Friday, November 14, 2014

My Year in Food: Grab It & Growl, Part 1

When my almost-grandma was suggesting that we all just eat whatever we could come up with in the fridge or pantry for supper, she called it "Grab It & Growl." I assume this was a pretty accurate term when she was raising two boys! I know my boys were fairly grabby & growly about food when they were teenagers. The term has stuck and Jeannene uses it now, as well. We don't have Grab It & Growl nights all the time, or even very often, since we both love to cook. However, sometimes we know things are going to be really busy and we won't have time to cook or to sit down for a proper meal, so we have a scheduled, planned Grab It & Growl night.

Other times, something goes awry and we end up having an unexpected Grab It & Growl night. Perhaps I forgot to load the crockpot in time. Maybe the pork chops were never taken out of the freezer to thaw. On occasion, one or the other of us has planned to fix supper, but just doesn't feel like cooking. Then, either we can go out, order pizza or Chinese for delivery, or have Grab It & Growl night.

Last night, Jeannene had it in mind to make pork chops. They were all thawed, as they should have been. Then, she worked a 14-hour day. On top of having a cold that leaves her with a throatful of razor blades, who can blame her for not wanting to cook? By the time I got home from book group a little after 9:30, it was fairly late for going out, as well, considering that she had another early morning ahead of her. So, I offered to make one of my standby dinners. You know, the ones you come up with when nobody really wants to cook and you don't know what to cook, anyway.

I offered scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, or Boca burgers. Jeannene countered with a request to have leftover Mexican chicken mac & cheese. I let her have at it, having eaten some for lunch myself, and fixed myself a Boca burger on a whole grain English muffin, a handful of kettle chips, and a little bowl of cherry Jell-o with fruit. It was perfect. If you don't think you'd like a veggie burger, you really ought to give these a chance. Normally, I try to have a fairly well-rounded dinner for us, with some kind of vegetable or salad. On Grab It & Growl nights, though, that doesn't always happen. I looked at the salad in the fridge, looked at the fruit in the Jell-o, and called it good!

What are your go-to standby dinners?

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