Movie Popcorn Does Not a Dinner Make

It was late Tuesday afternoon. Even though it was the last free day of my boys’ long holiday weekend, I still had to work and had nothing planned for dinner.

My husband, on the other hand, had the day off and, wanting to celebrate the successful installation of a new bathtub faucet, he came up with a wonderful idea. With just moments to spare, we grabbed our younger two and burst into a nearby and relatively empty theater to catch the movie “Hugo”.

Based on the book, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick, the movie is a wonderful, visually spectacular escape into the world of Hugo, an orphan, who finds his talent to repair things extends to people, too.

While watching him race through the walls of a Paris train station to keep all of the clocks running smoothly, we downed bucket after bucket of popcorn. As he dodged the police officer patrolling the station, narrowly missing the clutches of his ferocious Doberman, we gulped copious amounts of cherry slushies.

By the time we left the theater, at 6:30 pm, dinner was the farthest thing from our minds. That is, until I got a call from one of my high school boys, still at home after begging out of the movie excursion.

“What’s for dinner?”

Despite my transgression, I was pleased to hear that my New Year’s resolution was starting to stick with my teens.  I had him check the pantry for pasta, start a big pot of water boiling and told him we were on our way.

An hour later, we were all seated around the table. Only two were eating dinner, but we were all together, sharing our favorite parts of the movie to make the other two regret their decision not to join us and revel in the warmth of each other’s company.

Last night was another story all together. This is the third Wednesday of the month. You’d think I’d learn by now that planning a nice sit-down dinner will be nearly impossible until, oh, June when religious education classes, church choir practice, high school men’s a cappella group practice and tax season will all be over with.

Slap-dash is the only way I can describe my attempt to feed everyone dinner last night. Turkey burgers and oven-fries for my younger three and a frozen Shrimp Lo Mein noodle dish for my vegetarian son. My husband, too busy getting ready for work, took a pass on dinner as did I.

A wise co-worker, always a font of logic and inspiration asked, “Do you plan weekly menus?”

My knee-jerk reaction was, “No, that would make far too much sense!” but I kept it to myself. Of course, she’s right. If I know Wednesdays are bad nights for us, I should plan to have something delish and easy to prepare/warm-up ahead of time.

Point taken.

This evening’s menu at Casa de Plate Spinner will feature a lovely beef stroganoff (made from scratch – only because I can’t find the Lawry’s stroganoff seasoning packet anywhere) and a zesty vegetarian chili for my health nut son.

Unless, of course, anyone wants to duck out to see a show…

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