It started last week.
The Pastor said to me "would it be helpful to you if I made a list of what I like for you to cook, so you'll know what to cook."
Uhhhhhhhh, no. I know what to cook. I pretty much know how to cook a jillion, billion million things. And if for some reason I sustained a sudden brain injury, I could still type into the computer whatever ingredients I have (Eggo waffles, refried beans, ice cream, frozen pizzas) and magically recipes would appear.
I love it when the Pastor tries to "help" me.
I gently explained this to him. And the fact that when we don't eat at home, it's not because I haven't a clue what to cook, but his crazy schedule. Or the fact that we have not one, not two, but three teenagers in various places at all times. I always plan to cook - but then the day of or hours before, my plans will be derailed - because while I am planning to cook, everyone else is planning to do something else far more interesting than being at home and eating dinner.
Our discussion continued with the Pastor telling me how he doesn't understand why I don't just throw something in the crock pot in the mornings. If I did this, then he and the kids would be just fine! They can take care of themselves! They could scoop whatever out of the crockpot, be perfectly delighted while I am at my writing class, and clean up after themselves.
I reminded the Pastor I did that very thing the previous week. When I got home, he told me two of the three people who had eaten that evening did not like what I made in the crock pot (Swiss Steak). The Pastor didn't understand why him telling me that two out of three did not like something might hurt my feelings. Oh, and they left all their dirty dishes in the sink.
At this point, the only thing I'm contemplating putting in the crock pot is dismembered body parts.
But still, he rattled off a couple things he'd like for me to cook - chili and pizza burgers.
I got up the next morning. Looked up recipes. Made a list. Went to the store. Spent $225.00 on groceries, went home, unloaded and put everything up. Of course when you put everything up, that is when you discover you have to clean out and rearrange everything in your freezer, fridge, deep freezer and pantry. All this activity consumed no less than three quarters of a day.
Now on to the Pizza Burgers. I'd never heard of PB but the Pastor's mom made them and as he described them, they were nothing short of Manna from Heaven. Thanks to the internet, I had googled the recipe and gave it a whirl.
I realize I don't have a Ph.D., but I have cooked for more than 20 years with a resume that includes the fact that no one in my household has ever starved to death. Even though I don't eat the meat, I get the jist of things. I followed the recipe. One pound ground beef, hamburger buns, pizza sauce, cream of mushroom soup. Brown meat, add pizza sauce and soup, pour over hamburger buns. Top with cheese. Bake til bubbly. Except for the fact I really thought it might be too runny when I was adding the soup and sauce so I cut back on what it called for. Personally, I thought the buns should probably be baked a little before adding everything on top, but being a seasoned cook I thought I'll follow the recipe and I can tweak it next time I make it.
I served dinner and the Pastor offered up his "constructive criticism." Too runny. He's just trying to help. You know, for the next time I make it.
Let's move on to the chili. I made chili in the crock pot and the best cornbread ever - the Barefoot Contessa's recipe. The Pastor's response? There's no beans in this chili. It's just meat soup.
And the Pastor - the one who hates to throw food away and why can't we just eat leftovers - each time since then when I've offered him the leftover chili, he doesn't want any part of my "meat soup." Also, the teenage boy doesn't want any of it, because now we are out of hot dogs and there is nothing to eat it on.
Just to be clear - I've invested all this time, effort in money into hot dogs I don't eat, chili I don't eat, Pizza Burgers I don't eat, Swiss Steak I don't eat.
There's always a silver lining. I accidentally grabbed a pair of too tight jeans out of the closet and put them on. A few hours later I realized hey! these jeans fit me now! I'm so busy cooking all this food for everyone else to complain about, I totally forgot to eat.