Island Family Dinners During A Move

Sometimes, LCB is touched with a spot of brilliance. Last night was one of those moments.

When we purchased our new house, the only kitchen appliance it had was a microwave. At this point in the moving process, we now have a refrigerator and a dishwasher as well. Words cannot express my gratitude for the presence of these fine appliances in my life. No seriously, every time I walk by them I want to break into a round of the doxology. Those of you who have lived without these appliances, even for a short time, know the depth of appreciation one can feel for what looks to me like a hunk of metal and some wires that somehow keep things cold and clean. In fact once, a few years ago, we had to spend a few months in another state for business, and we spent the first month of our stay living in a small house with no kitchen (it had been gutted and was being redone). When the appliances finally came, I really just wanted to pull up a chair and bask in their existence, as if a troubadour had just come to my small, medieval town.

So, tangent aside, we have no stove or oven yet. Obviously, this makes dinner a challenge. We have met this challenge in several different ways over the last week. The night we moved in, we ordered chain store pizza, a move indicative of our mental state at that point. The next night we ordered, you guessed it, Chinese.

Then, I dug this little puppy up from one of our boxes, and LCB has used it to cook the meat for several of our dinners. And we now have an operational grill as well, so we’re moving in the right direction. However, last night, LCB had an early evening conference call, and I had work to do as well, so he came up with what I think was an outstanding dinner plan that required only minimal effort and a microwave.

We introduced the kids to TV dinners.

Really, this sounds more like a plan that I would hatch, keeping things simple at the expense of taste and health when I’m pressed for time. LCB, who is the family head chef, was clearly feeling the strain to come up with this one.

“Look at this interesting kind of food you can buy,” explained LCB as he unwrapped a dinner with mac & cheese, chicken fingers and a brownie. “It’s all on one little plastic tray, and you just pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and presto, you have a dinner.” Having never seen this, the small people were riveted. I tried valiantly not to laugh. They stood, three in a row, and watched while the dinner cooked in the microwave. He put two more dinners in, each a different kind, and then set them on the table, family style, when they were done. The small people eyed each of the dinners and discussed which ones they wanted to try first.

Then, they each took bites, and universally proclaimed them awful.

LCB was fairly bursting with paternal pride over his offspring’s highly-developed palates. “Well, at least you now know what TV dinners are,” he grinned, and left to make his call.

Later that night, I went on Comfortably Domestic’s blog (check it out, ‘cause it’s one of my favorites) to catch up on her last few posts, and guess what I found? Apparently, when she’s in a pinch for time, she cooks Pork and Pineapple Stir Fry. Uh-huh. We serve dinner via a frozen Banquet box, and she whips up a Pork and Pineapple Stir Fry.

Then, I read her post Sometimes Recipe Development is a Family Affair and groaned. Several years ago, I thought I was making a noteworthy advancement when I switched to making my own frosting for the small people’s birthday cakes and cupcakes. Chocolate frosting, of course. Always, only chocolate. I am nothing if not steadfast, especially when it comes to chocolate. Comparatively, however, my homemade frosting was a miniscule endeavor, as I read about how she infused lemon tea into butter to make a lemon tea-infused frosting for a blueberry cupcake recipe. Oh, and she developed it to help out with Frosting for the Cause, a really great cause aimed at raising awareness and money for cancer research, no less.

I feel so bourgeois now.

In this regard, we are not living in parallel universes.

Truthfully, I’d really like to start eating in hers.

4 Comment

  1. Hubby & I were both cracking up at this post! We had a similar incident with TV dinners once, and were admittedly just as smug about it as LCB. Then I Hubby that they will happily suggest and/or eat McD’s and the like as a “special treat” nearly every day. We weren’t so smug after the realization that they really just prefer a different kind of dirge instead. But the fries are really yummy. 😉

    Bottom line: I think you give me far too much credit, but I loved this sweet post anyway. Besides…when I hole up in the kitchen developing recipes, it’s really just an excuse to ignore responsibilities like laundry, mopping, or the ever constant need to unplug one of our toilets. I swear they flush tree trunks and rocks, but no one is ‘fessing up to any wrong doing. 😉

    1. That’s so funny! I can just picture you doing the TV dinner thing with your kids, who are used to a Mom who’s constantly cooking and adapting recipes for each of their health needs and personal preferences. My kids have actually sworn off McDonald’s, other than my daughter loves the smoothies (can’t say I blame her on this one). My eldest thinks his tastes are just a little too sophisticated for McDonald’s now, but the hilarious thing is, instead, he’s always asking to go to Taco Bell.

      Oh, I can do massive amounts of cleaning to avoid having to unclog a toilet. I swear, I cannot convince them that a softball-sized wad of toilet paper is not the most effective way to use it. And you know, if you felt like digging up your plumbing system, you could find an assortment of things that would rival what you described finding in your laundry on one of your recent posts.

  2. Kat says: Reply

    I always want to eat in Kirsten’s universe. I try, but she is on a totally different plane of awesome when it comes to feeding her family.

    P.S. I cracked up imagining the small people experiencing their first TV dinners. As a pup we would eat them at Grandma’s from time to time and I was always so perplexed as to why there needed to be spiced apples. Every.single.time.

    1. Confession: I actually read her “Dinner in a Jiff” post about the pork and pineapple for the first time a night earlier, and thought I must be reading it wrong because I was so exhausted from the move. Because, I realize it’s not the most complex dinner ever, but who whips up a pork and pineapple stir fry “in a jiff?” The few times I’ve done a stir fry, it’s always been done with at least moderate amounts of fanfare. Then I reread it the next night and cringed, having just done the TV dinners. It must be really cool to even just be her neighbor, stopping over at opportune times to “sample” the latest fare.

      Wow. Spiced apples are really random. That’s funny. Wonder how that started in her mind?

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