What’s Cookin’

Years and years ago Dan claimed he didn’t know how to cook.  I can hold my own but most of our meals ended up coming from Olive Garden (no, not proud of that) or out of a Kellogg’s box because who feels like cooking when they’ve been at work all day?  I know lots of you out there do just that all the time, and when we first got married I felt like I should be one of those perfect wives you see on TV.


But all Mrs. Cleaver had to do during the day was have luncheons with her garden club.  I had a Real Career.  For a while I cooked on weekends and froze meals for each night but how long do you think I kept up with that?  Right.

Dan became a reluctant cook, although he would deny that he is any such thing.  His repertoire includes microwaving soy dogs, cooking frozen pizza or even reheating leftover pizza, grilled cheese, eggs (not too shabby); and he likes to peer into the pot and stir it if I’m making marinara or chili or whatever.  But it turns out he can cook nearly anything else if I’m telling him how to do it.  He follows instructions really well.  Coincidentally, I’m pretty good at giving instructions.

Now I still work all day, but in my house or the Writer’s Room or Panera or whatever.  It’s pretty flexible.  So you would think my sorry butt would be cooking dinner right?  No, but I have good reasons.  For example, how can I cook dinner when I need to catch up on my reality TV?  I have a strict No TV During the Day rule, so evenings are still reserved for Bravo.  And where are the cats going to sit if my lap isn’t available?  I have to prioritize.

So when Dan comes home each evening we play a game we’ve played for years and years…Dinnertime Dilemma!  It has everything you want in a game-mystery, challenge, excitement and even a chance to leave your opponent in the dust.  You’ve played this game too, even if you don’t realize it.  “What do you want for dinner?”  “No clue, what do you want?”  “I dunno.”  We can go on like that for a long time.  So long, in fact, that we miss dinnertime all together and just have cereal. Or nothing at all, but then I’m cranky all evening because I’m hungry.  All these years and Dan still can’t distinguish between my regular grumpiness and my hungry grumpiness but it doesn’t matter because he ignores me no matter what kind of grumpy I am.

If Dan tries to sneak something in for himself because I’m busy watching TV, I always catch him.  I am kind of like a house pet—if I hear something rustling in the kitchen I want to know if it’s food.  And if it is, I demand some of it.  But nine times out of ten Dan is eating some disgusting microwaved thing I wouldn’t touch, so I just get more annoyed.  Well there’s a shocker.

One of my dreams in life is to be someone who can use the word supper instead of dinner; it just sounds more appetizing.  Sometimes for fun I’ll say “What’s for supper paw?” in an overdone southern accent.  I think I got that from Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show.


Either way, we’re both sort of looking forward to spending our golden years at Sunset Retirement Home, because they figure out what you’re having for breakfast, lunch and…supper.  I think Sunset is going to be a great place to reinvent myself.

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7 Responses to What’s Cookin’

  1. If you’re inclined to several small meals, you can have breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner AND supper.

  2. Kate says:

    We do the game almost every night but I always end up coming up with the answer. Sometimes my Dan will get Chinese takeout or a pizza. Since we are both retired there is no excuse at all except that the cats need a lap, a book needs reading, blogs need attention…..just the usual. Yeah, there was a day I made bread too. Whatever was I thinking!

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      I’m with you on the blogging–and you can’t slow down because you make me laugh and snort soda through my nose a lot. Pretty.

      And if you always come up with an answer for dinner, share it! What am I having for dinner tonight? Please just tell me…

  3. Ann says:

    When we first got married, in the idealistic post-Oberlin days, I not only cooked, but we also made our own bread, ground our own peanut butter, concocted yogurt from scratch–and I was working, too! I even remember a few attempts at making baby food when Allison came along. But having kids was the death knell for all that happy homemaker stuff.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      You guys really could have packed up and moved to Berkley. Knowing how wonderful your kids are, I think they were worth hanging up the happy homemaker stuff. But what’s my excuse? 🙂

  4. Lisa says:

    I have the supper problem too.

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