Lately I have been doing a lot more cooking and I tend to be the one to wash dishes and such because Matt has begun working about 65 hours a week at his office, but I am mostly working from home. This is typical of our relationship; we do not really speak about things that need to be done and one of us just ends up picking up the slack when the other can not do so. Sadly in our case that is usually Matt so I guess it is only fair it is my turn to take over the household. Regardless of this current situation, in no sense of the word would anyone ever refer to me as “domestic”. I suppose what proves my point more so is the fact I feel the need to put the word into what would be air quotes if we were having this conversation face to face. Yeah I am definitely annoying air quote girl; this is the part where most of you rejoice that you have never met me. But I digress.
Although I love pasta and sauce and really feel it is the only thing I actually cook reasonably well, it can not be the menu every night so I have begun branching out to new territory for interesting meals that are not too involved (read: too involved will ensure I burn the house down when I forget it is in the oven because something shiny caught my eye and all attention is off the kitchen. This shiny something is likely to be a football game or Facebook). When shopping a few weeks ago I had the gumption to purchase a bunch of pre-packaged items and blend them together to create my own version of baked enchiladas.
Here’s the general gist for making about 10 enchiladas: cook a cup of brown rice stovetop (not really cooking -- rice in a pan and let it sit there 40 or so minutes, easy!), coat the bottom of a 13x9 pan with about a third of a can of green Verde sauce, brown ground turkey with chopped onion & set aside (tofu, chicken, beef, whatever your preference!), mix a half jar of salsa into the rice, open up a can of refried beans, spread layer of beans in center of flour tortilla, top with turkey, rice & a five finger pinch of shredded cheese, fold in sides & roll tortilla, put in pan fold side down & make sure to coat the ends with the sauce, cover the top with a bit of the sauce & sprinkle cheese on top, bake at 350 for about 35 minutes uncovered, top with sour cream and salsa or guacamole if you like. They actually came out freaking fantastic so I told my sister about them one night on the phone.
Let us all remember that Wendy lives in Arizona. Let us also remember that she can cook and makes a mean homemade salsa. Let us finally remember that people in the northeast are not exactly proximate to real Mexican food so although they may have been a nice mix of canned and packaged food-like products, their authenticity was not entirely on the level. So as I finish telling her about them she says “Yeah, my friend calls those Gringolatas.” I laughed for about a full minute because it was not at all ironic how perfect a name Gringolata was for the happy concoction I had just conceived! I loved it; I told her I was stealing it immediately. *
Cooking at home has meant a lot more cookies, a lot less money spent on food but also tragically, a lot more dishes which I really hate doing. I guess the tradeoff is spending all our money for the convenience of having someone else clean up our dinner mess. Considering I would never object at hiring a maid to clean our tiny apartment, the idea is not all that foreign to me. In the end I know I will manage the best I can but a girl can dream. I must emphatically point out however, no matter what slack I am picking up by baking up some yummy meals or running a vacuum across the living room rug, there are some things this girl will never do and as I explained to my sister in law last week, Matt’s laundry is definitely one of them.
*Check out the Urban Dictionary entry for Gringo