Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Do you ever have days where nothing goes as planned and all of a sudden it is five 'o' clock and everyone is hungry and you don't have any idea what to make for dinner? I do, and today was one of them. What was supposed to be a half hour meeting with the nursing supervisor at my mother's assisted living facility turned in to four hours spent getting my mom taken care of.  Five 'o' clock found me staring vacantly in to an empty refrigerator, wishing we could just eat out. However, with six children, eating out becomes expensive, and since I love to cook, we save eating out for treats or true emergencies.

Taking stock of what I did have, I decided to do some experimenting. I had Italian parsley, mint, and pine nuts in the fridge. I found two pounds of the same type of pasta (a small miracle!), and while that was cooking, I made the herbs and pine nuts in to a pesto, adding garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a small amount of cumin. I roasted cherry tomatoes with fresh thyme, kosher salt, olive oil, pepper, and a dash of dried chili peppers. The package of Italian sausage links (which would have fed Graham alone) I sliced up and sauteed, and also sliced up and sauteed zucchini with rosemary, salt, and ghee. So, we ended up with pasta with really yummy pesto, topped with sausage and roasted tomatoes, and sauteed zucchini (you wouldn't believe how many time I had to respell that word to get it right....) . Despair to delight in just half an hour. Why is it that the meals I just throw together using what ever I have on hand are always delicious? I don't know the answer to that one, but I do know that this meal was easy, and inexpensive. It was a good reminder that home cooked food really is better tasting and more affordable than restaurant or pre-packaged food. Neither of those things are bad, and I have certainly relied on them as needed. But sometimes, we come to rely on these things so much that we forget that with a little creativity and forethought, dinner can be quick, healthy, inexpensive, and really tasty. It was a reminder I needed.

I would have taken a picture of our meal, the roasted tomatoes and emerald green pesto really were lovely, but my family always looks at me askance when I start dashing about the table photographing food as they are waiting to eat it! If I take pictures in the kitchen before taking the food to the table, I can hear long-suffering sighs and subtle hints as to just how hungry every one is, and "Gee- wouldn't it be great if we could eat soon?" kind of comments. So, enjoy the lovely garden scene and remember that leftover bundles of herbs can save dinner!

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you are talking about.
    If I spend all day in the kitchen my family will usually say the meal is okay.
    If I just throw things together with what's on hand they love it!
    Oh well, at least everyone gets fed and their happy.