Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What's for dinner?

"What's for dinner?" How many times have I been asked that question over the years? Perhaps thousands of times! I only prepare one meal a day for the family now. Everyone is responsible for their own breakfast and lunch. Some days it is a struggle to come up with a menu that can be prepared quickly after work. I have a meat-loving husband, a virtually vegetarian daughter who may eat a morsel of poultry a few times a year, and another who declines onions and all ground meats. So dinner usually involves making two different entrees. We get take out only a couple of times a month, perhaps a Friday night pizza or a meal from our favourite Thai restaurant.

Human diets are complex and our eating is a highly social activity. How much easier it would be if we ate like birds. Peanuts for the family... nice and salt please. Our Chickadees are easy to please.

Mayflies may be a bit awkward to swallow but one this mother caught may feed a couple of small Yellow-throated warblers. Yum!

The male yellow warbler could chirp loudly with a bug in his mouth. When he finished bragging about his catch he swallowed it.

A Song Sparrow perched proudly with its freshly caught moth. A drink may help with the dry, fuzzy wings.

Birds spend much more time in a day searching for food than I do. The Cardinals in our yard worked from dawn to dusk getting grubs for their youngsters. We have many food choices, likely too many, and decision making, not the acquisition of food wears us out.

Now for dinner tomorrow....just wait a see.

Blogger Comments- I am getting email notifications of comments that are not showing up below the posts. My responses to comments today did not load either. Cheryl D, I got your comment on the 'The World without Us". Hopefully it will appear later.


  1. I've always said that one of the biggest challenges I see day to day as a mom is what to make for supper. My vegetarian daughter is the biggest challenge. My 14 year old son eats constantly but is seldom happy with my planned meals unless it is meat and potatoes or rice. (or pizza, pizza, pizza!)

  2. Great post.....putting a good perspective on food. I agree too much choice.....I often find it difficult to decide, and I must say years ago it wasn't like that.....

    The birds and bugs around us are far less complex....their life revolves around survival on a daily basis.....

    We have made life more difficult...

  3. Yes, they are rather easy to please, aren't they? And so appreciative of the food. :c)

  4. A beautiful, enticing floral centerpiece would certainly entice me to dine at your table. I wonder if peanuts and sunflower seeds are as equally inviting.

    We also are kind of one meal a day people now and my husband loves to cook and serve dinner so I love the arrangement.

  5. You are so right...we should have to spend more time looking for food than eating it.

    I find meal preparation ever so much easier now that we are retired and I'm not working long hours.

  6. What to eat? That question comes up every day. We are TOO priviledged ... many in the world, like the birds, are consumed with scraping together what they WILL eat any given day and are lucky for a bit of rice etc. while we struggle with all of the choices.

    We watched the street people go through the garbages (for cans and bottles) at Granville Island yesterday ... the privileged and the not so privileged mingling side by side. One woman emaciated, desperate for her next fix. Sad.

    Meal wise for us, we usually go with the suggestion that appeals to the both of us the most ... but some days ... we neither of us have any "leanings". I can't imagine having to cater to your diverse eating crew! I'm very glad that D and I have very similar likes. It is also very helpful that he likes to cook and is probably a better cook than I ... though much more messy!

  7. Anonymous2:52 pm GMT-4

    I could not count the number of meals prepared in 55 years of marriage and now prepare like you only one. That at times is a challenge though I have an easy to feed husband.
    When invited out to a restaurant I refuse to choose which one. That is my only break and I take advantage of it.
    When home alone for a few days I prepare a big pot of chicken and barley soup loaded with veggies and flavored with fresh lime juice and can be happy for a week.
    I had children that were easy to feed also. Thanks for that!!!

  8. Anonymous6:05 pm GMT-4

    What a lovely place setting...what time is dinner?
    Coming from a large family, my mother had to fix meals on a budget and make them stretch. If you didn't like it, you went hungry. Much like the birds, there are plenty of us, so it's not the time to be picky about what is put in front of you. Not sure if I would like to live on grubs, worms and seeds though.

  9. Ruth,

    What awesome bird photos. The cardinals here have been very busy lately. The bluejays are screaming almost constantly. I don't know what is bothering them so, but something sure is. I have heard them in other areas of the city as well and wonder if they are protecting their babies.

    I often have trouble deciding what to cook for dinner. We are busy all day and so tired by dinner time that I want something quick and easy.

    Take care. I enjoyed my visit, as always.


  10. Preparing dinner in our house is MUCH simpler now--just me & the husband. When our daughter was home, the challenge was the meat/potatoes man vs. the healthy salads daughter! Mom--she eats whatever.

  11. Two different choices for dinner? Lucky family...I love the bird photos of course...Michelle

  12. Lynne- You do have a challenge with 2 teenagers with diverse tastes!

    Cheryl- Thanks. I do like having choices but even opening a recipe book for an idea can be overwhelming. I am collecting simple recipes.

    Jayne- You put a lot of work into your bird smorgasborg! But none of your feathered friends complain.

    Ann- Thanks...a couple of blooms from my garden in an Ikea bud vase. Your dinner arrangement sounds great.

    NCMW- It is good to give thought to where our food comes from. And children who are involved in food prep are less picky,

    CS- You are a great example of planning and cooking well. Travelling to other places does give an improved perspective on the abundance we enjoy.

    Mom- You were always a good cook and I still make many dishes you used to cook. We never ate big pieces of meat at home because of economy, and my preferences still go that direction.

    Cheryl- Large families are great for learning about sharing and making do. I love the Sunday family tradition you told me about.

    Mary- I still don't see Blue Jays here even when I put out peanuts. Have a good day!

    KGMom- Downsizing the family does have its perks. My daughters sometimes make their own dinner if I am not up to two entrees.

    RW- Two choices if you like them...;-)

  13. Dinnertime around here is a challenge for my husband instead of me. Since his retirement a few years ago he's been the main "chef." And he has tried to accomodate us with our quirky likes and dislikes. I'm probably the toughest to please. But I've learned if I don't like what my husband has fixed I'll just find something else. I guess sometimes it's good to have choices, but too many choices makes decisions difficult.


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