Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hello, Empty House, My Old Friend

THREE WAYS I know that summer is pretty much over:


Duh, my kids are all in school. Do you hear that? That sound? That is the sound of a very gentle folk song by Simon and Garfunkel playing through my mind.


I turned on the television. I have a complete aversion to watching TV during the summer. I don't know why. It drives me bonkers. I don't even watch Netflix. But my summer blues must be dwindling since I sat down and turned on the morning news yesterday. Okay, that was a bad decision. But a good decision was to watch the entire season of Orange is The New Black in two sittings. 

Instead of reading, I hooked up my iPad to Audible. I spent the summer stitching while listening to the audiobooks of the Dresden Files. I have read all of the books, but it was fun 're-reading' them. The books are read by James Marsters. As in JAMES MARSTERS THE ACTOR THAT PLAYED SPIKE IN BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER EXCLAMATION POINT. Marsters did a decent job narrating the first three books, but by book four, he was amazing. I am now on book ten, and holy Gachnar, he is terrific. His voice is Harry Dresden's voice. And when he acts out Bob the Skull with his snarky British accent, he sounds exactly like Spike!

Even though I haven't been watching TV, my kids have. Or rather, just Netflix, since we canceled cable. My youngest daughter loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I'll poke my head into the room whenever I hear Spike's voice. 

I witnessed this classic scene.

Buffy: What are you doing here? Five words or less.

Spike: Out. For. A. Walk. ... Bitch.

Spike! James Marsters! Harry Dresden! I need a life!


I am starting to cook food again, or at least, consider cooking food again. In the summer, I hate cooking. Or more like, I am physically unable to cook because every time my arm lifts up a spatula, my left eyelid droops and I have to take a nap. 

I am really good at assembling food. Utah finally has a Trader Joe's and it's only an hour away! I take my freezer bags and stock up. Falafel and fettuccine and gyoza. Delicious.

When I don't have any frozen food to assemble for my sad and hungry family, I make grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, or cheese nachos. You get the idea.

My husband is an excellent cook (when he has time or isn't traveling), but he mostly makes breakfast foods that we eat at dinner time. From-scratch waffles and pannekoeken and crepes. I think that maybe twice in our lives we have fed our children breakfast before 11:00 am. A few weeks ago, I asked my daughter if she wanted me to make her pancakes for lunch. She looked at me, puzzled, "Isn't that more of a dinner food?"

Right now I am looking at recipes and getting excited to cook. I do this every year. It lasts until mid-October. 

But indulge me. Let's pretend that I really will start cooking in earnest for my family. What are some good ideas? Here's the thing: I don't like touching meat. I'm not a vegetarian, but if a recipe calls for drenching chicken breasts in buttermilk and then rolling them in bread crumbs, I won't make it. Because it involves touching something icky. I think that this year I will be more successful if I stick to vegetarian recipes. Or mostly vegetarian.  I don't mind adding chicken stock to soups or bacon to potatoes. 

Do any of you have recipe sites you love? Or recipes. Preferably recipes that don't involve me touching anything icky? I need help. Or maybe gloves.

But oh well, if I fail, I always have Trader Joe's. Only an hour away.  


  1. You could always make weenie boats out of tofu dogs. ;)

  2. Look up Mark Bittman. He has easy good recipes and a lot of good vegetarian options (he isn't a vegetarian, but he thinks people should eat less meat). How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is a good book by him.

    1. The capta for my comment was niptspo 21. I don't know what that means, but it made me giggle.

    2. Good advice! I love Mark Bittman. I will get his book, definitely. And niptspo makes me giggle, too.