It’s grilling season

Which means I’m not cooking as much.

My husband takes over dinner duties from about early May to October. Steak. Hamburgers. Chicken. Sure, I could encourage him to get fancy and try some new recipes, I actually have several grilling cookbooks, but I also remember what has happened to some of my pots, pans and that really pretty glass pitcher when I push him past his comfort zone.

Man. I liked that pitcher.

I’m not baking as much, either. It’s summer. It’s Iowa. We don’t turn on our stoves if we don’t have to.

So the blog has been quiet for more than a month now. I’ve slacked on my cookbook and organizing recipes goals, too. I have, however, read 33 books so far this year. Does that count for something? I’m also watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” seasons 1 through 7, on DVD. I’m still running and I have a new addiction to Samurai sudoku. I can’t solve a puzzle past the ‘Easy’ level, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.

You know what I love about summer? The farmer’s markets. I’m not great at making out my shopping list and buying what I need, but I am great at buying what I want.

Some people buy vegetables at the farmer's market. I buy a deer. The kids named him Brownie.

I went to the Wednesday night market to see my bread lady, who makes awesome lemon poppyseed bread, but she didn’t have any. Apparently the price of poppyseeds is too high for her this year. I blame the people who steam them to get high. That’s why grocery stores make you go to the cigarette counter to buy a jar.

What’s cooking this week …

My trip to the grocery store cost us $145.67. Here’s what I plan to make this week:

Sunday night: Pizza (I will be too busy listening to my husband cheer on the Bears to cook anything.)

Monday night: I work tonight, so dinner is up to my husband and the kids.

Tuesday night: Chicken enchiladas.

Wednesday night: Breakfast at dinner. (My husband is out-of-town tonight. I tend to cook simply when he’s gone. You can’t get much simpler than a omlette and toast.)

Thursday night: Cheeseburger casserole. (A new recipe — here’s hoping it’s a good one!)

Friday night: Italian chicken and a salad.

I’m also making a bit pot of mulligatawny soup Sunday, with plans to freeze half and have the other half for my lunches this week. I also plan to try a new bread recipe. I have tried three so far and haven’t found one I like just yet.

My life is so hard. 🙂

The great syrup debate

I don’t consider myself a name-brand person. I have no problem wearing my Target-brand Uggs. In fact, finding something that looks good and is affordable makes me happy.

Grocery shopping is the same thing. I will buy the generic cereal, the store-brand bread, etc. It tastes the same! Why pay more just for a name on the packaging?

There is one food item, though, that is worth the higher price. Peanut butter. I will buy the generic brand when making peanut butter cookies, but I must have Jif for sandwiches.

(Actually, I lied. Ketchup is another food item that must be name-brand only. Heinz Ketchup. Anything else is unacceptable.)

My husband feels the same way about syrup. He loves Mrs. Butterworth’s. I think it’s too thick and prefer the cheaper, less dense syrup, which explains why we have three kinds of syrup in our pantry.

I had a roommate in college who was all about name-brand toilet paper. That was a shared expense among the four of us, so when it was my turn I’d pay more, even though I thought it was stupid.

To each his own.