Cooking, family, Food

Uninspired

I think it’s that I’m not hungry this morning. I should be writing a blog about food, or a restaurant, but… Well, the last really great restaurant meal we ate was at the City Cafe in Chattanooga TN. We always go there when we get down to LibertyCon, they have the best food, and really great desserts, which we didn’t indulge in this trip: too much good food!

City Cafe Chattanooga
Dolmades: delicious stuffed grape leaves. Not something I plan to try at home!

I’ve been too busy since we got home to go out, or cook, or… Many of the meals I’ve prepared for our evenings have been slow-cooker fare, which is tasty, but not attractive to the eye. Food needs to look good, especially if I’m taking pictures of it.

Now, there’s a thought. Looks good, tastes good. Presentation is important. We did eat out, sort of, yesterday. We were doing a thing that had us all day in rural Ohio, with an hour break for lunch, and the only place to eat within range was this… Well, I’m not sure what to call it. It was like a cafeteria thing in a gas station, but they also sold feed & seed at the store. Now, I’m a country girl. The smell of manure is not particularly off-putting to me (okay, yes, pig manure is bad. Really bad, and no, I couldn’t eat downwind of a pigpen). But this place, when you got out of the car, reeked with a sour manurey smell that was closer to vomit than anything else. A miasma of it hung over the whole area, it wasn’t just an isolated patch.

When we went inside it didn’t smell, at least, and it looked like a deli with a grill. They had fried chicken under heat lamps in glass boxes, and a burger special, which we ordered. It wasn’t cheap, but… You take what you can get (and should we ever go out that way again, I’m taking peanut butter sandwiches). When the burgers arrived they looked limp and grey. I’m not sure they were even cooked through – you know how meat oxidizes to grey? Yeah… they wouldn’t have been pink in the middle even if uncooked. We’d sat down, and so I have no idea if they were ever even close to the grill, although I’m going to say not. The First Reader suggested later they might have been in a steam table, which is why they tasted boiled. No flavor.

Food, even really cheap food (look, a McDonald’s dollar burger would have been a step up from these things, ok?) doesn’t have to be nasty. With a little effort, (and I’m not talking much because I have been a mother with a table full of hungry mouths and no time) you can put a nice-looking meal on the table. When you’re meal planning, try to avoid monochromatic. Serving alfredo chicken, pasta, and cauliflower on the same plate is, well, unappetizing. Which is why broccoli happens a lot more with alfredo sauce. I did alfredo chicken the other night… with a salad on the side. Sometime you can’t help it, like on a stew night. But putting a little effort into presentation will make the food taste better, oddly enough.

Just dinner
Simple dinner: fried chicken, salad, fresh bread. It’s nothing fancy, but it looked good and tasted good.

Today, I’m going to clean the kitchen, which isn’t inspiring either, but it’s been a busy week and little things keep getting left to do ‘later’ and later is today. I don’t know yet what I’m cooking, other than pork chops for dinner as they are waiting in the refrigerator. Maybe I could throw a marinade on them… anything is better than the food yesterday!

Club sandwich
City Cafe, Chattanooga Tennessee
City Cafe chattanooga
Diabetic coma on a plate! Not my plate, a friend ordered the waffle at the City Cafe for breakfast.

0 thoughts on “Uninspired

  1. To be fair: even my husband had no idea what he was getting into when he ordered that!
    And when faced with a dish like that, are you going to send it back?

  2. I was thinking about this post last night when I realize just how monochromatic the supper I fixed actually was. Not a good feeling. All stuff we like to eat, but just so BLAH!

          1. I can’t say I’ve had that experience yet. I think my family is willing to give me a lot of leeway in the kitchen. Mostly because in 14 years of marriage, I’ve had something like three meals fall flat. The spousal unit is willing to roll with it when I do something new. 🙂

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