What If…It’s Just Dinner

I was talking with some friends at work about 🍽dinner. We don’t like it. 😬Don’t get me wrong- we 😍love the eating part. It’s the figuring-it-out part that we don’t like. 👎🏻The options. The decisions. The fact that our families like dinner. Every. 👏🏻Single. 👏🏻Night.

Many of you know that my mother hosted a 🧑‍🍳cooking show on TV for decades. I’m here to tell you that the cooking gene skipped me. My children turned out to be excellent cooks. 🙌🏻My husband is amazing in the kitchen. He’s one of those people who can look in the cupboard and know how to put together a delicious dinner from anything that happens to be on the shelves. 🎉He knows which spices to use in various combinations to make your mouth water. He also likes to say that those combinations are “his secrets.” Whatever!😂

My family really isn’t picky about 🍽dinner. They don’t have any grand expectations- just that they have something to eat. ✅Granted, they couldn’t be too picky with me at the oven. I am really good at cooking what I call Kid Food. When our kids were little, I could make perfect dinners. 🍝Spaghetti. Chicken strips. Roast. 🍔Hamburgers. I also order carry-out food really well. If you order 🍕pizza from different restaurants, it’s like having different meals- you’re welcome.😊

My problem isn’t my family’s demands. It’s my limited knowledge and true ambivalence of learning to be a fancy chef. 😬Even though I have some recipes that I enjoy making, I don’t have a big repertoire of them in my toolbox. As a result, I don’t feel confident in the kitchen. 😔I don’t always know what to put together on a plate. I’m a big fan of 🥞breakfast for dinner because I can cook those foods. I think I’d be really good at just making charcuterie boards and calling it dinner. 🍿Popcorn works for dinner, too, in case you’re wondering.

The “what’s for dinner” question❓ has sent me into a panic before. Not proud moments, but they have happened. 🙋🏻‍♀️More than once. 😂I don’t like the responsibility of planning and preparing dinner over and over and over. It’s a lot. I thank my family for being kind to me when I tell them that we’re ordering 🥡Chinese…again.

When our adult kids come home to visit, they aren’t hungry for some childhood meal I prepared. Instead, they want something Ken made for them- usually Chicken Lombardi or Chicken Chili.😋

I used to work with a woman who ate at restaurants every evening. Her husband wasn’t a cook either, so they dined out daily. They never even turned on the oven in their house- not once! 😳She loved it. No planning. No cooking. No cleaning the kitchen. I think they were onto something.🤔

When Ken has time to cook, I am grateful. If someone gives me a suggestion or a recipe, I’ll happily give it a try. It’s just the chore part of dinner that drains me. 🙃I feel this expectation to prepare a Pinterest-worthy🍽 meal, and I know that it’s not going to happen before I even start. The best news is that my family doesn’t expect that of me. 👍🏻It’s a pressure I put on myself. Ken tells me all the time that he’d be happy to have a 🥪sandwich, and he means it. I’m the only one 😩obsessing about what to cook for dinner over here.

What if…it’s just 🍽dinner? If my meal isn’t great, who really cares? There will be another one tomorrow! 👍🏻We still get the chance to gather together at the table, maybe sharing some 😂laughs about my attempt at dinner. Maybe 🎉rejoicing because I actually made something yummy. The 💕nourishment we get from the experience is about more than the food.💖

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