22:365 – The Miracle of Dinner

Most nights Eric’s dad, who works from home, takes charge of dinner. Lately he has been traveling a lot for work and when he’s out of town Eric, Eric’s mom and I are left to fend for ourselves. On these occasions Eric, who has Mondays off, will put on his Awkward Chef’s jacket and do the shopping for and preparing of the nightly meal.

It’s pretty much an all-consuming task.

Eric started asking me yesterday what I wanted for dinner tonight. I was basically like, “Umm.. something yummy?” His mom and I had the day off today (Heck yeah, Columbus day!) so the three of us went grocery shopping this afternoon (an outing which is worth its own blog post, but I digress), trying to decide on something tasty for tonight. Unfortunately we had committed the cardinal sin of grocery shopping and eaten beforehand, which meant none of us were hungry and none of us knew what to get. I swear to God we spent 8 solid hours wandering the grocery store shooting down each other’s suggestions. We just had burgers. Didn’t feel like steak. We have pork chops all the time. I don’t want soup. Will somebody just decide? What about breakfast for dinner. Pizza? Nahhhh.

Nothing. Sounded. Good.

It was eventually… finally, sweet Jesus, finally… decided that we would have a chicken dish… but what kind of chicken dish? 10 nah’s, no’s, and nasty!’s later Eric suggested chicken and rice, and so it was that chicken and rice and two cans of cream of celery were purchased. Thus begins the cooking.

Now when I say Eric is the Awkward Chef…. That’s really all that can be said. He generally has a pretty vague idea of what he’s doing, and it’s mostly based on the thought process of “Well, I like this and I like that so maybe if I cook this in that it will be awesome!” The pot with the chicken boiled over and made a huge mess. There was too much water in the rice. We had no idea how long the chicken needed to cook. I was pretty sure the cream of celery was burning onto the cookware. The corn got cold waiting for the rest of the food to be done.

And in the end, it was delicious.

24 hours worth of stress, drama, and preparation for a few moments of zen and tasty food. It sounds cheesy, but I am genuinely grateful for every minute of it. These are the times that we’ll remember years down the road, laughing with each other about how much effort it took to make a simple dinner, and appreciating how worth it it was in the end. Actually, it will probably still be a ton of effort for a simple dinner, and I hope we will still remember to appreciate it all.

Now if you will excuse me, my personal chef made dessert as well. Banana pudding. Yummmm…

Today’s Reading: Sometimes You Get Lucky – Fall Reflections in New England :: The Warped Prism — This is what I grew up seeing. I am homesick.

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