Some people are able to plan a week's worth of meals, shop only once (with coupons) and even manage to use all of the leftovers in creative and appetizing ways. I, on the other hand, have arrived home from the grocery store with produce, crackers, bread and tonic and, although I'm tempted to try, I don't think it's possible to make dinner-for-five out of strawberries and Wheat Thins. At least I usually have a few pork chops or a pound of ground beef that can be whipped up into something delicious, if they weren't in the freezer.
Fortunately, none of my kids are very picky about what they eat so making dinner is rarely a complete pain in the ass. Actually, now that I think about it, it could be that some of them are pretty high maintenance, but since I've been making food for this family for so long I've grown accustomed to the idiosyncrasies and quirks of each person. Ah, who the hell am I kidding -- there are definitely some individualized dietary demands that should be making me insane. In fact, if someone else came to my house and was given the task of cooking for my kids for one week, they would probably run out the door after three days, screaming and bashing themselves on the head with a ladle in an attempt to end the misery.
One kid will eat just about anything and although he likes cheese, he only likes certain kinds and if there's too much cheese than the meal is basically inedible. Another kid doesn't like pepper on anything, likes eggs fried so that the yolk isn't slimy, isn't a big fan of sauce and will skillfully arrange uneaten peas on his plate in an attempt to make the pile seem smaller. Grilled meats are fine, as long as they don't require excessive amounts of chewing. Everyone likes Caesar salad, but it can't have too much dressing. They all like fruit, but it can't have blemishes. Casseroles are quick and easy to prepare, but Zoe doesn't like anything that consists of multiple ingredients mushed together. Although it would make life easier, serving a rotation of corn dogs, pancakes and pasta seems a little irresponsible.
So basically, cooking for this family is easy, as long as it's not too saucy, cheesy, mushroomy, spicy, mushy, crunchy, greenish or chewy. Or in other words, I'll admit that sometimes, cooking for this family is a complete pain-in-the-ass.