You know the question well. “What’s for dinner?” We asked it every day as children. Now we’re likely the ones being asked. It’s an age-old question that rarely fails to frustrate the questioned. Being “all grown up” I now know that figuring out what to eat for dinner is HARD. I feel like I’m making the same things over & over. Or I try new things & we don’t like them.
Or my husband & I have different tastes & he wants to each do our own dinner, but I don’t want to make one dinner let alone two DIFFERENT ones! My husband does help with making dinner when he’s home, but it’s still more pots & pans on the stove, more dishes to do, & likely more food waste when it’s not possible to make a really small batch of something & the leftovers don’t get eaten.
When I was a kid, my mom made one meal for dinner time. We didn’t really have a say in what it was (unless it was our birthday) and if we didn’t like it, we ate it anyway, or we didn’t eat. There was no alternative kid meal, ever. No hot dogs or mac & cheese for us if we didn’t want to eat something. You ate what was on your plate, or you didn’t. Up to you, but if you choose not to, you don’t eat again ’till the next morning. And that’s that.
There were a few things that I hated as a kid that I love now. Apple juice. Broccoli. This chicken dish my mom used to make with spinach on top. I love those things now.
There were also some things my parents never ever ate, that I practically didn’t know existed as regular-people-foods until college. Like shrimp, crab legs, pork chops, & Chinese food. I love these things now!
Then there are the things that I dreaded my mom saying we were having for dinner. The things that she still knows not to make on days that we visit & will be there for dinner. These things are just BAD. Maybe it’s just me & my taste because my dad does like these dishes, which is why we would have them, but I think they are mostly just gross. Note that the links below are not to the actual recipes my mother uses, so my dislike of the dish doesn’t necessarily mean that these particular recipes are bad. Just sayin’.
The WORST things my mom could answer when I asked “What’s for dinner” were (in no particular order):
**Goulash – you’d think I’d like this. Tomatoes = love. Pasta = love. Ground beef = pretty well But no. For some reason, the combination was just very very bad. Plus, I don’t love the type of beans that was included in the recipe.
**Chili – I’ve now been shown that there are many different ways to make chili. I’ve concluded don’t really like any chili (I’ve tried my fair share) but I can find some tolerable if needed. But the chili of my childhood was just bad, plus, again, those yucky beans!
**Meatloaf/Meatballs – These were essentially the same thing for us, except one was in loaf form & one in balls. So gross & almost always burnt on the bottom for some reason. I felt like we had this a lot. I hate ketchup, but this was so bad that I always ate it with ketchup. Even yucky ketchup made this stuff taste better. This is one of those things where I have since discovered that meatballs can actually be pretty tasty. Especially the kind that comes in a bag that you throw in the crock-pot. Mmmmm!
**Pigs in a Blanket – My dad requested this for his birthday dinner last year. When I told my husband about my dismay about having to eat it, he was confused. He thought pigs in a blanket meant hot dogs. Sadly, that is not the case. The pigs in a blanket we’re talking about here are of the stuffed cabbage variety. Not good, not good at all. Hamburger, rice & mix-ins wrapped up in cabbage with tomato sauce on top. It’s one of my dad’s childhood favorites.
Now that I write these down, I’m noticing a trend. They are all very similar hamburger based dishes. I actually don’t eat very much hamburger anymore. When I was a kid, spaghetti even was made with ground hamburger in the sauce. Now I almost never eat a beef ground hamburger. We have burgers every once in a while when out to eat, but if we’re making them at home, they are almost always turkey burgers. When my husband & I first started dating, he convinced me to try a hamburger helper. OH MY GOSH, that stuff is NOT for me.
My parents now say that I eat weird stuff. However, they now also eat turkey burgers since we introduced them to how yummy they are. If you want an awesome turkey burger, by the way, check out this one. It’s amazing I promise!
I’m sure there will eventually be things that I make for my kids that they despise as well. I guess that’s part of it. However, I’m pretty sure I’ll try to stick with the same strategy as my mom did. One meal for everyone. Take it or leave it.
This post is linked up to Mama’s Losin’ It!