Did you ever have one of those really serious WTF moments? You know, when something happens or somebody says something that is so incongruous with what you know to be canonically true in the world that your head spins around a few times in amazement. It happens to me every time Obama opens his mouth, but I digress. This isn’t a political screed; it’s about dinner.
It turns out I do a fair bit of the dinner planning in my house. I usually sit down on Sunday afternoon (after another Redskins win!) and plan out the week’s meals, shop for them and, when I’m in town, cook them. There are several constraints on this system, one of which is that neither of my kids is particularly adventuresome with food. While this may eventually protect them from eating slugs and putrid sausage made of pig entrails (see prior blog on these topics), it can make meal planning a challenge. Like all families, of course, the other constraint is time. So, the problem I’m usually trying to solve for is to come up with 5 meals for the week that are (a) tasty and interesting to my wife and me, (b) acceptable to the kids and (c) reasonably quick and easy to prepare. In other words, I’m trying to avoid a menu that looks like this:
Sunday: Chicken Tenders
Monday: Chicken Tenders with Ketchup
Tuesday: Chicken Tenders with BBQ Sauce
Wednesday: Plain Chicken Tenders
Thursday: Leftover Chicken Tenders
It’s not easy, but you would think the Internet (thanks Al Gore) would help. Well, maybe not as much as you’d think. I tried two searches just now: “Quick Easy Recipes” and “Family Recipes for Picky Eaters.” The second search yielded as its #1 hit a website whose #1 recipe was “Tuna Baked Pasta.” I can’t come up with any words that would be more informative than the picture from the website. Yeah, of course, why the hell didn’t I think of that? Take a can of tuna, mix it up with some pasta and green shit and my kids will go nuts. Seriously?
The search for “quick easy recipes” yielded an equally preposterous result. It turned up a website called www.momswhothink.com. Moms who think about what, exactly? How to piss off your children and make them run away from home? The moms on momswhothink.com put together a bunch of menus for a full 6-day week. Wow, great idea. I can knock out the whole week with one click. However, when I clicked on Week #1, I found such gems as tuna casserole (again!), pesto chicken, and quiche. C’mon momswhothink – THINK for crying out loud. Maybe think back to when you were a kid and your mom dropped a friggin’ tuna casserole on the table. Did you bolt out of your seat and say, “Mom! Thanks! You made the tuna casserole tonight! Can we have meatloaf tomorrow night?” And pesto*? For kids? You’re going to voluntarily turn the chicken green? It’s hard enough pushing the broccoli; no need to bring unnecessary green stuff into the dinner scene. The quiche is just plain stupid. Hardly worth commenting. Egg pie for kids for dinner. Uh, yeah sure.
Seriously, you have to wonder if the moms at momswhothink.com have ever come in contact with an actual child. So, frustrated, I gave up. I’m looking forward to the chicken fingers.
* As a side note, pesto is the single most overrated food item there is.