I made Chili Mac for dinner tonight.
I’m pretty sure my husband could tell that I was high.
Our evening routine changed recently when our middle daughter started karate, which meets Monday and Wednesday evenings. I get home at 5:15 and everyone else gets home around 6:00. As the mom (obviously) I am expected to cook dinner. But as a tired, hungry (hangry) working mom, sometimes the very idea of cooking dinner exhausts me. I dilly-dally in the garden, snack on carbs, and waste time trying to dredge up the motivation to cook. Then I get cranky, because our routine is pushed back and it’s bedtime and kids aren’t ready for bed and I am tired and I just want to go to sleep or at least be off-duty.
This Monday I knew I had some leftover rice to use up, and carrots, peas and green onions. Sounds like fried rice to me. I knew coming home to an empty house that I had two options: relax by watching a show and possibly lose my motivation to cook the damn dinner or, just cook the rice as soon as I got home. I was utterly exhausted that day.
I decided to smoke a little bowl of this sativa-leaning hybrid, Sour Lemon Kush. I sat in my backyard, smoked, enjoyed it. (It’s a different experience enjoying a bowl in the backyard in the fresh air when no one is home than it is sneaking a few puffs by the side of the house.) I came inside, got out the veggies, the coconut oil, the rice, a couple of eggs and some shrimp. By the time the rest of the family got home, dinner was almost ready and I was happily able to respond to all the things they wanted to communicate. Discipline issue with the tween? No problem. I’ve got your back, honey. Let’s tell her she’s grounded and give her opportunities to show respect, until she really demonstrates a respectful attitude. Great day at karate? Great! I’m so proud of the effort you are putting into that!
Tuesday evening did not go so well. Everyone was home when I got home, so I didn’t get any “transition time,” and I didn’t smoke. I reheated frozen soup after a trip to the library for a book someone needed yesterday. Dinner was late and I was cranky. My husband had good humor about it, but it was a (typical) rough evening.
Wednesday I got home before everyone else again and smoked a few puffs before trying to figure out dinner. (Sometimes I meal plan for the month, but I haven’t for this month, because this spring weather oscillates between nice and wintery, when warm-soup hits the spot, and “almost summer” when I’d really prefer more of an antipasti platter.) We had no meat defrosted and there wasn’t anything dinner-like in the fridge, but the freezer is well-stocked with soups and such. Roasted tomatoes. Chili. Chicken Stock.
It was a stormy day. Gray and rainy. Kinda chilly. Pasta would be quick and comforting… with chili. I’ve heard of Chili Mac before, but I’ve only ever really thought it sounded like a good idea when I was under the influence of cannabis. So I figured tonight’s the night. I’ll try to make it. I put the frozen chili in a pan, boiled some macaroni, and soon the rest of the family got home and asked “What’s for dinner?”
“Chili Mac.” I said triumphantly. “Are you supposed to make it with a cheese sauce or just top it with shredded cheese?” I looked at my husband. He grew up with financially-deprived parents in eighties; surely he would have an expectation for what a good chili mac would taste like.
“Chili Mac?” He and the 12-year-old asked.
“Yeah, it’s like chili and mac-and-cheese!” I said, asking again about the cheese sauce vs cheese.”
“I have no idea.” my husband said, laughing at me and my good nature and my stomach-turning dinner choice.
I remembered something my church used to serve occasionally when the organist’s wife was in charge of meal prep. I think she called in Cincinati Spaghetti? It was spaghetti topped with chili, shredded cheddar cheese and diced onion. No cheese sauce there. I thought for a bit. Something about being a little high makes me not mind an extra step in the process. “I’ll make a cheese sauce AND we’ll sprinkle cheese on top.” I decided.
So I did.
And my husband liked it.
I liked it.
My 12-year-old liked it.
My three-year-old ate the pasta and a bite of chili along with the “salad” she makes for herself every night: frozen blueberries and frozen mango topped with garden-fresh mint leaves.
My 7-year-old made herself a PBJ.
After dinner I got distracted getting things ready for school tomorrow and when I returned to the kitchen I found my 7-year-old voluntarily washing dishes in hopes of earning a prize from the prize box. (There’s a fresh supply of cheap and chewy fruit snacks in there.)
I call that evening a win.
Now if only I had a strain of cannabis on hand that would help me get to sleep…