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9to5to9: Hello again, my dear friend kitchen!

Submitted by on Sunday, 26 October 2008 2 Comments

Just as you knew Michael Jordan didn’t really mean it all those times he said he was going to retire, I knew it had to happen eventually. I was sure that some day the gal who couldn’t find her kitchen with GPS would mosey back home.

I just didn’t think it would take four months. Some things simply require time — kind of like Jordan trying to play baseball. Strike that: My problems were never that insurmountable.

It’s not as if the guys have starved in the meantime. We’ve survived quite nicely on my stock of homemade marinara and the nuggets and fish sticks I batch-cooked and froze in the spring. One week’s worth of diligence bought me months of guilt-free slacking. Plus it’s easy to avoid the kitchen here in the summer when quick nutrition is just a fruit stand away.

The arrival of autumn seems to have provided the butt-kick I needed. I’m not sure why — it’s still in the high 80s and doesn’t feel like fall. Must be some sort of Pavlovian training: See pumpkins, develop irresistible urge to cook.

This week, we made pizza Monday. OK, so that hardly counts. The guys would kill me in my sleep if we didn’t have pizza on Monday. I also made Little Guy’s granola bars and an experimental Cheerio bar recipe. At least the cousins and I liked it.

Tuesday we defaulted to skabetti, but I sat down with my notebook and made my anal little list as we ate. That’s when I knew I was about to snap out of it. I used to make anal little lists when I was a teen-ager, scouring cookbooks and noting what I wanted to make. If only I’d studied my chemistry text book as hard as I hit Betty Crocker.

Wednesday we backtracked to grilled cheese. I’m still counting it, though. A stove was turned on and heat was applied — that’s cooking.

Thursday was the big break-through. A full-fledged dinner for the second week in a row. Chicken baked in a Reynold’s bag and stuffed with cranberry sauce and an orange — hardly labor-intense, but different. Roasted potatoes. Green beans and fresh rolls. Not that the guys were impressed. I was, though.

Friday we made the long-delayed salsa. And today we tackled the cheese crackers I’ve been meaning to get to for years.

There still are things on the list — pumpkin donuts and a zucchini dish I’ve been dying to try. Oh, and I’ve been promising the guys lasagna, though they’re probably going to be disappointed. Little Guy’s Wubbzy obsession has led them to think marshmallow lasagna is the only kind there is. Think I can use enough ricotta to fool them?

Nah. Probably not. Except for the mupcake scam and the spinach-spiked marinara, I can’t get anything past them. But it’s going to be fun trying again.

I’m back.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Julie said:

    That’s what I both love and hate about living in the South. I love to cook when it’s cold. It fills the house with warmth and great smells. Problem is, I eat EVERYTHING. Winter finds me baking fresh desserts daily, and I don’t bake anywhere NEAR as healthy as you do. I make cookies, cakes, brownies. Old family style tasty (fatteing) family dinners. The warm weather finds me not wanting to cook at all. Part of me can’t wait for things to cool down. Just thinking about Thanksgiving makes me giggle, but I worked hard to lose this baby weight and I can see myself gaining a little back this season.

  • debra said:

    Oh, don’t let the (relatively) healthy recipes fool ya! I’m a mostly junky at heart. Not to mention huge carb addict. I’ve just tried to do better for the guys.

    And in some ways I’m lucky. I never learned to make fried chicken or gravy because I hate both — which is one reason I had to leave the South hanging my head in shame. I think I still suffer from chicken and gravy burn-out from too many family dinners as a kid.

    As far as the baby weight, I’ve always heard nine months on, nine months off. So you have a few more months allowed!