Thursday, January 21, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Jacob asked me today if I was doing any cooking. After all, Gilda is in the city working all week, I have the time. But did I have the inclination?

Depending on your bias, I, a) sadly said, “No,” or b) happily said, “No.”

Either way, the answer was no. And with good reason, I explained.

First, I’m not a cook, especially compared to the excellent meals Gilda makes. Trust me, as much as she’d like a home-cooked meal waiting for her return from work, she is discriminating enough to know that her taste buds would suffer almost irreversible harm if left in my care. I help out, I truly do, by being as close to a sous chef as possible, shopping, making salads, preparing products for Gilda’s delicate touch, setting the table, cleaning up after meals.

Second, almost half the time Gilda does not eat what I consider a full dinner. Take Thursday night, for example. After work she went to the gym, arriving home about 8 pm. Her dinner? Frozen yogurt. Now, how would that make me feel if I sweated all day preparing a meat loaf?

Seriously, my cooking is not the answer. But, you might be wondering, what did I do for dinner? Thanks for asking, but don’t fret—I had a very filling and fulfilling meal of meatballs and pasta with a large salad. I made the pasta and salad, but the meatballs are part of my “strategic plan for eating contentment and satisfaction,” SPECS, for short (readers from my former life as a magazine publisher and conference producer will note my infatuation with the SPECS anagram. For those not privy to that life, SPECS also stands for Store Planning, Equipment and Construction Services Seminar, an annual conference I chaired that attracted some 1,200 attendees).

Getting back to the food, the meatballs come from the prepared meals section I discovered at our kosher butcher. Divided up into appropriately sized single portions (I’ve become sort of a Tupperware, or in my case, Gladware and Ziploc, maniac), the meatballs are part of a variety of entrees, including goulash and lamb stew, I buy. In addition, Costco recently started carrying kosher stuffed cabbage and chicken meatballs. Indeed, many supermarkets across the country have increased kosher food selections. It seems just 15% of consumers buy kosher food for religious purposes. Merchants are boring into a previously untapped market. Here’s some background from Columbus, Ohio:

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that Gilda also contributes by making meat loaves plus beef and veal stews specifically for me. I also get the benefit of leftovers from dinner parties at our home. I’m a lucky man.

I’m also quite obsessive about my SPECS. I’ve co-opted three shelves in the main refrigerator’s freezer. On papers attached to each shelf I’ve listed their contents, diligently marking off which entrees have been consumed.

Laugh all you want, and I have no doubt you are at least shaking your head, but I am happy and hardly ever go to bed hungry.

It’s Cold Inside: More fallout from my recent post about being a prisoner of the second floor. Seems I might be part of a new wave of chilly living. Check out this article from Thursday’s NY Times Home section:

For the record, I think those people are crazy.