Since I started grad school, there have been certain periods that are more hectic than others. There’s more homework for both the husband and I or a test or a paper is due and conveniently those periods tend to coincide with especially hectic periods at work. During those times, I chuck real cooking to the side and feed my family convenience foods, stuff not purchased from the healthy, whole perimeter of the grocery store, but rather in the bloated and evil middle shelves where the processed and boxed and pre-cooked items that shamelessly flaunt their preservatives and their sodium and their high fructose corn syrup live.
This week we have a perfect storm of food challenges: busy at work, busy at school, taxes for tuition are coming out of my paycheck, and we’ve not yet received our tax refund or heard any word on the student loan that I applied for. So we’re busy and kinda poor (more than usual). Last night we had to go to the store. Not only were we out of dinner options, I was out of contact lens solution, the cat was out of litter (stink), and the baby was out of waffles and dear lord that kid can not go a day without waffles.
Since we weren’t going to get home until about 7:30, I grabbed a boxed, Complete Meal to make for dinner. I started “cooking” that while the baby and the husband worked on homework. The box called for 2 1/4 cups of hot water. I measured that out, then had to pour it out because there was a cat hair in the measuring cup, then once again because I used cold water instead of hot.
Dudes. Cooking is hard.
I decided to add some “nutrition” to our meal by heating up a can of green beans and then we sat down on the couch to watch TV and eat our all-American meal by the light of the Penguins game.
Looking at the bright orange Three Cheese Chicken and the dull green beans, I felt pretty bad I wasn’t feeding them all things fresh, organic, and nutritious. But the baby dug in and turned to me and said, “You cook things the best, Mum.”
And that right there made me feel like Anthony fucking Bourdain. Sure, the food is shitty, but I cook it with love. And that’s what matters.
Plus, we don’t starve to death. Always a good result.
Later, after I started to drool in bed, the husband came in and whipped the covers off of me to “fix” them, since he insists that I don’t do it right. I groaned at the shock of the cold, but in my sleepy state, I felt him lay the covers back down on top of me and then brush the hair out of my face.
I think those guys might keep me around, even if I’m not going to win any Woman/Mom/Wife of the Year awards.