Monday, March 25, 2013

Menu Planning: The Acorn Squash Edition

Like Mom, I'm not very good at planning meals in advance. Her letters are full of comments about procrastination and spur-of-the-moment preparations.

  • January 8, 2004. I even started working on a menu for the month. Just hope I keep it up. 
  • January 24, 2004. I'm still working on menus so I can have what I need on hand. I'm getting there "slow but sure". 
  • January 31, 2004. Just got supper into the oven. Could have put it in the crockpot but I put it off. So I used the oven bags & then I didn't have the onion soup mix needed. I told myself to check what is needed. for menus but guess I didn't listen. 
  • February 10, 2004. I just made a chicken-macaroni casserole tonite. Tomorrow we'll have a good meal. Good Lar & Kim come once a week as I try to have a good meal then. 
  • (Same letter) Dad & I always ate out Friday nite & I still find it hard to prepare a Friday nite meal. Last nite Dale had frozen pot pie & Barb had a frozen meal I fixed scrambled eggs for myself. 

On Sunday evening, I managed to put a two-day menu in place. (That's about as good as it gets for me.) Baked acorn squash on Monday, cabbage rolls on Tuesday. I went grocery shopping this afternoon, returning home with just enough time to spare to get two scooped-out halves of squash into a 400° oven for 75 minutes. After setting the controls, I removed a price code sticker from the acorn squash and immediately noticed that it had been covering a soft spot. (And this from Metcalfe's, chosen by Madison magazine readers as Madison's best grocery store.) Once I cut the squash in half, some of the fruit looked bruised, greenish, and thoroughly unappetizing. Compost material. I made a quick trip to the Willy Street Co-op two blocks away to buy a replacement and discovered, to my rapidly increasing irritation, they had no acorn squash in stock.

"We don't even have an ETA," -- estimated time of arrival -- an employee replied in answer to my question.

By now, the likelihood of having dinner ready when JoAnna returned home from work was quickly diminishing.

Nevertheless, I continued my quest, driving to Copps, Middleton's only other grocery store, if you don't count Costco, where I first found a selection of ginormous organic acorn squash just inside the main entrance. I continued my search until I found one of a standard size.

Now my irritation turns inward.

At the self-service checkout, I discovered that I'd left the house without my wallet. Hey, I have an excuse -- or sorts. On my way home from my first afternoon visit to a grocery store, I stopped at Klinke's to pick up JoAnna's dry cleaning.

"The transaction didn't go through," the clerk informed me from the other side of the drop-off and pick-up window.

"How can that be?" I said, exhibiting a slightly elevated, and completely unnecessary, level of annoyance. "I've used it three times in the last hour."

So I pulled out my wallet, retrieved the card, and then placed the wallet not in my pants pockets but on the passenger's seat of the car, next to my iPhone. When I returned home, I gathered everything up in my hands and arms and plopped it on the kitchen counter. Once I opened up the defective acorn squash, I left the house without screwing my head back on. It remained next to my wallet and phone.

And now that I think of it, I probably had enough change in the console of the car to purchase the squash. But by the time I reached the checkout line at Copps, I wasn't thinking too clearly.

Ever have one of these days?

And it's not quite over.

As a back-up meal was cooking on the stovetop -- pork chops, pan-fried potatoes, green beans -- I discovered that I couldn't access the Internet on my laptop via wireless. When I attempted to go online with the iPad, I didn't encounter any problems. At least I thought it was the wireless icon and not "3G" I saw displayed in the upper left-hand corner, but then things haven't been what they seem for a good portion of this day.

After supper, JoAnna discovered that she couldn't access our wireless on her iPhone. At this point, I had the presence of mind to unplug and reinsert the connections to the router.

I'm now happy to report that there have been no major incidents or minor setbacks for the past two hours.

Maybe I should "86" acorn squash from the Mayflower Diner menu.

No comments: