Cooking doldrums heating up

There’s something about the end of summer that makes me lose my will to cook. Not my will to eat, mind you, just my will to cook. There’s a big difference between the two. About 2,000 calories a day.

Maybe it was that 400th round of bruschetta with all those cherry tomatoes from the garden.

You’d think they’d be about done by now, but every time we step outside, they fire another barrage. Clearly, they’ve brought in reinforcements.

It’s hot outside, it’s hot inside; the last thing you want is to fire up the oven like a nuclear reactor. I used the crockpot the other day, but made it stay in the garage.

Throw something on the grill? The grill that gets white hot and radiates heat long after the sun has set? I’d sooner turn on the furnace and crank it to 80.

I keep pulling out cookbooks for inspiration, but it’s like reading a book on computer programming. The pages are turning and my eyes are moving, but my brain is on idle.

I lean on a three-step recovery program when I enter a cooking plateau.

Step one is “Rotation” where I move the food about to expire to the front of the ‘fridge hoping food-waste guilt will prompt us to eat odd combinations like wilting spinach, spongy red peppers, orange juice and sour cream.

Step two is “Chicken.” I cook one of those huge economy packs – the whole thing. We have plain chicken, quesadillas with chicken, chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, chicken marsala, chicken and veggie stir fry, chicken, chicken, chicken. Then, for some strange reason, we are tired of chicken.

You never see a pet turn away from something in a food dish they eat day after day after day. I wonder if they ever look at the food in their dish and think, “Ack! Chicken!”

Step three is “Get the Husband’s Wallet.” The grands often give us gift cards to restaurants. We put them in my husband’s wallet and forget about them. A year or two later we re-discover them and it’s like getting gift cards all over again.

We just checked his wallet and there are three gift cards – for Chick-fil-A.

I was with a group of women when someone asked a single gal if she cooked much. She laughed and said, “Yes! Two pieces of toast at a time—one with peanut butter and one plain.”

It’s that age old question: “Wattsfirdinner?” Doesn’t matter what season of life you are in; the question is always lingering in the air.

Kids ask what’s for lunch while they’re eating breakfast and what’s for dinner when they’re eating lunch.

It’s so bad here, my husband has quit asking. He astutely senses a culinary minefield.

Lamenting what to cook is a somewhat seasonal recurrence. It is a sign you are finished with one season and ready for the next.

Forget the cookbooks; I’m tracking forecasts on my weather app.

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