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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28
Put THIS in your pipe and DON'T smoke it! - 2014-10-23
Max, Wolf, and the goats - 2014-10-15
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12:26 p.m. - 2014-07-24
Going to Pot (and Pan!)

I'm back and forth about the phrase 'first world problems'. I understand the gist and agree sometimes we all make too big of a deal over trifles. Luxurious trifles. "Wah! My $8.00 latte doesn't have enough foam! My day is ruined!" But there's the flipside in that just because your life is pretty creamy it doesn't mean you're allowed ZERO complaints short of your house burning down while you're in the hospital having your brain tumor removed.

Take meal prep for instance. In a rough guestimate I am responsible for about 700 meals a year. Breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, mostly dinners. Monday-Friday Wolf, of course, eats lunch at culinary school and both the guys make their own weekday breakfasts (provided that I make sure there's food enough to hand for them to scrabble something together), but 700 is on the conservative side of how many meals I make. Holidays, birthdays, and company require even more thought and fuss. I've been doing this for at least 42 years. 700 x 42 = 29,400. By this time next year I will have made 30,000 meals. And for me the cooking is the easy part. I like cooking. Part skill, part art, cooking is satisfying. However the actual preparation of the food is only a slice (to make a pun) of what's involved in feeding my family. There's a whole chain of decisions and actions which must be made before a meal is actually cooked. Meal planning. Shopping (3 regular grocery stores, farmers markets, the bread store, the fish place). Keeping up a stocked pantry and fridge. Having the right spices and condiments and utensils. Plus afterward there's the proper storage of leftovers including having the necessary snap-top bowls and things like tin foil and plastic wrap. Heck, even what time we eat is on me to figure out. Throw in keeping track of the household budget (Can we afford beef this week?) and Mick's bodybuilding training and Wolf's needs as he grows and grows and grows, and everyone's likes and dislikes, plus the weather (can't barbeque in the rain and no one wants lasagna when it's 95 degrees) and my own varying ability to stand at the stove on any given day...well, feeding the family isn't as straightforward simple as plopping some food on the table and yelling, "Come and get it!"

Now lade all that with the snotty 'first world problem' bullshit. Hey, Ms Whiny, not only are you technically unemployed you have a home, you have a working stove and fridge, you have access to fresh food and clean water, you can (mostly) afford to buy what you need, nobody is shooting mortars at your house, roving bandits aren't beating down your door and taking all your food, and your only insect and vermin problems are a constantly eating teenager and some fruit flies that sometimes come with the bananas. So STFU.

See what I'm getting at here?

So how do I balance this? Where's the line between being grateful for all I have and knowing I'll go shrieking insane if I have to answer, "Hey, what are we having and what time is dinner?" one more time this week?

Yeah, yeah, I could tell them they're on their own. I could. Then Mick would graze and graze. He'd eat up all the cold cuts and cheese I need to make his lunch, no bread, he'd just eat it straight from the wrappings. Then chase a week's worth of lunch meat with four yogurts, five cans of tuna, and most of a gallon of milk. Then he'd drift into my office and give me the face.

And Wolf would eat an entire package of Oreos.

If you substitute 'dinner' for 'money' you'll have my 'tude toward suppertime right now.

Heh.

Don't mind me. I know there are all kinds of helpful things I could do. Draw up weekly or monthly menus and stick to them. I could make meals in huge batches, put them in individual packaging, freeze them and tell the guys to heat-n-eat on days when I don't feel like whomping up a dinner, and probably a host of other Pintrest-worthy suggestions that would make my cooking life a bit less fraught, but mostly I'm just grumbling so I'll forestall the loving advice and just ask for a sympathetic hug or two.


Much love from the first world, ~LA


6 Wanna talk about it!

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