Chick Wit: An easy answer to what's for dinner

Posted: March 10, 2014

This is a column about food.

Because I'm on a diet.

Since I can't have food, it's all I think about.

I've been working a lot, and as you may know, I keep the TV on in my office when I work. And everything on TV is about food.

In other words, it's TV's fault I gained a permanent 10 pounds.

Half the shows on TV are cooking shows, and I watch every one of them. Rachael Ray, Anthony Bourdain, Martha Stewart, Lidia Bastianich, Mike Colameco, Ina Garten, and Nigella Lawson. Then there are cooking shows with multiple chefs, like The Chew. At night there are so many chef shows, the chefs have to compete to stay on the shows, and if they lose, they pack their knives and go.

But not really, because there's always another show to replace them, with cooking.

And whether it's daytime or nighttime, every talk show will have a cooking segment, so you can watch comedians and actresses whip up chicken cacciatore. They serve the audience the food, and everyone munches away while the cooking continues.

Hungry yet?

In between the cooking segments are food commercials, whether it's the latest frozen food or a Seafood Shanty, Olive Garden, McDonald's, Burger King, Carrabba's, Outback Steakhouse, or Domino's Pizza.

Yes, they deliver.

To your mouth.

And hips.

I know there are channels dedicated to round-the-clock food programming, but what I'm trying to tell you is that all of the channels are food channels. And all the food shows, restaurants, and recipes are trying to solve the problem every mom seems to have every night, which is what to have for dinner.

Let me tell you how Mother Mary solved that problem.

She made spaghetti with tomato sauce, or gravy, as everybody knows it should be called. And on the side, she served an iceberg salad dressed with oil and vinegar.

Do you understand what I'm saying? We had the same thing for dinner, every night of my life.

I'm not complaining.

Who doesn't love spaghetti?

Plus Mother Mary made the best gravy in the world. She slow-cooked a big pot of it on Sunday and parceled it out all week, over five nights of having spaghetti.

And iceberg lettuce? Love it. It's crunchy water.

Great if you're hungry. Or thirsty.

Come Saturday night we ate hoagies, pizza, or cold spaghetti.

Not kidding.

And on Sunday we had a big meal that was ravioli, with a side of spaghetti.

You know how when you're growing up you think that everything in your house is normal?

You don't even realize there is another way until you meet other people and they look at you like you're crazy?

I remember the exact moment this happened, with my friend Miriam, who came over for dinner and remarked that both times she had been over to my house, we had spaghetti.

And that's when I told her that we had spaghetti every night.

She looked at me like I was crazy.

Did she laugh? Did she bully me?

No and no.

She started coming over to my house for dinner, every night.

You know why?

Because everybody loves spaghetti.

I myself could eat spaghetti every night, and probably every day for lunch, and also cold the next morning, for breakfast. It doesn't make sense to me, even now, that we change what we have for dinner.

Think about it.

Most people eat the same thing every day for breakfast - cereal, or maybe eggs.

So why would you change what you have for dinner, every day?

It creates a lot of problems, and also TV shows and channels and commercials, and unnecessary food products, and chain restaurants in strip malls, when we could all just make spaghetti, eat up, and be happy.

Buon appetito.


Look for Lisa and Francesca's columns in their newest collection, "Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim." Also, look for Lisa's latest Rosato & Associates novel, "Accused," in stores now, and "Keep Quiet," coming April 8.

lisa@scottoline.com.

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