Friday, November 8, 2013

I am not OCD! (Am I? Am I?)

Cooking is like love.  It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.  ~Harriet van Horne

Am I overly compulsive? And just what the heck does “overly compulsive” mean anyway? Isn’t that just some procrastinator’s term for those who plan ahead, who like to plan ahead, who plan waaaay ahead?

Okay, so maybe I’m a tad on the compulsive side when it comes to food. (Certainly that is NOT the case with dusting, vacuuming, etc.)

When the kids were at home, family vacations were often in the wilds. Bring in your own water. Dig a hole for the latrine. That sort of wilds. Loved it!

But that meant no grocery store to pick up another stick of butter or Oops! No meat? Sorry. Let’s eat what we can forage. Planning ahead, making menus, stocking the cooler--that’s what fed my men.

They ribbed me, of course. But none of them ever turned down the shish-ke-babs and rice followed with chocolate cherry pie. No way. They made fun of my lists and menus, but that was the thin line that separated us from starvation. (Okay, maybe not starvation, but it did save us from the Dinty Moore canned stew my husband “prepared” on our first camping trip. That’s when I knew I had to take charge.)

So whenever anyone is coming to dinner or to stay with us for an extended time, I make menus. And file them. I wouldn’t want to serve the same thing twice to guests. Heaven forfend!

As we approach the holidays, the company is piling up. Pattycake and Jimbo will be here in a few weeks. Served them orange marmalade pork tenderloin, special marinade salmon, and cocoa chile chicken among other faves. So, I am scouring my recipe stash for some dishes I haven’t made in a while. Like chicken cupcakes for lunch. Avogolemono and lamb souvlaki for dinner.

Same with my sons and their companions. I have to serve them old favorites like French Dip for lunch and our traditional-always-the-same Christmas dinner. But I want to try things with them I haven’t served in a while, like Mongolian Hotpot (see my post on “The Girlfriend Test”).

Though they kid me mercilessly, as a working mom, planning menus was imperative. I had nutsy hours some weeks, so making sure they had good food options meant we rarely resorted to fast food like pizza for dinner.

So does that make me OCD? If so, I’ll take it because the stress of not having food organized would put me in the loony bin.

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