Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No substitutions, please!

Trying to plan menus around here can sometimes feel a lot like herding cats. I go and make my menu, and then suddenly…everything changes.

Well, shoot. Welcome to my life. The only constant is change, so get used to it.

But it still irks me.

So I made the following menu for the week:

Week of 5/22/06
Monday Roast Chicken, Parmesan rice and green beans
Tuesday Chicken & Corn Tamales, salad
Wednesday Grilled steaks, potato gratin
Thursday ‘Breakfast for Dinner’
Friday Spiced Peachy Pork Chop & Yam bake
Saturday Meatloaf, mashed potatoes & corn
Sunday Honey-Baked Chicken, rice, steamed vegetables

I have a method to my madness, too. I need tomatoes for the tamales, and happen to have some that will be rotting soon – so I’m making a whole roast chicken Monday and then ha-ha, the leftovers become the tamales and use up those tomatoes before they spoil. We have breakfast for dinner (meaning waffles and eggs and bacon) on the night daddy is likely to be late getting home. And Sunday, a night when historically speaking nobody really wants to eat anyway, I make something with those eight chicken legs I’ve got out in the freezer – usually we would go through more than what I’ve got, but on Sunday people tend to have been snacking more and I can get away with more rice, less meat.

So. What happens?

The phone rings and my husband later announces that Friend #1 will be staying with us Sunday night. Friend #1 is a good-sized guy with a good-sized-guy appetite. Oooooookay, so, I’m going to have to break into the frozen chicken breasts to pad things out. Because I’m pretty sure this guy could eat all eight chicken legs and then be looking around to see, you know, what’s for dinner

Then the phone rings again and it is announced that the husband is going to be meeting Friend #2, visiting from southern California, after work on Tuesday. There is absolutely no point in making the tamales, because the children will turn their noses up at them and not appreciate all the intensive labor involved in making them. Tamales turn into soft tacos. **sigh**

Just when I’m feeling safe, the phone rings again. Now one of the children isn’t going to be here all weekend. So instead of ‘a little left over’ we’re going to have massive piles of leftovers from the pork chops and the meat loaf. I decide to make half the recipe and scratch out half the ingredients I’m buying.

See, now I’m waiting for the phone to ring again and to find out that the entire Bavarian army is planning to come for the weekend. Or at least a giggling bevy of schoolmates. “Would you mind if Cessie and Angie and Perky and Derky and Jerky come for a sleepover?” THEN, I’m going to be short of food again. And undoubtedly calling for pizza. And grousing about paying $40 for two pizzas no bigger than >>>this<<<…

Undaunted, I went to the supermarket and purchased the weekly groceries: $22.56 for three gallons of milk, a bunch of fruit for snacking, some frozen vegetables, the yams and potatoes, and some soft corn tortillas for the tacos tomorrow.

Not tamales. Tacos. Because the tamales are a pain in the tush to make, and I’m not going to do it if there isn’t another adult around to eat and appreciate them. I’m not making them for the horrible children, who will undoubtedly turn around and say, “I don’t like those - can’t I just have a cupcake instead?!”

1 comment:

Very Herodotus said...

You could make the tamales and freeze them, then whip those rascals out when the big ole boy comes to supper on Sunday.

Tomatoes here are expensive right now. I need to plant some in my garden to get me through the summer. Mmmmmm home grown summer tomatoes - what's better than that?