Time seems to have disappeared. How did I manage to cart the daughters from here to Canadia during hockey season, bake cakes, skim coat cracking plaster walls and maintain a running schedule for all those years? And now, I can hardly make it from the subway to my door at night without pining for the big bed as soon as I arrive home.
It’s getting so I can hardly put two carrots together for dinner any more. Granted, the weekends still provide opportunity for slow roasted short ribs for Rosa’s enchiladas and I can still furnish sweet, moist, chocolaty cake for far away college girls. Yet, the weeknight dinner scramble never seems to work itself out without real planning and craftiness.
Take two packages of chicken thighs. Liberally rub the meat with good olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place thighs in a shallow baking dish and bake at 375 until almost done. At the same time the chicken goes in, place two or three sweet potatoes in the oven. When the chicken is just about cooked, broil it to crisp up the skin to provide crackle. Serve with the sweet potatoes and a fresh green salad.
Take one pound of spaghetti and drop into lots of salted boiling water. Meantime, in a large skillet sauté one onion, two or three par boiled and sliced beets, some garlic and red pepper flakes. When the vegetables begin to wilt and steam, add a cup of stock and cook uncovered until the stock reduces and the sauce turns a bright pink. Turn off the heat and add two or three teaspoons of butter to finish. Serve over the spaghetti.
Finally, cook like a bastard all weekend so your freezer is full of sauces, roasts, stews and reheatable dishes. Turn on the oven, insert pot and drink beer until ready.
When the family arrives expecting a meal, you’re a hero. Everybody wins.