What’s for dinner? And other grown-up questions

Thursday, December 22, 2022 Permalink

Sometimes I think my mother and I cannot be more different. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a mother. Or perhaps it’s just our personalities.

One of the questions my mother often asks me – now and historically… when we’re chatting is, ‘What’s for dinner?’

Of course she means, what are you cooking or having for dinner. Not asking what I’m preparing for her. We’ll be on the phone usually when she asks the question and seems actually interested.

It would never occur to me to ask my mother what she was having for dinner. Or lunch. I mean, maybe if she went out somewhere I might ask what she selected but other than that I have minimal interest in her dining habits.

Is that a Deborah thing I wonder?

Of course I don’t care that she asks that. It’s just a habit she has. Perhaps she is interested in my dining habits. (Knowing how poorly I eat – nutritionally!)

whats for dinner

It’s really only problematic because I rarely know right up until the moment I start cooking exactly what I’ll be having. I’m notoriously bad at getting stuff out of the freezer in preparation. I mean… how on earth will I know what I feel like hours before I have to eat?

I realise if you have kids and family you’d have to be more prepared and make sure you have stuff on hand, so perhaps that’s my excuse. I shop multiple times a week. I buy what I need for upcoming days (or pantry-type stuff I’ve run out of) and then use it. And so I need to go back to the store. Rinse repeat.

And the fact that I’m slack about ‘replenishing my supplies’… well that’s a whole other bad-at-adulting post!

Anyone else a last minute dinner-deciderer?

16 Comments
  • Vanessa
    December 22, 2022

    “how on earth will I know what I feel like hours before I have to eat”

    This is exactly what no meal planning takes into account and frankly holier-than-thou blog posts on meal planning that ignore this make me cranky.

    I try to shop infrequently as it hurts and have a large freezer so that I can accommodate that; I don’t meal plan as such but I know I’ll use this much of that and that much of this so I just buy in bulk and that way I’ll have whatever on hand for my meal whim.

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2022

      I suspect we’re supposed to be able to force ourselves to eat what’s been planned for… which I guess we did as kids?

  • Jan
    December 22, 2022

    I’m definitely a planner of meals. I am very food orientated and so is my husband. He asks during the day ‘what’s for dinner’. I love cooking because it means I get to eat exactly what I want. Of course you do also so it doesn’t really matter lol. You can always defrost in microwave so no need to get things out in advance. If you had kids I think they would by necessity be grazers. You could have the fridge stocked and they would just help themselves when hungry. You would have to teach them to clean up and stack the dishwasher at the same time though

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2022

      I must admit I prefer to cook each night rather than just have leftovers. There’s something cathartic about the process of cooking. I don’t enjoy it as such but it’s like I need that step in between deciding to eat and eating…. something more than heating up!

  • Vanessa
    December 22, 2022

    Just seems like a waste of adulthood to keep on like we’re kids with no choice. But at the same time adulthood loves fake rules too….

  • leannelc
    December 22, 2022

    The “what’s for dinner?” question made me smile because my mum seems to think that I want to know about every.single.ingredient in whatever meal she eats when she goes out for lunch. I-don’t-care! I tell her I don’t care and she still feels the need to wax lyrical about the damn prawns or how she doesn’t like ‘raggy lettuce’ – for a woman who was the world’s worst cook, she suddenly becomes Gordon Ramsey when she eats out at a cafe! I just never got the whole foodie thing – so our meals are fairly simple and whatever floats my boat when I look in the freezer that morning….

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2022

      Ha! I enjoy eating out but am a complete non-foodie. I caught up with old school friends last night and went to share pics of our meals later and had no recollection what the menu had said… ‘braised lamb with couscous and something….’ and ‘chocolate obsession’ but can’t recall what it included… I mean, chocolate stuff?!

  • Joanne
    December 22, 2022

    I’m pretty much always thinking about food so I love to hear what people are eating and get ideas! LOL.

    I definitely meal plan but it’s just something we’ve started in the last year or two. We tend to plan out a month worth’s of meals all at one sitting and while I will write it out in a calendar I’m not necessarily preparing that meal on that day. I pick a week’s worth of meals each week and make sure I have all the ingredients we need but will then pick what meal I’m cooking on which day depending on what I feel like eating/ preparing and what we have going on around dinner time.

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2022

      Oh yes that makes sense Joanne. I guess in some ways I do that given I go shopping and buy some meat (steak, chicken etc) and then decide what to have over the course of a few days so ‘almost’ plan that much in advance. (Though I always buy the same stuff so it’s a no-brainer!)

  • Lydia C. Lee
    December 23, 2022

    Honestly, I have to do it but I try to minimise my headspace about it. I can’t imagine I’d ask someone what they were having for dinner. If they offered it up as a topic of conversation I’d listen…Happy Christmas to you (& your mum). #WWandP

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2022

      Thanks Lydia. Same to you and your family and loved ones.

  • Sue from Women Living Well After 50
    December 23, 2022

    I miss my Mum’s roast dinner, Deb. Maybe it is an age thing but I know that Mike’s parents would finish breakfast and then be asking what would be for lunch and dinner LOL 🙂 I may even be guilty of asking Mike that too! Take care and enjoy your Festive Season and have wonderful 2023. x

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2022

      Maybe it’s a generational thing? Once upon a time there were no microwaves to defrost things. No slow cooker to leave food in all day etc…

      I love my mum’s roasts, especially the gravy and though I try I cannot make it taste as good even though I use what she does: juices of the meat, cornflour, gravox, vegemite…

  • Denyse Whelan Blogs
    December 23, 2022

    As the person who has (mostly) decided what IS for dinner since 1971 , I would gladly give it up!! However, we still need to eat. We, us two over 70s, have far less to eat these days and I don’t mind batch cooking so I can freeze meals. We now have a planned meal at dinner mid-week, the rest of the week is ‘own choice’ or from the freezer meals. I used to think I could survive on just toast..but since my cancer I know I need protein of sorts so I care for myself better food wise than ever. I MISS my mum’s baked dinners BIG time! I love seeing yours at Mum’s. Thanks as always for being part of the Wednesday’s Words and Pics group with your post this week. It’s been great to know this link up has people joining in and I am delighted to have you here as one valued blogger! The link up returns on Wednesday 4 January 2023. Warmest wishes and season’s greetings, Denyse.

    • Debbish
      December 24, 2022

      Ah yes, I’m the same re protein since my weight loss surgery though I like meat and tend to crave it (well that potatoes, chocolate, diet coke and wine) so that’s a good thing I guess.

  • Debbie
    December 30, 2022

    A great question Deb, and one I find myself asking more often than i care to admit, mainly because it’s left up to me to actually do the cooking part of things! I love how your mum shows her care for you by asking about your dinner plans, despite everything! Her roast dinner looks pretty good too 🙂

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