It's no secret that I love to cook and I love to eat. I enjoy taking something I've enjoyed somewhere and trying it out at home or something everyone assumes has to be bought ready-made and breaking down its components to make it from scratch.
That's all the fun part of cooking.
Then there's cooking's dark side: coming up with something to eat three times a day, seven days a week. Because sometimes I'm just not in the mood to cook or I'm tired or the pantry echoes when I talk into it or every food item available is not something I feel like making or eating. And, let's face it -- boiling up stone-ground oatmeal was novel at first, but when you do it every single Monday, well it's about as glamorous as throwing a load of towels in the washing machine.*
Then there's the challenge of keeping food costs low and trying to use up every scrap of food I possibly can. It's so easy to get stuck in a culinary rut, especially when working within a budget because you tend to buy the same ingredients without much variety.
Needless to say, fresh ideas are heartily welcome and anyone who actually cooks a meal gets major points in Mama's Book of Rewards and Retribution (now in its 21st printing).
So just imagine the point tally under Heir 1's name when we woke up this morning to a spread of banana chocolate chip pancakes (using the bananas that were going brown and would have to be thrown out -- what a guy!), scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh ground coffee.
(wait for it...)
He washed all the dishes.
(I will be taking applications for potential brides. Apply early to get your name on the list.)
Seems he woke up around 4 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. (We're glad he waited a few hours before starting to cook.)
Dirtman gets points for coming up with a pork-saving idea. Tuesday's pork roast was not going to tolerate a reheating, but it was a large roast and there were a lot of leftovers that I refused to throw out. Normally I'd make some sort of casserole, though just about everyone around here is rather ambivalent about casseroles.
The pork was destined for something pretty ho-hum. Perhaps it was the threat of a casserole that inspired Dirtman to come up with the idea of shredding the leftovers, dumping a bottle of barbecue sauce on top, simmering the whole mess for awhile then serve it on a kaiser roll with some cole slaw.
Easy enough, so I went along with it -- mostly because it let me check off that night's menu plan. I didn't think it was going to come out very good. I was going to make my own barbecue sauce since I don't usually buy something I can make myself. But I found a bottle in my pantry from one of those CVS deals. It didn't even take the whole bottle and I needed to add a little water so it all could simmer.
I have to add that I'm not a barbecue fan. I don't hate it, but I don't go crazy over it like a lot of people.
But, boy, did that come out good! Dirtman told me to keep the recipe. Recipe?
He also told me to make sure everyone knew who thought of the idea. Barbecue's been around for ages, so I guess he wants credit for being the one who came up with something that substituted for the pork casserole.
*I am my mother's daughter. My family can tell what day it is by what they had for breakfast: Monday, oatmeal; Tuesday, French toast; Wednesday, poached eggs; Thursday, farina; Friday, pancakes; Saturday and Sunday, you're on your own and where's my coffee?