Day in and day out, I cook for my family. Okay, maybe I don’t cook everyday, but I cook most days unless we have a mystery shopping assignment to complete. Daily, I answer the question, “What’s for supper?” I ask for suggestions, but I never get them. I only get complaints. No one knows what they want. They only know what they don’t want, and that’s whatever I’m cooking.
I plan meals. I go to the store and buy ingredients. Sometimes, I even follow recipes. Most of what I cook does not need a recipe because I’ve made it so many times. Some things I cook, like biscuits and dumplings, can’t be made from a recipe. They just don’t turn out right.
Yesterday, I made no plans. I had nothing in mind for supper. I didn’t go to the store or plan a recipe or know what I wanted to cook. Driving home around 6:30 PM, I figured I’d better think about what was for supper. Of course they were going to be hungry. They’re always hungry. So, I took a mental inventory of the contents of our refrigerator. We had leftover noodles, some gross chicken that no one liked, cream cheese and mozzarella cheese. In the pantry, I had a jar of vodka spaghetti sauce. (Does it have vodka in it? I have no idea why it’s call that.) As I drove, I weighed the choices of going to the store for the seventeenth time this week or just winging it. The winging it won. My plan was just to throw something together and call it supper. I knew Mr. Everything would eat anything I put in front of him. I wasn’t that hungry, and I figured the kids would just fix something else anyway. I just couldn’t make myself put effort into the meal when no one would like what I had to offer. So, I decided to create a dish.
When I got home, the Beetle greeted me with his traditional greeting of, “What’s for supper?” “Um, chicken casserole,” I said. “What’s in it?” asked the Goose. “Chicken and some other stuff,” I answered, very honestly. I sent the Goose to get her shower so she couldn’t watch as I mixed the contents. The Beetle went back to his room. He only shows himself for 2 minutes at a time, and his showing was over. Quickly, I threw the ingredients together. Here is the official recipe:
Leftover noodles of various shapes and sizes thrown in the bottom of the dish
Gross chicken (that no one would eat in its original form) shredded and placed on the noodles
½ a block of cream cheese cut up and placed throughout the dish
1 jar vodka spaghetti sauce poured on top
Mozzarella cheese to top it all
I baked this at 375 degrees for about 27 minutes. (Actually, I didn’t time it. It was long enough for me to edit a report and check Facebook.) And, just like that, dinner was served.
Everyone dug in, and I waited for the, “Oh gross! I’m not eating this!” It never happened. My children each ate a full dish of the concoction and went back for seconds! Mr. Everything said it was good. He always says it is good (except for the gross chicken…even he admitted that was bad).
Now that I know the secret to feeding my children, I have a plan. Tomorrow, I’m going to go to the pantry to just grab whatever looks good or gross, depending on my mood. I’ll just randomly mix some ingredients together. Maybe I’ll top it with marshmallow fluff. The recipes and plans are going out the window! Why plan ahead for my little contradictions? They seem to like the pick of the fridge. -Al