The scene is familiar. It could be "anyplace" USA, but it is at my house.....again. Six people enter a car, two humans, four teenagers, in a quest for dinner out. I am thrilled. The rest, not so much. I drive, possibly gaining an extra ounce of control within the group. I look around, hardly able to contain the large, giddy smile on my face. Whetting my palate, and realizing no matter where we go there will not be 4,994 dishes when I finish, my smile expands. I suggest Chinese, something I don't cook often at home, something for everyone. I think. The whining is almost immediate. "I don't want to go there! It's so crowded. I hate it. We went there just last week." Deep breathe, I remind myself as I attempt to calm my husband after his outbreak. I hesitantly turn around and ask for suggestions from four people for whom debate and general disdain could be an Olympic sport. As the screaming and arguing ensue, I must have become dizzy, because I throw out my weakest and least effective threat-WE ARE GOING HOME AND YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN DINNER. They are thrilled. "Three cans of beefaroni and a coke is the dinner of champions" claims my 15 year old son. The girls will scarf down a bowl of cereal and have more time on facebook before computer curfew. Life is good.
That's part of the problem. When I was a kid, going out was something that happened when dad got a bonus...and it was to Long John Silver. I squealed in delight the day before and actually brushed my teeth to go. No complaints. The excitement of going out anywhere lasted long after, and mom glowed because, as I now know, the reward was truly all hers. Now going out to dinner is more commonplace and not such a luxury.
I cook and I really enjoy it. I prefer, most nights, to eat at home. And though we eat most meals as a family, feeding people with different schedules and taste buds can be a challenge. I KNOW it can be done, and believe me, I have used the line thisiswhatwearehaving a thousand times after seeing eyes roll because chicken was coming to the table. But I am bored, too. Don't want to go out, to expensive and a hassle, and bored with what I am making staying in, too. I need some new recipes, that are relatively fast, and send new life into my kitchen. Do you? Awesome. I knew it!
Gourmet is back ladies, it is just being published by us! What if we all sign up and offer a spiffy recipe that will thrill and excite those who have never seen it? Simple and tasty, but new, and most important, recipes tried and true by normal people. While I do love cooking mags, it is mostly the pictures as my heart often sinks by the fourth ingredient. I find my favorite recipes are from family and friends. And while I love the thought of mastering the art of french cooking, I would just as soon master the art of cooking itself. Also, with people literally around the globe in the blogsphere, how cool to share?
Are you in? Don't be shy. It is not like we will blame you if it stinks. But we will love you if it keeps people at the table with a smile. I think I will start next week with a 10 minute recipe I make that is shockingly easy and good. I am only giving it to you because you do not live in my zip code. Truly.
Does this idea whet your appetite? Questions? Email me to sign up and I will post the recipes weekly, monthly, whatever. We will play it by ear. It'll be fun. Stop whining.
(image via Sunday Suppers)