Some days just seem to drain you. After a long day at work the gauntlet of preparing dinner, giving baths, helping with home work, and trying to spend quality time together as a family can sometimes be intimidating. From time to time on days like that we have a “whatever” dinner. This is where someone eats leftovers, someone eats cereal, someone has a sandwich, and someone wanders through the cabinets and refrigerator on a culinary scavenger hunt. That last person is usually me.
Most of the time I put together something quick and easy and on rare occasion, even fairly tasty. Sometimes I will get in a little over my head and can tell that the vision I had for the meal is falling apart. That is when I rely on my basic guy instinct and apply a little culinary duct tape. Bacon. If something is going south in the kitchen, bacon can usually fix it. Wrap it in bacon, sprinkle bacon bits on it, or in extreme cases just toss whatever you were making and enjoy a plate of bacon.
Every now and then I have a moment where it all comes together and I don’t even have to rely on the duct tape of food. A few weeks ago I went to make a sandwich and realized we were out of a very key ingredient. If I had poured a bowl of cereal and we were out of milk it would have been time to back up and punt because there are no real options there. On this occasion, however, the peanut butter had already been applied and when there was no jelly I decided to go for it on 4th and long. I usually would have just had a peanut butter sandwich and forgone any other ingredients but on this night I was driven by creative inspiration. What I did next is fairly amazing. In fact you may want to sit down and buckle up for this because it has the potential to blow your mind and rock the culinary world. Once I tasted my creation I realized how Edison must have felt or at the very least the guy who invented the Sham-Wow.
PEANUT BUTTER AND RAINBOW SPRINKLES SANDWICH
You are welcome.
Would you care for a some anxiety with that?
Is there a more nerve-racking experience in life than being with your significant other in the checkout line at the grocery store and realizing that you forgot something but deciding that there is time for one of you to run and get it before the last item in your cart crosses the scanner? It is one of the quickest decisions ever made. The time remaining for the rest of the items to be scanned is quickly estimated and then divided by the estimated time it will take me to find the tin foil and get it back to the register and then in a flash I am off.
When I am at the grocery store with my wife, I am like a passenger in a car. Although we both arrive at the destination I have no clue how we got there. I was too busy goofing around and looking out the window. I know the foil is on an aisle with paper towels and garbage bags and other non-food items but where was it? I remember seeing it but have no idea where. The hour-long zig-zag march has disoriented me a bit, I am tired and hungry and know if I waste the time walking by every aisle I will never make it. I am on the other side of the checkout lines now, back in the sea of cans and boxes and I look back to my wife for some kind of helpful signal. I need her to hold up a sign that says aisle 12 but instead, the look I get is more of an emotional cocktail, 2 parts frustration, 1 part disdain, and 1 part anxiety. I try to clear my head and scan the signs hanging from the ceiling. Somehow an aisle with 1,400 different items is classified by a sign that lists six.
Suddenly as if a ray of light parted the heavens I see the words tin foil on the sign hanging for aisle 10. I dart in that direction and find the foil. Luckily it is at the end closest to the checkout lanes. Unfortunately there are 72 different kinds of foil. I want to text my wife for her guidance knowing that somehow even for a product as simple as foil I would pick the wrong kind. I start to scan the different varieties but there is no time. THERE IS NO TIME!
I grab the roll closest to me and it is as long as my leg. I am sure I don’t remember having something like this in our house, probably wouldn’t even fit in our cabinet. I grab the next closest roll and I go! Feeling like Indiana Jones running from a giant boulder, I weave my way through the crowded masses holding the foil high in the air. I make eye contact with my wife for a split second before they roll away and see her folding the receipt and putting it in her purse.
I knew that the seconds had been ticking down and I was out of time outs but I considered a Hail Mary and throwing the foil to her across 3 or 4 other checkout lanes. While that would have been awesome and other husbands would have told of my heroics until it became legend, I restrained. Instead I walked up to customer service where there was no line, put the foil and a five dollar bill on the counter and was next to my wife bag in hand before she made it to the automatic door. Work smarter not harder.
Realizing you forgot something while in the checkout line is totally weak.
February 8th, 2012 at 10:52 am
Great title! Awesome post, too!
January 27th, 2012 at 8:40 pm
I am always torn between leaving the line for the forgotten item or going home without it when I forget and the husband is at home.
January 26th, 2012 at 11:52 pm
Your insights always make my day!
January 27th, 2012 at 5:06 pm
January 26th, 2012 at 8:42 pm
I am sooo trying the peanut butter and Rainbow sprinkles sandwich! Since the baby was born, we’ve been doing a lot of “whatever” dinner nights… amazing what a hungry person can come up with!
January 27th, 2012 at 5:03 pm
It is worth taking for a spin for sure.
January 26th, 2012 at 7:58 pm
I am still basking in your sweet, so I will save the weak for tomorrow.
We had Fix-it-Yourself for dinner every Sunday when I was a kid. I usually went for sugar cereal which was a delicacy. I haven’t been able to convince my husband that Fix-it-Yourself would be a great idea–your post may be just the thing that brings him around!
January 27th, 2012 at 5:02 pm
Julie, I don’t think anyone had ever “basked” in anything I have written so I truly honored.
January 26th, 2012 at 7:48 pm
Thank God she didn’t send you for peanut butter! Can you imagine? Crunchy or Smooth? Organic or affordable? Jiffy or Skip or in light of the current economic conditions that all time favorite Generic! Whew – thank heavens it was only foil. And with a roll the size of your leg now you have enough to make one of those snazzy hats like they wear in all the cool space invader movies.
January 27th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
No doubt, however as the primary consumer of peanut butter in my house I like to think I would have been better equipped for that decision.
January 26th, 2012 at 7:12 pm
Just for future reference… some suggestions:
Peanut Butter and Honey
Peanut Butter and Banana
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips (Don’t tell the kids you’re eating this! Next thing you know, EVERYONE wants a sandwich.)
We have “whatever” dinners too, but we call them “anything” dinners.
January 26th, 2012 at 7:22 pm
Honey and bananas are two of my favorites but chocolate chips are something I definitely need to branch out to.
January 26th, 2012 at 6:01 pm
Love the peanut butter and ‘freckles’ as we call them. Crunchy but smooth. And soo understand the supermarket.. I have often sent the kids, and on occassion gone myself, to pick up some left behind item… soemtimes it’s Sweet and works other times, def Weak. 🙂
January 26th, 2012 at 7:20 pm
Freckles. I like it,
January 26th, 2012 at 10:02 pm
my bad… i should have sais 100’s & 1000’s (freckles are when you put these on small buttons of chocolate).
My sweet: left over Pavlova for lunch.
Weak: the exercise to make up for it, or the fact I feel I should do said exercise.. lol
January 27th, 2012 at 5:05 pm
Exercise? Yeah, I’ve heard of it.
January 26th, 2012 at 5:36 pm
Absolutely love the headshot in the sand!
I came to your blog from Jon Acuff’s site. He has created a tremendous forum for sharing our blogs and impacting more people with them.
I hope my blog can be an encouragement to you also.
I write it for encouragement and motivation daily.
Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching the connections grow!