I look at this picture and can spot six things that are wrong with it. Play along with me and let’s see if you can pick up on the same items. Here, take a moment and make a list if you’d like. Ready?
Let’s begin with the flank steak. The flank steak that should have been grilled and accompanied by grilled radishes, per the “Bon Appetit” recipe I was attempting to cook. I turned on the grill, up popped a blue flame. And then it died. Empty gas can strikes again. Therefore, steak needed to be prepared stove top to oven method. Never ideal for steak, at least in my opinion.
Second, do you see the lovely, minced fresh herbs mixed in with the orzo? Neither do I. That’s because this orzo sat around for hours after I mixed in the herbs until they shriveled into something that mildly resembled dried herbs. Ah, but now we’re getting to some of the other issues in this picture.
Okay, you might notice that Annie is not in the picture. I know, you never know if Annie is there but, trust me, she usually is. However, last night was her volunteer night at the cat shelter, so I prepared dinner for her before her volunteer hours because…
Louisa wasn’t there either, problem number four. Louisa had rehearsal and since she doesn’t get back until very late, too late to want to eat dinner, I prepped dinner early so that she could eat with Annie. But she wasn’t hungry once it was cooked. And then I guilted her into eating something, because that’s what Italian mothers do. You’re not turning anorexic on my watch, young lady! Well, that’s what I was thinking as I lectured her on fueling her body for maximum performance and avoiding headaches, getting sick, etc. – all of those positive reasons not to skip dinner. So she dragged herself into the kitchen and took a cup of the orzo. And then looked at the pile of sliced steak, and picked out one piece of it after another. You could say it was almost a complete dinner, even if it wasn’t served in a very civilized way. Oh, did I mention that Annie didn’t eat the sautéed cherry tomatoes either – but you knew that already, right?
That brings us to Joe. Where is he in this empty room? He was going to come home at 8 after picking up Annie. But no, work was taking longer than expected so I ran out to pick up Annie after having mixed in the fresh herbs in anticipation of an 8:10 dinner. The clock continued to tick by. Still no Joe. In fact the clock ticked until I had to go out again to pick up Louisa at 9:30 and still no sign of Joe. I finally served myself a portion of this sad, wilted dinner (don’t worry, the meat had been refrigerated in the meantime). While eating, I debated how I would break into Joe’s office to see whether we needed medics, when he finally texted that he was on his way home.
I believe that takes us to item 6 of the problem list, which may well have been the first problem some of you saw with this picture. You see Marshall staring at my dinner plate, which really isn’t much of a problem unless you hate pets. In fact, it meant that I had some company with my sad dinner, even if was the furry kind.
Some nights I really wonder why I bother to plan a meal, shop for the ingredients, and cook it at all.