18 August 2011

Supper panic: Buy yourself a little time

Listen up, girls, because I’m going to tell you one of the great kitchen secrets that my mother shared with me shortly before my wedding.

Scene: For one reason or another (most likely one reason and another, and another…), supper plans have slipped your mind. It’s only when you remember that you’re supposed to be teaching a kid or two to tell time and you ask one of them to read the clock that you suddenly realize Dad will be home any minute…and you have no idea what’s for supper.

Now, you’ve got a few options. Here’s one that I’ve tried in several variations, but don’t necessarily recommend: As soon as your husband walks in the door, fresh from the bread-earning cares of the day, thrust the fretful baby at him, incoherently weeping and gnashing your teeth about how there’s no way you can possibly accomplish all the tasks in your day, and how he’d better peel all those brats off you RIGHT NOW OR ELSE, and anyone who wants supper can jolly well make himself a PBJ.

You might have better luck with this one: turn on the stove, and slice an onion into a pan with some butter. In a matter of seconds, the house will smell purposefully wonderful. Dad will walk in, sniff the air, and declare appreciatively: “Smells great!” That’s your cue to say, “Mmm-hmm. Now if you could just take the kids [outside, to the basement, wherever] after you’ve changed, I’ll be able to finish up in here.” Dad, feeling useful, and anticipating a good meal in reward for his labors, will cheerfully whisk the young’uns away to such activities as only fathers can pull off enthusiastically. The kids will be thrilled to have Dad to themselves. And you get a peacefully empty kitchen…and a few minutes to run to Allrecipes or CSPP cooks to figure out what on earth to do with those onions.

No, no, don't peek in the pot now. You just run along and have fun and I'll call you when it's ready.

14 comments:

Leah said...

This is the best advice I've read in a long time! How simple, and how true!!

Sarah Osbun said...

That is simply awesome.

Ewe said...

Dh learned this while he was studying a year at Westfield House in Cambridge. When it is time to cook dinner, put onions and garlic on to saute and an idea will come to you.
I won't rub it in that dh does most of the cooking in our house and I attempt to watch the boys while he cooks. :)

HappyFox said...

I agree with Sarah. Freakin' awesome.

Rebekah said...

Does anyone ask questions if what ends up on the table is a bucket of granola and a bouquet of string cheese?

Melrose said...

one of my dearest friends Anne taught me this while at the seminary and it works like a charm :D

Melrose said...

Rebekah, just dip that string cheese in some egg and bread crumbs and pan fry in the butter and onion for some mozz sticks! :D Serve with some marinara and you've got yourself a well rounded meal ;D

Reb. Mary said...

Melrose, you're brilliant.

Ewe, I'm glad your arrangement works for you. By that point in my day, I'd much rather be the one in the kitchen ;)

Joy said...

I will be using this. Often. But first, I must remember to put onions on the grocery list. What's the biggest bag they sell?

Mrs Gregory said...

Works with garlic, too.

Gauntlets said...

Reb. Mary, I <3 your mother.

Wing It Mom said...

This is fantastic! I don't know if it would work with my husband though, he's usually pretty persistent about asking what I'm making for supper...

Heather said...

I love it!

lisa said...

hahaha - I'm still smiling about manplay. So true.

I thought by the end of Summer I'd be so tired of everything being sauteed in olive oil with onion and garlic, but you know, it never gets old :D