We’ve recently made a concerted effort to eat home cooked foods more often, and drastically reduce the number of meals we have out. Instead of seeing it as a sacrifice, I’ve embraced the challenge of cooking more frequently for my family, and look for ways to add new dishes to the rotation. When the food’s good, it’s worth the effort. When it’s just mediocre, it feels like a punishment. So I am determined to put together a collection of manageable, easy meals that will not only be enough for dinner, but provide leftovers for lunches or the freezer. In the last week alone I found a new pork chop recipe that everyone loves, and finally figured out a way to use up extra pasta that people are tired of: spaghetti pie! (I’ll be writing more about that one soon.) It’s been rewarding, and inspires me to keep going.
But a few weeks ago, after many nights of cooking and a really long day at work, I announced to everyone that we would finally go to the local Thai restaurant we’d always liked. We hadn’t been in a while, but my little guy announced the week before that he wanted the calamari and dumplings, and wouldn’t let it go. So off we went on a rainy night, expecting a fabulous dinner. What we got instead was an expensive, underwhelming, extra salty and disappointing meal. I felt terrible. The only good thing about it (except for the company, and the fact that there were no dishes to clean) was the Tom Yum Goong soup. Otherwise, I spent the whole time wishing we had just stayed home and I had cooked the sweet and spicy chili shrimp my older guy had asked for in the first place.