Seriously, What’s for Dinner???

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Seriously, what’s for dinner? That’s the question EVERY night in my house. Both my husband and I ask it of one another every. single. night. We never have a plan. So, no, my kitchen doesn’t have fabulous meals in it like in the pic above.

We instead have too many days when we’re visiting places like the one below. We end up ordering takeout (#quarantine!) from places that are open late because we can’t even reach a consensus on what to eat until nothing else is open.

Photo by Ash Goldsbrough on Unsplash

People who cook are amazing to me, and those who cook *nightly* or *plan ahead* are mystical creatures to me (they’re probably also the same people who can fold a fitted sheet…). I hear that these people exist, some people even share stories of how they’re doing it, or how it’s less expensive than eating out… but it still just seems impossible to me.

I’m not sure why meal planning or cooking is so hard. In practical terms it’s not, you buy ingredients, you follow a recipe, you eat. But, for some reason, that’s now how it works in my world.

I’ve been dying for fish tacos. I thought, hey, I’m not at a corporate job, I have time to make some good fish tacos. I sent a friend who recently posted some pics of delicious homemade tacos a message on FB and asked for the recipe. She shared, and it sounded lovely, simple, and delicious. I figured I could make the tacos happen that night (although I should’ve known that it’s like watching the hair stylist do your hair at the salon – it always looks like it’s repeatable, but you get home, try it, and look like a mutant).

I drove to the store, bought the ingredients, and checked out. Somehow I ended up spending $52. But, I had enough to make tacos for 4 people, so I persisted. I got home, started to make the food, and it turned out pretty okay. My tacos didn’t look as delicious as my friend’s. My husband always jokes that it’s because I don’t cook with the most important ingredient: love.

He’s totally right. I cook with wonder, not love, in my heart and try to figure out how the heck people are so good at this and I just can’t get it right! Not too long ago, I burned something on the stove (I don’t even remember what because it’s rather frequent). My daughter asked what the smell was, and I was like, the scent of mommy attempting to cook.

It doesn’t seem to be for me. As much as I like the idea of it, it doesn’t like the idea of me.

Still, those tales I hear of others meal planning and cooking mystify me, and I want in. I want to spend less than $52 on fish tacos at home. I want to know what we’re going to have for dinner before 8pm each night (and eek then be limited by what’s open since every place has shortened hours due to the quarantine).

How does one, who dislikes cooking, and doesn’t eat mammals, but enjoys having dinner, figure out how to affordably make a meal that doesn’t suck? I’d love some tips, because it really does seem like it’s impossible! I have a few things I make and they’re good, but I don’t want to make those things every single week!

Now, off to ponder what in the world we’ll have for dinner tonight!

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