I can’t believe this happened to me, of all people.

We went out on our standard “Date Night” — all four of us. Regardless of Dave Ramsey, we still have the urge to celebrate Friday night with an out-on-the-town dinner. Last week we went to Red Robin, this week we went to our favorite Chinese Buffet — an expense we usually reserve for visiting family members.

I mean, this was a real treat. DH always overeats, and so do I. Some of my favorite items are orange chicken, fried doughnuts — that have to be covered in granular sugar. No sesame seeds, please. I like the sticks of chicken with dark red dye that makes them look more tangy than they are.

But the food wasn’t good. The chicken with brocoli was coated in something gelatinous. The chicken on a stick was dry. They served tempura — and there was none of that dark dipping sauce. I asked three different servers about that, because I couldn’t believe they would serve tempura without the right sauce. I thought they didn’t understand my question. Fried doughnuts? They didn’t even have it.

When Cooking Guru called late that night by accidentally hitting speed-dial, I told her all about our horrible meal. “I paid $44 and I wasn’t happy about it.” (In case you’re wondering, I did give the standard tip. It’s not the waitress’ fault the food was no good.)

“I told you this would happen.”

“What?” Shock and horror. “Why?”

“Because as soon as you start cooking at home, even if you’re making pigs in a blanket, food just tastes better at home. The flavors are better, and you know how to make it just right.”

Now that I think about it, she has told me stories of going out with her DH, for Italian, and being really disappointed with the condition of the pasta, and the taste of the meat. But I always ignored her. She’s the Cooking Guru, and she knows too much about food. Too much! She’s just picky.

And yet…

It’s only been 6 months since I started cooking twice a week, and let the record reflect that our meals have been simple, inexpensive, and often nothing to write home about. Did I tell you about failing at Bangers & Mash? Who can fail at that? I did! I mean, the sausage is already cooked, you only have to heat them up, but it wasn’t good.

So here I am, having painted myself into some strange corner of the world where eating out is not satisfying anymore.

And DH has actually requested that I make Redneck Calzone again. I put him off until next week, so I could make Turkey Curry Salad from the WW Make it in Minutes book — which was delightful, by the way. It was a great no-cook meal for hot weather, and since I had no raisins, I used Craisins from Costco, which go very well with the canned turkey. It was another win.

Anyway, I am very surprised that I would adjust to this home-cookin’ thing to the point that I actually…enjoyed…eating what I cook. Huh.

16 oz. cooked turkey (I used canned)

1 tbsp mustard (I use honey mustard)

half cup light mayo

1/4 cup mango chutney (I learned you find this near relish at Ralphs)

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 apple, cut into chucks           (I use an apple-peeler, too, but only because I have one)

2 stalks of celery, cut into chunks (using the scissors made cutting celery, apple, and onion very fast)

8 green onions — or whatever comes in a bunch

1 tbsp. curry powder

1/4 cup Craisins

I just cut the ingrediants — cutting the apple last so it doesn’t turn brown. I mix the mayo, chutney, mustard, curry and pepper together with a rubber spatula. Then I start to stir in the celery, turkey, apple, onion, and craisins.  I always think, “There’s not enough mayo to cover everything,” but it always works out. Then I like to put it in the fridge for a little while before eating. It often tastes better the second day.

The first time DH had this in his lunch, he said, “Oh I loved that stuff with the broccoli!”  (Note: there is no broccoli.)

One Response to “Upshot”
  1. Having sampled your turkey curry salad, I can vouch for its tastiness–even though the list of ingredients sounded rather dubious to me at first. *was raised on hamburger helper by wolves*

    I’ve had so-so dining experiences at buffet restaurants any number of times. It’s like they do a little bit of everything, but nothing very well–and then it all sits around for an undisclosed period of time, which is rarely an improvement. However, I have noticed that fast food doesn’t taste good to me anymore, ever since I pretty much stopped eating it two years ago. I guess I mostly cook at home too, though I wouldn’t call what I do ‘cooking’ exactly. 😉

    Tonight’s dinner was tuna salad wrapped in a tortilla. Exotic!

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