Monday, January 19, 2009

What's For Dinner?

Dinner time for a single dad is the worst time of the day! Well...I guess I can't speak for all single dads, but speaking for myself I dread the inevitable daily question "Daaaaad! What's for dinner?"

Maybe if I was a decent chef it wouldn't be so bad. But unfortunately my cooking gives me heartburn. Growing up I only learned to prepare about five meals: Tuna fish on Toast, Chicken Pot Pie, Tuna Helper, Grilled Cheese and a Bowl of Cereal. Not exactly 5 star restaurant cuisine. But I was a kid and would have eaten lint if it was mixed with tuna. These days my taste buds require a little more high quality food.

My kids actually don't mind when I cook. I've even added a few meals to my repertoire: macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and Ramen noodles. And as long as it doesn't include vegetables, my kids don't mind. But I can't live on that crap.

My solution? We eat a lot of take out food. I've found a few places that provide decent food for me as well as an acceptable option for my kids. But those restaurants are few and far between, so I have to improvise.

Friday night is easy because that's pizza night. Pizza is the one universal meal that kids and parents can agree on. Monday night my daughter and I have found a mexican restaurant that makes a good chicken salad that we can share. So that takes care of two nights out of the week. The rest of the time I'm scratching my head trying to come up with something that won't make me sick and will satisfy my children.

Breakfast for dinner is often the answer. Why not? When in doubt repeat an earlier meal. I've even served lunch for dinner. "Kids...we're having peanut butter sandwiches tonight!" Sometimes we have the "every man for himself" option. Which means I tell the kids to look in the pantry and find something they like. One kid will be making a casadilla, another child is pouring a bowl of cereal and dad is grazing in the refrigerator.

If I was rich and famous I would hire a personal chef who would prepare delicious meals for me and Mac & Cheese for the kids. But for now I'll have to keep coming up with an answer to that question. "Daaaaad! What's for dinner?"

No comments: