So many nights I stress, ponder, worry and downright freak out over what to make for dinner.
It used to be that I kept a running list of some basic meals and just rotated them. Meals like tacos, spaghetti, meatloaf, oven-fried chicken, chicken and rice casserole, cheeseburger pie, pot roast, tortellini, pork chops, taco salad (aka leftover taco stuff), lasagna, lemon chicken, carnitas, chili, vegetable soup.
Well, there are only so many tacos one can eat before all the culinary inspiration and zest for preparing them has run out, no matter how you prepare them. Not even buying the delicious, whole wheat, 21 grams of fiber per tortilla tortillas can liven them up for me - although they do provide results elsewhere, um, hence the 21 grams of fiber.
And so I fell into a food preparing rut.
This is where the take-out comes in handy.
On the top of our list of favorite take-out joints is the local teriyaki place. Sandwiched between a cigar emporium and a fishing tackle store, the teriyaki restaurant delivers fresh, delicious and kid friendly meals every time we visit. Oh, how we love our local teriyaki place!
But there is a problem.
They skimp on the sweet and sour sauce that I require for my sticky rice and dipping of my crab rangoon.
I will ask politely for it while they are bagging up my dinner, trying to work my best magic on the woman or man behind the cash register. Their answer is always the same, "okay, I will give you two."
As in, packets.
People, 2 packets of sweet and sour sauce is not enough for me! And the bummer thing about it is that I've passed my love of the fake Chinese ketchup along to my kids. Two packets will hardly get one of us through a typical meal of take-out teriyaki, let alone five of us!
"Could I please have a few more?" I ask, batting my eyelashes, "I'd be happy to pay for them."
I am lucky if I can coax another 2 packets from the sweet and sour nazi before getting my fortune cookies and heading home.
One day, I decided I'd try my hand at making my own sweet and sour sauce, since I was striking out at the restaurant. Some of the recipes I tried were nice and tasty, but I could not duplicate that particular flavor of the packet sauce. And the only place I knew where to get any was to steal it from the cafe at the grocery store or from the teriyaki place (and they would only give me 2 at a time).
But then, one day, my husband came home with this:
Witness, 500 packets of sweet n' sour sauce, the good kind.
I nearly fainted.
Oh, how I love this man.
*Orginally posted February, 2008.