I Tried Too Hard

Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in OVER A YEAR. Because I live out in the country, going shopping is a well thought-out process. The nearest grocery store is ten miles away, and given gas prices and how hard it is to load up two little kids and take them with you… we don’t go to the store very often.
Unless we happen to be passing by on the way to doing other things and remember we need milk. and artichokes.

Anyway, I plan my meals two weeks in advance. I’ve been doing it since we were newly weds. Lately though, prices have been rising. Our paycheck? Not so much. Prices aren’t sky-rocketing… but a few dollars more here and there adds up REALLY fast. I used to be able to plan fun, interesting meals and buy fun, interesting ingredients for them. Now I just end up replacing things we’ve run out of and by the time that’s done… so is our money. So we trek home and eat what we always eat. Lucky for us, we have half of a steer in our freezer so what “we always eat” is roasts, hamburger, steak… it’s not like we’re starving.

But yesterday I had a craving. I’m a little weirded out by this because I didn’t usually start craving things until I was farther along in my pregnancies. But yesterday, the craving was undeniable. I wanted deviled eggs and imitation crab meat. I mean: I wanted it BAD. I wanted it IMMEDIATELY. My mouth was literally watering. Just as I was about to call him to ask him to pick up a few things on the way home from work (we were out of eggs, boo!), my husband called ME.
“Heeeeeeey!” I sing-songed into the phone.
“Hey?” I asked.
“Is everything okay?” He asked.
“Fine, I was just thinking about you and then you called… like magic…” I was trying to sound like I wasn’t about to ask him to do a favor for me.
“Okay… well can you do me a favor?”
“What are you going to do for me?” I asked, seeing an opportunity.
“Rub your feet.”
“OR,” I snapped my fingers, “You can stop by the store and get me some eggs, some imitation crab, and green onions!”
“Nasty, why?” He asked.
“What? Why nasty? It sounds so good!”
“I’m not eating that for dinner,” he laughed.

And I did whatever it was he wanted me to do and took MYSELF to the store to get everything. I threw caution and gas prices to the wind. I even kind of, sort of forgot all about my food budget (I’ll be paying for that later when I go to Sam’s Club and have to leave a few things out of the cart). I went and bought things to make dinner for that night.

And THAT, friends, is what I did that I haven’t done in over a year. The last time I did that was when my husband and I went to the store and bought stuff to make dinner together -for a stay-at-home date. It cost us $50. We had an amazing time together, and we still talk about it… but wow. never again, we said. $50?! That’s dinner at Cheesecake Factory! I mean, the pasta we made was pretty amazing… maybe like $20 amazing. That is why we avoid going to the store to buy things for dinner. That is why I went into the grocery store a little hesitantly.
In the end, I only spent $30 and I got enough stuff to make 3 dinners. $10 a dinner? Not TOO bad! AND the stuff I got was fun and interesting! I bought STIR FRY sauce! And I bought tortillas! I NEVER buy tortillas because I usually make them, but yesterday I was so brave.
I came home and made stir fry with imitation crab, frozen veggies (don’t remember the last time I bought those either!), and stir fry sauce. AND THEN I served fried rice on the side. I bought the fried rice that you buy in a box that’s extremely cheap, unhealthy and pretty much 78% sodium.
My husband came home to a house filled with the aroma of The Orient. I had THREE burners on my stove going, and I was cookin’ man. Literally… cooking.

We ate and it was divine.
And when I say “we” I mean my husband and I. My children flatly refused to eat anything different.
“What is this?” My daughter held a sauteed piece of celery daintily between her fingers and FAR from her lips, “I don’t like it.”
“You love it. It’s celery. You love celery,” I say.
“No…” she sighs and puts it down.

And guess what? By the end of the night, we had threatened, shouted, threatened, pulled the whole “your aunt Julianne would KILL to eat something as good as this!” and bribed… and in turn they cried their eyes out.
“I don’t want to eat this!”
“Can I please go clean my room instead?” True story, my daughter ACTUALLY asked that.

We promised a movie night and sugar cookies if they’d finish their dinner.
The boy really did try hard.
The girl gave up completely. Threw her hands in the air, put herself in her PJs, curled up on her bed at 8:30 pm and went to sleep.
The boy lasted until 9.
My husband and I sat up late (ish), watched a movie, and ate sugar cookies.
WE finished our dinner.

So much for fun and interesting ingredients, right? Here’s the one gem of a picture I got last night… it was in the thick of the threatening when my husband went from bad cop to good cop.
“Let’s all take bites together, okay? We can do this! Then we can all eat cookies and watch a movie together, ready? 1……2……3!”

I hope they’ll eat the imitation crab salad wraps we’re having for dinner… Julianne would LOVE them.

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