Wednesday, November 17, 2004

What's For Dinner? I Don't Know, But It Won't Fit in our Freezer

Gloria's going here tonight: In another astounding view into the secret life of woman, I implore you to briefly view the site before we continue. And now, since 99.9% of you didn't, let me tell briefly about this place. Actually, let me let them tell you about this place:

Attend a cooking party for about 1 1/2 hours and go home with 12 ready to freeze entrees (each serves 6) to enjoy for an entire month. We do all the menu planning, shopping, dicing and cooking. You just do the final assembly for 12 different scrumptious entrees.

Cost: $195.00 (12 Entrees, 72 portions $ 2.71 each)

On the day of your choice, you arrive with your large cooler. Sign in and enjoy a complimentary snack and drink. Pick one of the 12 stations as your spot to assemble your entrees and get started. There will be assembly instructions for each entree. You follow the simple directions for each one, there is no cooking involved only final assembly (we will be there to help if you have any questions) and in about an hour in a half, you will have 12 meals ready to take home and freeze.

I greatly appreciate the complimentary drink that only costs me a hundred and ninety-five dollars to get. Bottoms up!

"I like this," Gloria says. "I never feel like I'm cooking enough."
"Is this cooking?" I ask. "Because it sounds to me like the culinary equivalent of a garment factory--with snacks."
"But you go with your friends," she says. For women, this is apparently some kind of inducement.
"And put together food that's already been cooked so that you can feel like you're cooking more."
"Not," she says. We both say "Not" now as a one-word comment, because that's what Eli 3.3 says when he doesn't want to do something.
"Can't you just pay to have the meals assembled, too?" I ask.
"Now where's the fun in that?" Gloria asks.
"I don't know," I say. "Maybe by the Fun Wagon. Look over there."

Now if you're married, you know that Gloria's one simple idea starts dominos falling right and left. First off is one of Gloria's best friends, who cancels on her because she's in a support group for married people who decided not to have kids, and they have a movie scheduled tonight.

If you've decided not to have kids, you don't need a support group. You already have a parade. It's like creating a support group for rich people who've run out of things to buy. The world is your oyster, and it was harvested in a month ending with 'r.' In fact, with modern refrigeration, if the world is your oyster, it doesn't even matter what month it was harvested.

Here's the other domino. There are three of us. Well, for food consumption purposes, there are two of us, because Eli 3.3 still eats his own diet, heavy in waffles and chicken nuggets. Actually, there really aren't two of us, because I eat at Subway or some other fine local establishment at least three nights a week, plus we go out one night a week. So it's really 1.3 people, give or take a few people hundredths.

72 portions. 1.3 people. Finally, after years of planning, we are prepared for nuclear winter.

"So where are we keeping all this food?" I ask.
"The freezer," Gloria says.
"Whose freezer?" I ask.

It's a fair question. Our freezer is packed like a suitcase in a Loony Tunes feature. I swear I see the door flex if I get within five feet. "I'm just going to clean it out," Gloria says, and she starts taking out foil-wrapped, zip-locked mysteries, much like concerned citizens building a dam out of sandbags as the river rises during heavy rains.

"What's this label?" I ask. "Y2K preparation: Spaghetti with sauce. Do we have a CB radio to contact the other survivalists?"
"It does not say that," she says. "It says--ugh, February." Out it goes, and after fifteen minutes of diligent effort, she's cleared enough space to store--several new ice trays, neatly stacked.

"Does that $195 include the cost of a new freezer?" I ask. "Because if it does, that's a helluva deal. And you even get a free drink."
"Shut up," Gloria says. She says this as she always does--with love. Because we're all about the love.

That, and six servings of Baby Back Ribs in a Mango Chutney Marinade.

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