March 08, 2007

Honey, what's for dinner?

My husband is not a foodie.

Wait, let me clarify that: He would forget to eat if I didn't actively put food in front of him. And he often does forget. He has been known to take a lunch to work, and bring it back home without ever having opened the cooler.

ME, on the other hand... I think about food all the time. After breakfast, I'm planning lunch. After lunch, I'm already anticipating what I'll make for dinner. And at dinner, I'm formulating what I might make for breakfast.

I can't understand how he doesn't find pleasure in food the way I do, but I try to deal with it.

In the past, I used to ask him, "What would you like for dinner?" or "What are you hungry for?" when we'd talk on the phone in the afternoon. I'm not asking him to come up with a formulated plan of carbs, veggies and protein, with complementary flavors and textures and colors. I don't expect him to know what ingredients are required, or how much time it takes to prepare his request, I just want a starting point! something for me to say OK, I can build around that.

"Whatever you want, honey," would usually be his reply, intermittently alternating with "Whatever's easy for you, sweetie."

Uh, no, sorry, that's not a satisfactory answer. I'm really looking for anything descriptive:
  • beef
  • something spicy
  • something light
  • Chinese
  • soup
  • breakfast
He likes breakfast foods at dinner sometimes, because he never eats them at breakfast time.

So, now, I've just stopped asking. I make what's available, I make what's fun to make, I make something that I'll find challenging, or I'll make my favorite thing, if craving something.

Kelly's a good sport, he does eat anything I make for him. I could feed him the exact same pasta dish three nights in a row, and he'd be happy. He knows, though, that this would NEVER suffice for me. I have problems eating pasta again if I haven't already consumed bulgur, potatoes, sweet rice, quinoa, brown rice, bread, dumpings, spaetzle and whatever else kinda starch I can come up with. Variety, yes, but also another reason to cook.

So I've stopped asking, and he's still eating well, and I'm still entertained. Good times all around.

Yesterday, at around 4pm, I peeked in the fridge and remembered that I had some half-jars of black olives, artichoke hearts & mushrooms [ * ] left over from a pasta dish that also had pine nuts and ricotta cheese. Those jars had to be used up. I also had a leftover japanese eggplant that didn't make it into last week's curry. I thought, "veggie pizza!" so I made a quick pizza crust dough in the bread machine (I love that thing), diced and roasted the eggplant in the toaster oven, sautéed some sliced red onion, made a spicy pizza sauce from some canned tomato puree left over from the Pasta Sauce Orgy of Tuesday night, slapped the dough out and fitted it to my largest screen, sauced it, grated some mozzerella, and put on all the veggies. That and a salad made for a great meal. The pizza easily would have cost over $20 delivered, but it was really a "clean out the refrigerator" dinner.

Let's let that be our little secret, ok?
[*]cute story: several weeks ago, he asked if I needed anything from the store on his way home, and I said, "Could you pick up some mushrooms?" He went to the store, and found these enourmous soup-can sized cans of water-packed mushrooms and bought 4 cans. Then, as he continued on his way home, he thought, "Uh oh, maybe she wanted fresh mushrooms!" and stopped at another store and bought a package of fresh mushrooms. So I've been trying to use up those canned mushrooms. (brown them by sautéing them dry, then adding olive oil and black pepper and they're not too bad)

Last thing I ate or drank: Banana Bread with Walnuts, and an espresso

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