Monday, February 13, 2012

Cooking Dinner - How Hard Could It Be? (update)

What goes into making the simplest dinner? Ok lets think about it. After a long day at work I need to:
  • Plan the menu for the week (or decide last minute) what I am going to have for dinner.
  • Check pantry, refrigerator and freezer to see if I have the right ingredients. 
No I don't have what I need. 
  • Make a shopping list so I don't forget what I need to buy. Most of the time I leave the shopping list sitting on the kitchen table. 
  • Drive to Safeway and pay the big bucks (it is a closer drive) or WinCo and save half my money.
  • Sit in traffic on the way to Safeway or WinCo.
  • Find a parking place.
  • I have to watch out or I will be killed by crazy drivers trying to get out of the parking lot or get the perfect parking place.
  • Go to the shopping carts. 
  • I get one that wheels wobble, drag, make horrid noises and/or veers to the left or right. 
  • The handle is nasty, it feels grimy when I put my hands on it.
  • Try to get in the front door of the grocery store. People coming out the in door, people standing around reading the new ad. People trying to rush around you who don't have a cart. Please just GET OUT OF MY WAY.
For my recipe I need to buy 3 things. BBQ sauce, French fried onions and grated Parmesan cheese.
I go to the BBQ sauce aisle. 
  • there are two people going opposite directions blocking the entrance to the aisle with their shopping carts.
  • I cannot squeeze by them. 
  • I loudly say PARDON ME as I push through the tiny space between the two.
  • I zig zag around people who are looking for their own stuff.
  • Phew, I made it to the BBQ sauce. 
  • make a decision, do I want the cheap brand or, do I want the one that is on sell, or best tasting one.
Getting all three is like hitting the jackpot.
  • take the item off the shelf and put it in my shopping cart.
  • pick up some items I did not intend to buy and put in cart, reasoning with myself - that way I will not have to come back to the grocery store as soon.
  • go stand in line to check out.
Fight with myself about going to the self check out (the computers are taking jobs away from real employees) or stand in the other line and wait for a real clerk. 
  • the person in front of me is having some kind of problem. Wait and wait, move into a different checkout line.
  • I Put the items in my basket on the conveyor belt. 
  • Watch cash register to make sure I get the correct price.
  • If I use my ATM, hope and pray there is not a scanning device that has been planted by the ID theft guy.
  • Pay the computer or the person, make sure I get the right change.
  • If I go to  WinCo , I have to bag my own grocery while the long line of people behind you wait and stare me down.
  • go back in the parking lot, see above. 
  • Get to my car, two cars coming from different directions are waiting impatiently for my parking place.
  • Take the groceries out of my cart and put them the our car.
  • get in my car
  • check both ways make sure no one is backing out or trying to go around the cars that are waiting for my spot. Watch out for people who are walking behind the car.
  • Close your eyes, put the car in reverse and back out. 
  • Back on the road to sit in traffic. 
  • Get home unload the groceries. 
  • Put any extra stuff I bought away.
Time to make dinner.
  • 10 min prep, 25 min cook time.
  • Start the cooking side dish, make a salad, put the fruit on the table. Get drinks ready. (We drink hot tea in the winter)
  • Set the table
  • make sure everything gets done in a timely manner so it will be hot when you eat it.
Sit down for a simple dinner.