a sweatpants approach to cooking dinner

I, too, hope this doesn’t turn into a food blog. This, coming from a woman who ate chili dogs and slice-and-bake cookies for dinner last night. I don’t think the hot dogs were free-range, either.

The way I eat is similar to the way I dress. I just can’t pick a way. Some people are classic, some people are trendy, others are boho-chic. I am all of those (or none of those, if you’re going to be pessimistic about it). Allow me to explain.

When people say, “I’m just not sure I could pull that off,” I’m not sure what they mean, unless they’re talking about something haute couture or something that Madonna wears during the Super Bowl halftime show. Usually, they’re just talking about tall boots or a hat or something. I think that if you can afford it, it comes in your size, and you think someone else looks cute in it, you can totally pull it off. Of course, there are minor caveats to consider, but overall I think this inability of mine to understand the not-being-able-to-pull-something-off mentality comes from the fact that I don’t like to be tied down to a certain label. Or I can’t decide which label I’d prefer being tied down to. My closet is overflowing with all the things I think might look cute somehow, someday, even though I have nothing that goes with it. Some days I’d like to dress like Jackie O. Other days, Gwen Stefani.

So back to food. My kitchen looks like my closet, if you substitute garam masala for ankle booties. I have tried recipes from Dr. Oz to Paula Deen, and there are only a handful of recipes that I’ve made more than once. Perhaps this comes from the belief that there could be something better out there. Perhaps I get bored easily. The only thing I’m sure about is that I sort of like being all over the map about cooking.

Just to dig this whole comparison into the ground, I’ll tell you that right now, with two tiny people bugging me all the time for, you know, safety and sustenance and mobility and whatnot, my food style of choice is: sweatpants. I am hardly motivated at all to cook. I want stuff that is e.a.s.y. Here are my favorite sources of easy right now:

  1. Soups. Throw a bunch of stuff in a pot. No, no—don’t go to the store—just use whatever is dying a slow death at the bottom of the vegetable crisper. Let it sit in a bath of chicken broth for a long time. Sure, even as long as it takes to build a railroad track, breastfeed an infant, then clean up said railroad track from under the couch where someone thought it would be fun to move it. Eat.
  2. Fix, Freeze, Feast. About a year ago, a church friend of mine invited me to join a freezer group. Six of us get together and cook huge batches of four different meals. (The meals all come from the Fix, Freeze, Feast cookbook and are usually very good and not at all casserole-y.) When we’re finished cooking, we all go home with eight meals to stuff in the freezer. This is fabulous for nights when I have important meetings with dignitaries and foreign investors or when Grey’s Anatomy is on.




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