Now We’re Cooking

 Now We’re Cooking

By Sean McVeigh

There are real world problems and then there are “first world problems.” Luckily, I get to use these pages to complain about the latter.

On weeknights, my wife and I try our best to cook dinner at home. Obviously, there are some exceptions (many exceptions, if we are being honest), but there is a conscious effort to come up with a “menu” for the nights that we are both home. The problem is, I am a take-out kind of guy. It’s just better. No, it’s not just better. It’s more convenient, easier and, I truly believe that most of the time, cheaper, too. Hear me out …

Cooking at home requires exerting an incredible amount of effort and the result is usually subpar. All this work and what is my reward? Anything that I make at home, I could’ve ordered from one of our beloved advertisers and it would’ve tasted a thousand times better. You come home after a long day at work and it’s like you are clocking in for your second job. Chopping and slicing and frying and sautéing.

I wear a few different hats these days, but I am not a chef! Who do we think we are anyway? This is a profession for crying out loud! People go to culinary school for this! When we finish up dinner, do we sit around and act out our favorite movies and TV shows for each other? No! We leave that to the professionals. Do you know how much clean up would be necessary after we recreated the set of “The Titanic”? It would require almost as much cleaning as making chicken parm does!

OK, so you’ve slaved over the hot stove, your new shirt is stained from the splashing oil, and you finally sat down and ate the slop you just threw together and now it’s time to sit back and relax the rest of the night … NOPE! You have to clean up that disaster you just made. How is it even possible that you used this many bowls and spoons? You don’t even remember using half of them but those are the ones that have caked over and need the elbow grease. Speaking of grease, that stove top is not going to clean itself. And even after you’ve cleaned it, it will still look like you were just frying chicken cutlets straight on the burner. At least that would’ve saved you a pan.

As is inevitable, you’ve over-cooked. Buying ingredients for a homemade dinner for two people is a skill I have yet to master. There will no doubt be leftovers. You pack those away and promise to eat them tomorrow. But didn’t you “meal plan” for the whole week? You can’t eat leftovers. You need to cook those other meals you bought ingredients for or those will go bad. Besides, it wasn’t that good in the first place. The next week rolls around, and that week-old salmon is now staring at you through the opaque Tupperware mocking you every time you open the fridge. Eventually, you break down and throw it out and are rewarded with yet another dish to clean.

Maybe, just maybe, the real answer to all this is that I am a crappy cook. It is definitely a possibility. I think I need to defer to Sharon Feldman’s recipe on page 37 more often!

I am writing this on Tuesday evening. My wife and I were at a loss this week, so we went in the direction that all good married suburbanites go in … Taco Tuesday! It wasn’t half bad. Now, off to clean.

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