Being back at my parent’s house for two weeks is wonderful. I am surrounded by family and pets that I have missed for the past eight months. I am able to have face-to-face conversations with people I love. There’s a bit of nostalgia happening with packing up my room for good. I’ve been helping around the house the best I can, trying to keep things clean, particularly around dinner time.
These past two nights I have cooked dinner for my family. I love to cook, especially for large numbers of people, and haven’t had that opportunity as easily since living on my own. For the past eight months, I’ve been living on egg sandwiches for breakfast, quinoa and beans for lunch, and some sort of pasta dish typically for dinner. There hasn’t been much variation in my food intake, and while that’s not necessarily the most healthy thing to do for my body, at least I’m not eating macaroni and cheese fourteen times a week.
When I asked about what would be preferable for dinner last night, the answer was “There’s ground beef and chicken in the refrigerator.” Let me make note here that while I have been a vegetarian for the better part of two and a half years, I have no problem with preparing meat. So last night, out came the ground beef and in went an egg and some breadcrumbs and salt and pepper, and voilà!- delicious juicy hamburgers in just a few minutes. It wasn’t until my family sat down to eat that I realized I hadn’t made any food for myself. Due to the nature of our stove, it then took me 15 minutes to boil some water and then another nine minutes to cook my organic durum wheat pasta. Pesto was added, and then I was able to sit down and eat just as my family finished their meal.
Tonight Kirstyn and I tag-teamed dinner. There was still chicken in the fridge, and we made a dish that looked so tasty I was on the verge of debating with myself whether or not I should eat it: chicken breast with an egg, parmesan cheese, and basil batter, then topped with a sauce I made from olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh garlic, baked for 25 minutes. Nice and juicy and tender and aromatic, served with asparagus spears. Everyone sat down to eat and once again it was at that point I realized there wasn’t anything on the table to feed me substantially. Back to boiling two cups of water, adding a cup of quinoa, waiting 15 minutes for it to simmer, adding black beans, salsa, and shredded cheddar, and I was able to start eating my meal just as my Dad left the table at the end of his.
I’m not one of those “crazy” vegetarians who avoid meat at all costs because of this that or the other reason. I simply do not enjoy meat, and so long as I maintain a healthy diet with enough protein, I feel better without it. I had forgotten, over these past eight months, that it is a slightly more difficult feat when living with seven other people who want their meat and potatoes. Someday, perhaps, I will foray into the world of meat eaters again, if I feel like it. Until then, my father will continue to make fun of the situation and I will perhaps get better at cooking two meals at once and join my family for a meal or two.