Monday, April 21, 2008

MPM--Earth Day/Election Week

My goodness, I don't know how I'll find time to cook this week, what with my buddies Hil and Bar calling me all the time, and offering me fun places to go and things to do. (Tonight: Rally with ALL THREE Clintons at Penn's gym! I'm not going--can only imagine the traffic--but am still sorry I missed Bill at the fire company last night.)

But, we still have to eat, and I know I'll have post-election blues (ha!) on Wednesday. Ok, maybe not, but I will have to find something else to fill my time once I don't have to use the time fretting about my vote. Cooking could work.

Monday: Leftover hoagie picnic as we go watch the marching band get ready for their upcoming trip. Juice boxes, goldfish, raisins, chips, soda...heaven, if it doesn't rain.

Tuesday: Leftover sloppy joes for the boys, Dinner A'Fare coconut shrimp for grownups. Finishing the roasted beets (yum) and cauliflower pimenton. Possibly rice if I get my act together.

Wednesday: Dinner A'Fare chicken alfredo should work for us all. If not, hummus for boys. Broccoli. Salad.

Thursday: Hoping to do the Indian Spiced Chicken, finally, from Don't Eat Baby, but more likely we'll have frozen chicken (hubby) and fish (me) from Trader Joe's. If I do the chicken, there will be rice. Otherwise I'll finish up some of my potatoes, have a salad, and perhaps some sort of frozen vegetable from TJ's as well.

Friday: Leftovers or out for pizza.

I won't be making much for the weekend because we're going to New York City this weekend for my college roommate's 40th birthday party! (She's MUCH older than I am. Ha ha.) Not only will we see her, but TBBITW is actually free to stay with the boys during the party so we can all go--woohoo! I predict the subway museum.

And for the first time in my life, I can't talk my husband in to a baseball game! I wanted to go see Shea and Yankee Stadiums (stadia?) this summer before they close. My husband thinks Shea is such a pit, he doesn't even want to bother. I know, it's his two least-favorite teams playing. I almost want to go because of the matchup though; my grandfather and I used to call it the "no one to cheer for" game when we were looking for baseball on TV and found a Mets-Braves game.

I couldn't come up with anything creative for election night (I suppose maybe burgers or dogs or something with...I dunno...blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream for dessert? Hey, I like that...maybe I will add it to the list!), but the "Earth Day" piece of this is that I don't need to go to the store for anything here--just to replenish produce at the end of the week. Did you catch the Oprah last week on waste? Our habits aren't as far gone as either of the highlighted families', but my kids are younger and it's not hard to see how things could go there without conscious effort to keep on a different path. And, as one expert in one of the Earth Day articles in the paper this weekend pointed out, The greenest purchases are the ones you don't make.

It's interesting...I used to have a goal of a well-stocked pantry, with the ingredients for meals ready to be whipped up in a flash, just on the shelves and ready to go. Then I realized I had a ton of money in "rainy day" food just sitting there, getting closer to the expiration dates, while I was going to the store and buying all new foods. Besides, I am not yet (and am coming to terms with the idea that I may never be) the kind of cook who can look in the pantry and say, "Hmmm...oysters, tomato sauce, and elbow noodles--terrific! I can whip something out of that." I totally admire those who can (yes, I mean you, City Mouse-Country Mouse, and you, my husband, who never reads my blog) but that's not me. So I'm back to the basics in the pantry...Creamettes noodles and angel hair pasta that goes on sale; canned tomato things--sauces and diced, etc., for chili or spaghetti sauce; cream of chicken soup, boullion, soda, and snacks. (Oh, and of course--Life Cereal since the world would collapse in our house in the morning without it.) I'm fascinated with the folks who are trying to build up a year's supply of food. (Why? I don't mean that sarcastically; I'm truly curious. There seems to be a religious reason for it.) And I am trying hard to figure out a five-day supply that wouldn't need electricity. (Storms happen, and I do try to have some large bottled water supplies just in case.) But as much as I would love to be a "create from what you have!" kind of person in the kitchen, that's not where my skills are.

On a side food note: is anyone else seeing the ingredient pimenton (Spanish paprika) everywhere lately? In the Bittman food column on the microwave a few weeks ago, it was a key ingredient in the cauliflower recipe. Now that I'm aware that it exists, I'm finding it in other recipe books too. Is it linked to the tapas surge? Or is it like the pink sea salt at Well Read Hostess--another thing to obsess on since we've already obesessed on everything else there is out there? And if you do know anything about pimenton, is it anything like the Hungarian paprika my in-laws brought back for us from their trip there? (Incidentally, I tried it with the cauliflower recipe. It was pretty good, though too much for my tastes. But I'll definitely make the cauliflower that way again, with the onions and tomatoes, but either a different spice or a lot less of the paprika next time.)

Anybody still with me? Sorry for the ramble to nowhere in particular. If you are looking for more inspirational meal ideas than mine, check out Laura's Organizing Junkie page.


Domestic Goddess said...

Our new standing joke when we hear the phone ring is, "Honey! It's Hillary, she wants to talk to you!" or "Hey! Obama called, he wants you to go to the rally!" The boy actually thinks we know them.

O said...

@DG--since I took them to the rally, now when the paper comes in the morning, R will sometimes look at it in surprise and say, "Hey! That's Hillary!"

Kelly said...

thanks for the vote of confidence in my creative cooking abilities. i cant wait to see you guys this weekend!

Mommychicky said...

So, I have a recipe for Catalan Sauteed Polenta & Butter Beans that calls for Spanish Paprika - email me if you want it.