Chatter at Book Club this week turned to the age old question of what’s for dinner, who has time to cook it and when, and how many of us rely on prepared meal delivery, grocery delivery, Trader Joe’s shortcuts. And we remembered those places that were so popular for a while, like Dream Dinners or Dinner A Faire, where you’d go with a group of friends and a cooler and do all of your meal prep for 10 or so meals and ziplock bag it all up for your freezer and voila! a girls night and a productive dinner planning event all at once. Now, my friend pointed out, we just order our meals prepped for us, delivered to our doors, and take all the fun and socialization right out of it.
What it doesn’t take out is the final cooking and clean up - but it does check the box of the home cooked family dinner, and for that, busy families are grateful. For the really easy solution, might I suggest a box of Barilla? Our kids are happier with 99 cents worth of pasta than just about anything we order at restaurants or delivered anyway, so it works out in the wallet as well as being a one-pot, easy cook and clean up solution to the endless question of What’s For Dinner.
Yes, the home cooked meal is an ongoing source of frustration - you need to have a plan, the groceries, the time, and nothing can go wrong last minute when you really only have an hour to get it all cooked and served before it’s time for homework and showers and sports and all of the other things that eat up our evenings. The home cooked meal is also desperately lacking in inspiration.
There really are only so many ways one can serve grilled chicken.