Midlife Cabernet: You want Dinner EVERY Night?

3 years ago

I grew up on a farm, so dinner was thrown on the table after the chores were done. My mother’s weekly menu included baked hams, turkeys, beef roasts, and chickens accompanied with side dishes of mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed peas, buttered corn, bread, and cobbler. With ice cream. The quantity surpassed the quality, but we were not undernourished or skinny.

I worked outside the home when my kids were little, so dinner was whatever I could concoct before bedtime. “Look kids, we get chicken nuggets again tonight! Let’s arrange them in a marching band through the ketchup!” One evening all I could find was a pound of sausage so I made the ever-popular SOS – browned meat with flour and milk poured over toast. With an opened jar of peaches and some straggly carrots, we covered the four basic food groups.

Now my grown daughter is health conscious, and her children eat perfect portions of organic food. My granddaughter recently asked me if I had some kale, and I had to do a quick search on the Internet to discover what she meant. “No kale here, Sweetheart. Would you like a cookie?”

I don’t like having the pressure to be the best cook. With the right motivation or holiday, I can whip up a delicious prime rib roast or an authentic Italian chicken parmesan. But it’s the daily expectation of meals that really annoys me.

“You want dinner again tonight? What am I, a short order cook?”

Actually, Studley and I have a reciprocal agreement. One cooks and the other washes dishes. It works for us, and I usually win because when I cook I have a tendency to mess up every pot and pan in the entire kitchen. Then after dinner I sit back with a glass of wine and watch him work. It’s great fun.



Elaine Ambrose

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