It all started when I noticed fresh littleneck clams in the seafood counter at my grocery store on Sunday. I seldom shop with a list that really needs attention, since I do most the shopping and cooking - I know what's in our fridge. I read the circulars, checking the specials at my local places, and do the meal-planning according to what's available. It's nice to be able to cook various things.
So, when I saw the clams (which I don't see all the time) my head and hungry belly conspired to make spaghetti vongole the meal I simply had to make in the next day or so. It's an easy recipe to whip up, and knew I had all the other stuff necessary at home... lemons, garlic, parsley, pancetta, white wine... but the problem with buying fresh seafood has to do with timing - you have to cook it within a day or two of buying, and I already had a meal plan for that evening... so Monday had to be the night.
This isn't a recipe the kids love, much. Clams can be a bit chewy, and overall, the flavour of this dish isn't one they're super fond of, so I need a different dinner for them. Given the fact that Martin and I generally eat after they've gone to bed most nights (which is getting later with the bedtimes being pushed further back as they get older) some nights we eat a different meal than the one the children had. Some meals don't reheat as nicely three hours after you cook it. Sometimes we just want something more grow-up, that they're not having. *shrugs* I try to make peace with this, but it ain't always easy.
The problem with cooking on Mondays is it's fricking Monday, and the last thing I feel like doing is making two different things. And when pasta gets added to this mix, this means two different pasta pots, and two different vongole pans... pasta is not my friend. (But oh, how I miss her.)
All the meal-planning is a bit of a pain in my butt.
I stood looking at the stove last night at 6 PM, trying to figure out how to work it, getting crankier by the minute. You truly must cook these clams tonight.... even if the children would eat this meal, you don't have enough for four... and even if you did, if you cook this for the whole fam damily now, you'll be stabbing at this once-lovely meal three hours from now, and it'll look and feel less delicious which will make you want to cry... and no matter how you slice it, you need all kinds of separate pots for this meal... oh ack, self, what to do??!
I could have make eggs for the kids, but I'd just scrambled an egg for Oliver as a snack that afternoon. A different pasta? Grilled cheese, maybe?! Pans, pans, pans.
In the end, I made hotdogs and fries for the children (they weren't even thrilled) and I put our dinner together around 8:30 PM, which was yummy (I guess), but it hardly felt worth the effort after the fact. Sometimes I'm so sick of cooking, nothing tastes good to me.
Okay, it was good...
Of course I love my family, and I'm happy to feed them. This has less to do with all the doing required, and more to do with just wanting to do for my own self sometimes, and not having to do for everyone else... but, that's just what being the mum is.
Sometimes I just want spaghetti vongole for one. Maybe I just want someone else to take care of the meals... or maybe I just need a vacation.
You know what I mean?