Mar 11, 2008

Recipe for relaxation

It's not a big secret that the cooking arm of my domestic responsibility is usually broken (or at best, in a sling). I was taught well; I know how to cook, make a balanced meal, and present it well. I just don't enjoy it, and I especially dislike the relentless nature of the chore. I have to make dinner every day, for crying out loud! I dread coming up with a workable menu, someone at the table is inevitably unhappy, the dishes never clean themselves, and then there's the whole issue of grocery shopping, which is perhaps the worst part of the entire charade.

Why don't I like grocery shopping? Aside from the spectacle that always accompanies my entourage of boys, the whole task is just overwhelming to me. I have to go with a list in hand, or else I buy junk and the wrong stuff and not enough raw ingredients to throw meals together. But making the list is a huge stumbling block, because I have to have a menu to make a list, and filling out empty squares on a calendar with balanced, yet easy, yet appealing meals is just a ridiculous thing to ask of my muddled brain. Then, once within the walls of WinCo (or Albertson's, if I'm a wimp), the towers of canned goods and vast arrays of colorful produce and rows upon rows of non-perishables scream "BUY ME...but you know I'll rot in your veggie drawer or grow stale on your shelves or hide in your pantry while your family subsists on cold cereal, homemade burritos, and peanut butter sandwiches!" {Insert imagined evil cackle coming from the bulk foods section.}

Today, almost entirely because I had to be out of the house for a showing but partly because the last milk jug is only half-full, I took a huge almighty breath and went grocery shopping. It took nearly a week of hard thinkin' to plan not one but FIVE weeks of meals on an Excel spreadsheet. Then I painstakingly made a grocery list for one of the weeks, which subsequently sat in a drawer for several days. But today I pulled it out and off we went.

Surprisingly, we survived. But then, after the groceries sat in the van for an hour while we (1) shuttled a friend to the MAX and back (planned); (2) sat at Jennifer's house during an impromptu second showing(not planned); and (3) picked Zachary up from school (necessary), I lost my enthusiasm for groceries. It was all I could do to put the perishables in the fridge and freezer. This activity dredged up another reason I detest grocery shopping: putting all the food away reminds me that I have to wash/chop/cook/present it in the form of a meal for my family. UGH.

So I took a break. After setting up the boys with an applesauce snack, I abandoned this.... email my Realtor with contact information for the agents who showed our house today. (And, of course, to check out some updated blogs, some new listings in Colorado Springs, etc.) After 15 minutes or so, I went back downstairs to find this (just purchased today)...

...and this. Note: this pasta bowl is about 8 inches wide.

That was about it. My frazzled brain needed to check out. Since Gavin was slumbering...

...I parked the boys in front of (scoring some "cool Mom/slacker Mom" points in the process)...

...and parked myself in front of this, my favorite re-run series.

Sleeping baby+occupied boys+Gilmore girls=Happy Heidi. Now that's a recipe I don't mind making.
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