Monday, February 9, 2009

What's for dinner?

I hate those words more than any other in the English language. I love to cook, really I do. But sometimes I just hate it. It is as if I have to think of one more thing to feed my family, my head will just pop off my shoulders and explode into a frightening mess. And given the people I live with, the mess would still be there in two weeks. We are still trying to find our way with our odd work schedule. I admit that the kids don't have a hot, home cooked meal every day. I also think that at 18 and almost 16 and having been schooled for the past 13 and 11 years, they know how to read. No one ever taught me how to cook. My Mom was a good cook; I'm sure she still is, but she is single and lives on disability so her meals are just for her and usually involve veggies, cereal, an occasional chicken breast and coffee. She never offered to show me how to cook. I was the youngest and I was about 7 when my Mom went back to work-she was a SAHM after having me. When she started working, she worked the afternoon shift. My next older(est?) sibling is B. She is 5 years older than I. She picked up the cooking duty from my Mom. She still loves to cook and has entered local cook offs in her town. I don't know if B learned from Mom or by watching Mom, but she learned how to cook. She also learned that A) you can break Pyrex, B) always screw the lid on tightly to the syrup dispenser when bringing it into the living room where Mom and Dad just put new carpeting a couple weeks before (and that syrup doesn't come out of carpeting) and C) your little sister may look dumb, but even she knows that eggplant doesn't taste like spaghetti and it ain't going on my plate. Our parents got divorced, I stayed with my Dad, B went to college-then came back to take care of Mom (that is a whole different story) and I had to learn a thing or two about food. My Dad cooks; he is a good cook too. However, after a divorce he had a few other things on his mind-like that God awful t-shirt bought and thought was funny that said "Vasectomy-all of the juice and none of the seed". Swear to God-I was thoroughly embarrassed. Suffice it say, I spent a good deal of time at home alone with a cupboard and hunger. And then weight gain. I had a panache for chocolate chip cookies. The lesson here is that I learned. Through trial and error. Through hunger. Through enough messes in the garbage can. I'm not a great cook-although when Drama Queen is sucking up she tells me I could beat up Rachael, Sandra, Giada, Ina and Paula. I'm a good cook. I'm a tired cook lately. I spent some time by myself today shopping-retail therapy is good. Nothing really fun, other than a pair of short brown boots that look kickass on, but some kitchen stuff and bathroom stuff. As I was driving away from Kohl's, still excited about my new yellow towels and candle and place mats, it hit me. Dinner. Okay, turn left up here into Cub and think of something. Fast. Easy. Fast. I thought fajitas would be good. Then thinking oh man, I have to slice up beef or chicken and cook it. Then the angels started singing in my ear "Look over there Tami, in that refrigerated case. See for yourself, dinner can be quick tonight". Now, I'm not really big on convenience food, but sometimes I really just can't bear the thought of an hour over the stove (since I haven't figured out how to be more prepared). There, in that refrigerated case.......sliced, cooked chicken and beef! Woo hoo! I could have dinner on the table in about 15 minutes. Grabbed a package of each, some tortillas, a pepper, some onions, a flavor packet and some Pepsi and chocolate cuz the little bee-atches at home found my secret stash and all you women out there know-at 1 o'clock in the morning after all the darlings are in bed, the hubby is doing his thing, and you are jonesing for some chocolate.......and you find it gone? I just about woke each of the them up to start yelling at them. But I didn't. I pouted. And hid chocolate in my dresser today.

Wow, it took me a long time to get to the food today.

Moo and Cluck Fajitas (or simply beef and chicken fajitas)

1 green bell pepper, cut into narrow strips
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (the Dude wanted these instead of a regular onion)
1 package each Tyson precooked and presliced beef and chicken
1 packet fajita seasoning

Pour about 1 TBSP oil-I used veggie-into a large skillet. Heat on medium-high heat. Carefully drop onions and peppers into oil and stir around. You don't want to let them sit in one spot too long or they might burn.

After they soften up, about 4 to 5 minutes, stir in beef and chicken. Pour in contents of seasoning packet along with water called for. Simmer for a few minutes longer, until all is heated through. Pile on tortillas and top with cheese. Serve alongside some fresh guacamole.

Funny story. I was at McDonald's many years ago and for a short time they had chicken fajitas on the menu. I was behind this older couple and he ordered a cheeseburger and fry and she orders a fa-jeye-tah. The poor pimply faced teenager had no idea what she meant. She said it twice and then pointed at the menu on the wall.
As it is almost 1:30AM and I'm starving, I am off to heat up the Lil Smokies I was suppose to bring to church today and have a Pacifico beer in honor of our best friends Corey and JoAnn who in exactly 12 hours will be having Pacifico's poolside in Mexico without us this year. Waaaa! It was either pay for Hermit Crab's graduation party or go to Mexico. She won. We don't get to go back until 2012. Next trip is for our 20th anniversary next year (Iceland) and then Drama Queen graduates (God willing) and then, yea! Mexico! Carlos, please be waiting with my Mai Tai and I'll be sure to bring the Ritz Bitz crackers for you-if the salmonella thing is over with.
Oh, and my sister B dropping the syrup on the new carpet (on Christmas morning and Mom and Dad let us eat pancakes while opening presents)? Nothing compared to when I tipped over the full bottle of nail polish remover on Mom's brand new coffee table that she had saved several months' salary to pay for. I honestly thought that they were going to kill me. They didn't, but boy were they pissed. I have kids now. Paybacks are a bitch.


Melissa said...

I almost peed my pants reading this. I am thinking our families are cosmically (is that even a word) connected at times. I hate the what are we having for dinner question, and if I am in there inventing they are all scared lol. But my biggest problem is actually fighting my kids to cook. Then fighting with them who are fighting over who is going to what. Ok now I am rambling. Girl put on your boots grab some chocolate and enjoy your day.

Katherine Aucoin said...

This is too cute. The grocery store is a big help so many times.

Spryte said...

Ahaha! At first I thought you said your sister was a B... I was thinking.. hmmm.. I guess she doesn't really like her sister very much... then I reread it and realized you said your sister IS B... much different from being a B!

I can totally relate to everything you wrote!!!

I'm also remembering the pre-sliced, pre-cooked chicky & beef for later!!

Bob said...

Heh, I remember when my parents put in new carpeting. Everyone was terrified to go into the family room for a week!

How were the pre-cooked meats?

noble pig said...

You know as parents we do what we can and soetimes it's not perfect but veryone survives and gives us al something to complain about when we get older.

The fajits look great!

Pam said...

You crack me up. The fajitas look quick, easy and tasty.

tamilyn said...

You guys are too funny!
Melissa-we could be cosmically relate, it is a small world :)

Spryte-No, B isn't a B, she is really Brenda, along with my other sister Sue and brother Hans. Of course if I used the sisters together it would be BS, ha ha ha. I'm just a lazy typist.

Bob-the meat was actually good and tender.

Flourchild said...

Love your blog! Thanks for stopping by mine!

Grace said...

well, this was quite a read. :)
and quite an ending too--i love fajitas in all shapes, sizes, and forms. good stuff. :)