I’ve fantasized a million times: hiring my very own chef with lottery winnings. It tops every single desire, even the tropical vacation home, or the Mercedes I’ve dreamed of owning for a very long time. Sigh…
In the meantime, I’m experimenting with ways to make this kitchen chore more tolerable. After all, it’s not like we can stop eating. I tried falling back on the “misery loves company” solution since most every chore is easier when there’s two, but my husband didn’t buy that for long. Bottom line: I’m done with cooking… in my mind. But being pissed off about it all the time is blowing it all out of proportion. And being cranky about something everyone else seems to love makes it seem like such a stupid stress, but I’m trying to make it better.
Case in point. We used to dine out once a week and it was divine. One day a week of kitchen relief meant I loved Wednesdays. But then money got tighter and we stopped. We still go out sometimes, but it just isn’t the same as a scheduled day because part of the joy is in having something to look forward to. Having this regular break made cooking more tolerable the rest of the time.
The Plan. Step 1: Frozen dinners once a week. Step 2: Get-you-own once a week. Step 3: A prepared roasted chicken from the deli every 2 weeks (good for two nights!!!!). Best of all is opening the fridge and finding a container of frozen soup, but who’s going to make that giant batch to freeze in the first place?
Now that the weather is warming Step 4 is on the table: picnics. Not the traditional kind involving potato salad, a grill or making sandwiches, but finger food. The list of possibilities is much longer than I expected: cheese, sourdough, crackers, oranges, grapes, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, hummus, nuts, dark chocolate bar, cookies, peanut butter, and apples to dip it in. None of this requires more than a trip to the market and washing stuff. A picnic basket or cooler is nice, but a shopping bag or plastic container works just as well if we’re not going far. Add a garbage bag, napkins, drinks, and a knife to open stuff and spread stuff and we’re good to go. As evidenced by this fine photo, the one amenity I love is a tablecloth to spread it all out on. Even at a crowded rest stop… on a broken down picnic table… in the rain. It’s all so much easier than I ever imagined.
My thing is cooking and basically a trivial matter in the large scheme of things, but I’m wondering if the same principle can be applied to some of life’s major burdens. Surprisingly, a little relief goes a long way in releasing pressure. Or, maybe dealing with all the trivia would free us up to concentrate on the bigger stuff. One thing is for sure, stress — big and small — adds up until BAM, and your life could change forever. What a difference it makes to get that break.
What do you do to make a dreaded chore better? Or do you just bite the bullet and get it over with?
Any finger food ideas to pass on?