the Goddess asks.
” Get some” she tells me.
30 minutes later I have a pasta dish and caprese salad at the ready for the hungry masses.
I turn to thank her for her help.
She has disappeared.
Giada the Goddess of Food and Inspiration has gone, but I know she is always only a simple single click away.