O dear tummy, please forgive me for my dietary indiscretions of this evening. Please digest my so-called dinner without giving me more reason to regret my meal than I all ready have.....please tummy, I am so very sorry.........please stay down where you belong, pullleeeeze.......
Our meal planning, perfected over the winter when Dell was chief chef, has fallen apart completely over the past 10 days due to so much church busyness for us both. Tonight we lived to regret it.
Gazing into the refrigerator in search of dinner, and seeing only the remnants of the leftover spaghetti and sauce we have been tucking away since the weekend's fundraiser, we decided we couldn't take any more of that and froze the remains for another time, far, FAR into the future. So, since we have only eaten at our favourite restaurant here once in the past 5 months we joyously jumped into the car and braved the deep muddy alleyway ruts to head out for a fun meal.
"Due to a family emergency" the restaurant was closed. Sigh.......where to go. There are no other restaurants with truly enjoyable food....unless you like pizza with either baking powder crust and tasteless sauce, or pizza with enough salt per unit to start your own version of the Red Sea, or gooey oriental food dripping in various coloured corn starch sauces, or highly overpriced dreadfully disguised discount food at the so-called "fancy restaurant" at the hotel, or the grey chilly hashbrowns and shiny scrambled egg strips at the diner, it is best to just turn around and go home. Nope, couldn't face the spaghetti again.
We both had the thought that perhaps a simple veggie sandwich from the local sub maker would be good, but neither of us said it out loud.....stupid, stupid, stupid move.
We decided on the other so called "fancy restaurant" that we hadn't eaten in for about a year......the time span should have triggered in both our heads that there was likely a reason. But no, hunger drove us to the decision to give the place another try......stupid, stupid, stupid move.
By the time we were done our meal the stale leftover spaghetti in our own refrigerator was pretty appealing again.
My "home made" burger taught me that it is possible, apparently, to home make mystery meat! The only condiments on it were dripping wet lettuce, nearly uncooked bacon, and very past it's due date, and now sour, mayonnaise. The fries came pre-prepared out of a bag and the gravy was a powered mix with hot water added to it. HOOOW delightful......yuuccckkk! Even the whole 1/4 of a dill pickle on the side was soggy and slightly brown. Oh well, the diet soda syrup was cut with just the right amount of water out of the fountain, so that was nice....heavy sarcasm.....
Dell ordered "creamy fettucini". Well, when the heaping plate of pasta arrived it was rather light on the creamy and abnormally heavy on the fettucini. The sauce was watered down to the point of being nearly invisible. In the sauce were bits of soggy undercooked bacon similar to the bacon on my burger, itty bitty flecks of uncooked and cold green pepper, equally cold bits of tomato, and something that could have been bits of hard boiled egg.....or something from a cat food can. Better to remain ignorant we decided. The piece de resistance (and resist it he should have) was tiny slices of white chicken meat over the top of the mound. They were so hard and tough they could have been made of plaster! Most of the chicken went into the mouth and then exited rather quickly to be deposited onto the side of the plate. The garlic toast was okay at least. Guess we should have ordered a plate of garlic toast and 2 sodas. The lower price wouldn't have been as galling when the bill came.
By the time we were done eating as much as we could manage of the disgusting messes in front of us we decided it was a good lesson for us to get back to the meal planning system that worked so well for us all winter.
We will return to a more Asian or European plan of daily grocery shopping, seeing as soon as the grocery stores open in the mornings what is freshest or on sale or appealing for the day's meals; planning that day's luncheon and dinner around available products. As often as possible we will make enough extra to freeze a carton or 2 for another night just such as this when exhaustion drains us of energy to cook fresh.
From the ashes of tonight's culinary disaster, the phoenix of better meal planning is arising.
And that is a wonderful thing!