Since the beginning of this month I’ve been teaching a Zentangle® class on Monday evenings, right at the time when I’d normally be cooking dinner. As I mentioned that week, it’s required a new strategy to get dinner on the table once I returned home from class feeling tired and hungry, and without the patience or time to cook anything that required much effort or even a recipe, unless it could be prepared entirely in advance.
At first point Annie volunteered to make dinner Monday nights since she’s home for the summer but, unfortunately (for me at least), she has had work hours on Mondays and needs to decompress for a few hours before working on her summer class. Plus, if preparing dinner is tiring for me after teaching, I wouldn’t expect her to have the energy and focus to cook after her work shift.
There’s always a standing offer from Joe to bring home dinner on the nights that I can’t cook for whatever reason, but it’s rare that I take him up on it. I hate suburban takeout food.
My first week I prepared one of my favorite recipes of all time, because I was able to prepare it without very much effort before heading out to teach, and it would be almost ready when I returned home. Nobody complains when I make Linguine with Uncooked Pasta Sauce. And although I know some people would just use that recipe every week, my family wouldn’t stand for a weekly repeat. They weren’t raised that way. Stupid me.
So here’s what else I’ve prepared on those low energy, late Monday night’s. The second week we had grilled steak and asparagus with a side of potato salad that I prepared early in the afternoon. And, yes, Joe was enlisted to man the grill. Sneaky, aren’t I?
I wish I could tell you what I prepared the following week, but I was too tired to remember to take a picture to have a record to be sure. I believe it was a salad with chicken, but don’t hold me to it.
And, finally, last night I didn’t even prepare anything in advance, although I did pick up a cheese and leek foccacia early in the day to go with the spinach, scallion and goat cheese omelet. To save time I used bagged baby spinach which I washed and then wilted in the fry pan while slicing the scallions, cracking and beating the eggs, and crumbling the cheese. How’s that for time-saving multi-tasking? It was all on the table in less than 1/2 an hour. While no one said they loved it, no one complained since it was still a home cooked dinner. A home cooked dinner by the cook who had been standing for two hours before coming home to cook. If you expect a fancy dinner on Monday nights, my apologies. Just wait for my summer break.