I know my hard work has paid off. I went to the grocery store tonight. I went to pick up a few items for a couple different recipes my wife and I intended to make before the next pay check came in. For dinner, we decided to pick up something cheap and simple since we were tired and didn’t have the ingredients we needed for the meal we had planned last week.
I went to the frozen food section and relished the thought of some delicious meal I used to live on nearly exclusively. I wanted to visit my old friend Marie Calendar. We had so many good times in the past. I was curious what the Hungry Man was up to chilling in the freezer section. I was even curious what the good people of Stouffer’s might have cooked up for me. They all do such good work and I had enjoyed many of their meals in the past.
But when I got there, my old friends had changed. No longer did their meals look irresistible and delicious as they had. No longer was I salivating at the thought of opening that package, popping it into the microwave, waiting a few minutes and having a hot, cooked meal ready to eat. I thought my old friends had abandoned me now that I had come back to them, even if it was just for a one-night stand.
Then I realized, it was not they who had changed, but it was me. I had changed. I have changed. I am no longer a slave to the microwave and to the plastic-wrapped delicacies. I am a changed man. I looked upon those glossy covers not with anticipation but with disdain.
How did I once salivate over these pictures? How did these foods once seem to appealing to me? They looked processed and bland. They were dull. It took me forever to make a choice. I eventually decided on pasta of some sort. I don’t even remember what it was. It was ok. Nothing like the memories I had of such cuisine. It was a meal but there was no joy in it.
It was at that point I realized what a changed man I had become. I look forward to making dinner or at least helping out at night. I love the smell of fresh herbs and cooking with real ingredients. I like to know where my food comes from and what it looks like before it turns into dinner.
Last night, I made a Chicken Tamale Casserole with help from my wife, including her finding of the recipe which she stashed in an ever-growing Evernote notebook which is up to 242 recipes.
Often times when I am in the middle of a long road it is hard to see changes until they smack you in the face. Tonight was one of those times. I thought it would be easy to select something quick for dinner but it turned out to be much harder than I suspected.