LOST IN THE SUPERMARKET (Series – 1)

I love to cook. I’m considered a decent home cook by my friends and family and am pretty adept at off the cuff recipes and recreations of dishes I’ve adored in restaurants. I started cooking when I was a teen. At some point, I decided I wanted to be a vegetarian. My mom supported this but wasn’t up for making separate meals for my brother, dad and herself, so she said I’d have to make my own meals. I’d always liked cooking with her and with my dad, who never followed recipes, creating sometimes, amazing dishes, and sometimes terrible – the grape jelly omelets were among the worse!

As my cooking skills improved, I started doing stray dinners for mostly the boys in my life. I’d host Saturday night dinners so we had nourishment before we went clubbing. Among the favorites were seafood pasta (oh how I wish I could remember how I made that now!) and spinach strudel.

Sharing meals and cooking for friends has always been an expression of my affection. When I have no words of condolence that seem helpful, I bring food. I make treat baskets for our neighbors, the postal carrier and gardener during the holidays, and I often make extra batches of dinners to share with my mom and her boyfriend. Cooking makes me happy. Everything about cooking, from the supermarket, to the preparation to the final touches, pleases and relaxes me.

With the demands of my life now I don’t have the chance to experiment as much as I once did. We do try to cook dinner at home most nights, avoiding take-out as much as possible (unless there’s a mad craving for ramen!). We plan our meals each weekend and head to the supermarket and Trader Joe’s to procure everything. Sometimes we wait until Sunday mornings to be inspired by our local farmer’s market but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. Then, I’ll try to do a couple of dishes on the weekend so we have easy prep for weeknight dinners.

Lately however I’ve been in a bit of a rut. I feel like the weeknight meals are starting to all look alike. There are a dozen or so meals that we do with regularity largely because they’re relatively healthy and easy. Time runs short on weeknights. I don’t get home until 7pm from work, and Cole goes to bed around 8-8:30pm, so time is precious. Cole usually has had his dinner (he’s fed via g-tube as I’ve mentioned) by the time I’m home, so it’s just the two of us, but also bath and sometimes homework and reading, and then bed for the boy. It goes quickly! Definitely not the time to be experimenting with new recipes!

That said, I’m determined to incorporate new recipes into our repertoire. I plan to introduce a new recipe, especially new grain and veggie based dishes, each week or two. Some may become regulars, and some may be one offs. But we’ll vary our meals and maybe find some new favorites. Stay tuned for the first new recipe and results!

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