I hate to toot my own oven mitts, but I’m a pretty decent cook. I like to cook, and few things in life give me a greater sense of satisfaction than feeding my family a wholesome, home-cooked meal. That’s not to say that all our meals are Martha Stewart approved. Far from it. I’m a good cook, but I am a terrible shopper.
I despise going to the grocery store. I loath it. I hate it with the white hot passion of a thousand angry Mongol raiders. I would rather have a root canal than… okay maybe I’m overstating it, but I really really really don’t like to grocery shop. As a result of this aversion, I sometimes have to get a little creative in kitchen to avoid the super market just one more day. Here are five actual meals that I have served my family that prove how much I hate to grocery shop.
The Cereal Buffet. I am a big believer in breakfast for dinner. It’s cheap, easy, and a crowd pleaser. But the cereal buffet is not breakfast for dinner. It is me lining up all the nearly empty boxes of cereal and encouraging the kids to create a cereal medley by mixing various flakes, puffs, and O’s together in to a carb-loaded, milk-soaked meal. In my defense, they are the ones who keep putting the boxes back in the cabinet with nary a fistful of cereal left in them.
Taco Mashed Potato Casserole So, there was this time when I had leftover taco meat but no shells, tortillas, or corn chips. Luckily I did have some potatoes on hand. I just mashed them, mixed in the meat, and sprinkled it all with cheese. Believe it or not, my kids loved this “special recipe.”
Freezer Surprise! A frozen pizza. Some pot stickers. A few fish sticks. A bag of mixed vegetables. None of these things alone is enough to feed a family of six, but when I break into my emergency junk food stash and serve it all up at once, I’ve got an international smorgasbord!
Popcorn, Fruit, and Cheese Grain. Fruit. Dairy. That is a meal with three of the five food groups! Go Mom!
Anything With a Spoon of Peanut Butter. Peanut butter is to me what WD40 is to a fix-it shop. As long as I can spread a little peanut butter on it, I can probably make it work. After all, peanut butter is an excellent source of protein. Right? Graham crackers and peanut butter – a tasty breakfast. Apples and peanut butter – a nutritious lunch. Peanut Butter Quesadilla – genius.
Of course there are other perks to stretching the groceries. Fewer things go to waste. I’m setting a good example of frugality for my kids. And when I finally do make myself go to the store, I don’t even have to make a list – because we are out of EVERYTHING!
What about you? What’s the most desperate meal you’ve ever served?