This is how dinner time goes at my house an embarrassingly high number of nights...
"So, what do you want for dinner?" - Me to my hubby (from now on referred to as Fireman because that is what he is) at 5:00 pm.
"It doesn't matter to me. What were you thinking?" - Fireman, while looking slightly alarmed that, while he was working hard outside all day, his wife hadn't planned anything yet.
"I wasn't thinking, that's why I asked." - Me, slightly irritated at Fireman that I was expected to figure out dinner (but mostly at myself for not doing it).
"Do we have anything?" - Fireman, looking even more green around the gills as the possibility of no dinner looms closer.
"No." - Me, thinking that we really do have food around but not anything easy.
Finally, I meet his eyes. In the seven years we've been married, there has been one gigantic vice that we have shared.
Not just any pizza. Coburg Pizza Company pizza. Greasy, cheesy, stuffed crust, pepperoni and sausage Coburg Pizza Company pizza. The kind that makes life blissful for a few delightful hours and then leaves you sweating pizza in bed at midnight cursing that 4th piece.
When our eyes meet, with just one special look, we both know exactly what is going to happen.
"Do you want to call or should I?" - Fireman, with a tone of excitement and defeat all in one.
Now, like I mentioned before, an embarrassing number of nights I would say without hesitation, "You can call." Fireman would sigh, pull out his phone, and dial those ten digits that we know so well. The Coburg Pizza Company would answer the phone with "Hi, Chase Family" having known our number by heart for years. They can usually guess what we want to order and we know exactly how much it will cost us. "See you soon," we'd say. That is how things usually go for us.
But not this night. Maybe it was the sun that peaked from behind a particularly gloomy cloud at just the right moment that inspired me. Maybe it was the two innocent, pure, mostly un-pizza-tainted children looking up at me. Maybe it was the slight biting of my jeans waistband into my side. Whatever it was, this night I would not let the pizza beat us.
"No." - Me, with a triumphant lift of my head and what I imagine to be a little bit of crazy in my eyes.
"Okay..." - Fireman, the slight green tinge making its way back to his face, as the possibility of no dinner overcomes him again.
"No. I mean, I will make dinner." Me, still triumphant, feeling as if I had just stuck my country's flag into a previously undiscovered island.
"Are you sure?" - Fireman, the green fading a bit.
"Yes. Yes, I'm sure." Me, turning with a flip of my hair and leaving Fireman behind, having unnecessarily (yet successfully) panicked and bewildered him in just a few minutes.
He'll be alright.
(In case you're wondering, here is what I made.)
Venison Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 small acorn squash
-- Cut squash in half. Put on a rimmed baking sheet with cut side down. Pour a cup or so of water around squash. Bake at 375 for 50 - 60 minutes.
1/2 c. uncooked bulgar (could use rice too)
1 c. Water
-- Boil water, add bulgar. Let simmer until water is absorbed into bulgar. Remove from heat.
1 T Olive Oil
1/4 medium onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
-- Heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook until translucent and soft.
1/2 lb ground venison (could use ground beef)
Salt and Pepper
-- Add the venison. Cook until no longer pink. Salt and pepper to taste.
The rest of a bottle of white wine (who knows how old) about 1/4 cup
-- Deglaze pan with wine and let it cook for a few minutes to evaporate.
2 T. Arrowroot powder
3/4 C. milk
A few sprigs of sage
Salt and Pepper
-- Sprinkle arrowroot over venison and onions. Cook for a minute. Pour in milk. Add in sage and enough coriander to taste (this is slightly tangy spice that goes well with venison, hard to overdo but probably about 1/2 teaspoon). Cook until mixture is thickened. Salt and Pepper to taste.
-- Add cooked bulgar into venison mixture. Cook for another couple minutes for flavors to combine.
Nutmeg (if you want)
-- After squash are done, stuff with venison mix and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for another 30 minutes.
You could add cheese if you wanted, but I think it would overwhelm the other flavors.
Voila! And, honestly, way better than pizza. Well, maybe not way better...
Honey Bee - Blake Shelton
Little Moments - Brad Paisley
Home - Dierks Bentley
Barefoot Blue Jean Night - Jake Owen