HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I have two very difficult jobs: I am a television investigative reporter, and a crime fiction author. But you know that. What you may not know is that I have one other job, which is sometimes feels more difficult than either of the others. Or both of the others put together. It is: coming up with something to have for dinner every night.
I am about to give up.
Jonathan and I have been together for 22 years, so if you take, say, 250 nights where I cook, (the others would be in restaurants, or friends’ houses, or carry out, or some event), that's 22 years times 250 dinners. It makes my brain fry even to think of it. Oh, don't say "fry." I don't fry things. Maybe I should.
Anyway, salmon, chicken, sometimes steak or hamburger. Pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork scallopini. I am the queen of rack of lamb. Chicken chicken chicken. Chili, chicken soup, and, from time to time, some elaborate thing that just springs to mind. Chicken salmon chicken. Last night I made spiral yellow squash with capers and garlic and grilled yellow tomatoes. And chicken. Very yummy, but I forgot how I made it, so that's the end of that.
We try to make our meals healthy, so we have given up pasta. That is a big dilemma.
We don't really eat potatoes. Well, sometimes baked sweet potato fries. That is our treat when we make hamburgers. As a potato substitute, I make faux-tatoes, cauliflower mashed up with cream cheese and Parmesan and broiled. Delicious. Add frozen peas. But how many times can you make that? Many, Jonathan will tell you :-).
I'm a good cook, but it's the prep time that kills me. When I have had a hard day at the office :-) or a tough day writing, the last thing I want to do is make a big deal out of dinner.
Plus, it's not like you can just go make dinner. You have to think about what groceries you'll need, and buy them in advance , and then budget out which food goes with which food to make the menus for each night. The other night I made pork scaloppini, with white wine sauce and peas. Frozen peas. (Frozen peas are lifesavers to me.) Anyway, as Jonathan was clearing the table – – gotta love that guy-- I realized I was thinking: now, what will I make tomorrow?
Any ideas? I don't have a slow cooker, and even though I know it's a good idea, I would never use it. I am so proud of myself when I make something that can last two days, chicken soup, or stew of some kind. But it takes so long to make it.
But honestly, there are days when I think if I have to make one more dinner, I…won't.
How do you all handle this, Femmes?
PS: I wish I could have used more photos in this. Chicken, salmon, potatoes, all that. But the guy just switched me to my new computer, and it is all migrating over, and it is driving me crazy. I put in a photo of french fires, and it was sideways. I working on it way too long, and now, again, I give up. But that's another blog. Even the one I managed to post is out of focus. It's not really, it just posts fuzzy. Great.
So for now, imagine photos of food. And now I have to go make dinner.