So far with this blog I’ve managed to write up some family favorites, but what I haven’t yet done is the misadventure part. I think I’d like to change that, largely because it’s a more significant part of my cooking-dad narrative than this blog might otherwise suggest.
Last week, I failed to write a blog post. There are a bunch terrible of reasons for this more akin to excuses. The largest of which is that I went to a writer’s retreat and didn’t feel like it. I worked on my book, which is a satirical take on the fairy tale of true love, not cooking. I could, of course, have just written and scheduled a post ahead of time like all other studious bloggers, but, well – lazy. In fact, I was lazy all week. My crowning achievement was folding the laundry. I spent most of the week phoning-it-in for dinner, and not the sort where somebody brings you food. Dinner was a product of condensed soup, McDonalds, and plain noodles.
One lament, heard far and wide, by working parents is that about cooking. I mean, after a 10 hour day of commuting, working and generally not sitting on the couch watching TV, the last damn thing any one of us wants to do is cook. Usually, this is where going out comes in, but when you’ve got kids that are starting to eat like teens, that becomes an outrageous expense the minute such a notion pops into your mind.
When I was a kid, about the age of our oldest now, the go-to was hamburger helper. If memory serves, it was the first thing I learned how to cook. The other go-to, for a time, was also TV-dinners. To be clear, this was NOT an every night occurrence, though if you eat enough hamburger helper, it may as well have been. In my family, the solution is plain noodles. No olive oil, or pesto basil with sliced olives, sun dried tomatoes, toasted almonds and mushrooms. None of that. Just plan damn noodles. It takes roughly 5 minutes dirties exactly 1 pot and exactly 1 strainer and it’s slightly more healthy than mac-and-cheese.
At this point, you may be saying, but Dave! You could also just empty a jar of sauce into a pot and have sauce too, then you’d have a veggie to go with. To this, all I have to say is: one pot, one strainer, why the hell would I dirty more dishes if I don’t have to.
What you need
- Some damn noodles
- A pot of water
Boil the water, add noodles and boil until soft, but no so soft they’re basically mush. You want a bit of firmness in your noodles. And, if you insist on being one of those pinterest parents, you can add the basil pesto, a couple cans of sliced olives, sliced mushrooms, a handful of toasted almonds and half a jar of sliced up sun-dried tomatoes.