So, my youngest popped over to my work-at-home workstation, seeing that my most recent meeting had ended (evidenced by the lack of blather into my microphone, I guess, and the “blank stare” into one of my three monitors) and asked the innocuous question “What do you want for dinner?”
Wow. What a struggle – and I’m not being facetious: we both were having a hell of a time coming up with something that we’d like to have for dinner! Her comment at my indecision was “This adult stuff is kinda hard – like deciding what’s for dinner!”
Deciding the menu was normally Kim’s domain. She’d occasionally ask what I or one of the kids would like if she felt that it was time for something different, but, normally, she had full command of the galley during the week, and would routinely put delicious food out for us to eat.
“What would you like for dinner?”
I never really thought about the effort that must have gone into that – in the best of times, she absolutely hated it when I would force her to make the decision of what restaurant to go to, or what movie to go see; but she decided every day what to put on the table. And, in my current depressed state, I can see that it likely took herculean effort for her as Kim struggled with depression for most of our married life; becoming apparent to me a few years after the delivery of our fourth child.
Dinner. What would I like for dinner. Hmmm.
Well, Jillian suggested either steak and mashed potatoes or spaghetti – with salad. I guess I’ll go see what wonders the freezer has to behold – another of Kim’s domains. I could never fathom its arrangement and organization. I’ve reorganized it and STILL can’t fathom its arrangement and organization. It’s as if it rearranges itself at night. Sigh.
I think, maybe, the steak…
When we buy a butcher’s round roast for making jerky, I will cut some steaks from it, sometimes cube them, pack them in individual sandwich-sized bags, and then put four into a gallon bag for the freezer. The outer bag is labeled with the date, the type of meat, the source of the meat, and the count or weight. That way, if it were just Kim and me, we wouldn’t have to thaw more than we needed for dinner, but the gallon bag contained enough for the four of us that were usually home for dinner. There was an unlabelled package in the freezer that fit that description and, under the permafrost, appeared to be, perhaps, some of the cubed steaks. It wasn’t until it was all thawed (ie: too late to do anything about it), that I discovered it to be four packages of some ground meat. Apparently: venison. Change of plans.
A quick mirepoix, some garlic, green pepper, chicken bouillon in lieu of salt, some pepper… Hmmm. Do we go for a stroganoff vibe or a tomato base? I already had the spuds on the boil for the mashed potatoes to go with the alleged steaks. Then Jillian popped in and said, “how about tomatoes, like mom’s venison and onions?” In went some diced tomatoes and some tomato paste. Further brain-storming had the left-overs from the zucchini and yellow squash dish from two days before added into the mix.
A blop of mashed potatoes into a bowl, and a hearty helping of… “stuff”… it was delicious. And it was reminiscent of Kim’s tomatoes and venison, as well.
As for the venison, I *think* it is my eldest son’s. I recall him being “gifted” some ground venison for helping his novice friends clean and process their first deer last year. That would explain an unlabelled package of meat, as I’m typically very “anal” about making sure things are labeled, and it was REALLY bothering me that I would have forgotten to do so.
And, hopefully, he forgot about it as it is venison no more…