Sunday, August 9, 2009

Panic in the Family

A couple of weeks ago, panic erupted in the Frohreich fortress. The chow line realized that the chief cook and bottle washer was going to be gone for eight days. On previous trips (anything shorter than five days), PJ kept the supermarket rotisserie chicken stand in business.

This time, her nephew was basing in our home for a few weeks. Plus, I knew that our son, since moved out, would keep showing up for dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights—and to do his laundry.

I knew that if I didn’t put a plan in place, they would add to the rotisserie repertoire by buying meats already stocked in the freezer (they would forget to thaw something for dinner), or go out to eat, further depleting the cash flow.

Solution—pre-cook. I thawed salmon, chicken breasts, pork chops, and sirloin steaks in the refrigerator, enough for at least five meals, and two days later cooked them while preparing a regular dinner meal. It only added an extra hour to the kitchen duty that night. Then I threatened them with refusing to make my chocolate sauce for three months if I returned and had to toss out any meat. I love using their favorite recipes as weapons.

It worked—most of the time. One weekend evening when I called home, they were dashing out the door to TGI Fridays. I told PJ to make our son buy her dinner. His bank account is healthier than ours, partly because he’s still mooching off of us.

When I returned, the meat drawer was empty, the freezer was stocked with vanilla Hagen Daz, and my chocolate sauce recipe was propped up in my countertop recipe holder, ready for implementation—sort of a welcome home message. They’re so lame—I have that one memorized.

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