What’s For Dinner? The Second Week of the Second Year of the New Abnormal

Janet Zinn
4 min readJan 15, 2023

I was preparing dinner as I do many nights. Last night was pesto glazed salmon and garlic-marinaded skirt steak with sauteed spinach, garlic bread, and a spicy salad. Thanks to Marion Zinn, my mother-in-law, I have the best marinade for the steak. She was a wonderful hostess and served many delicious dishes. Conversely, my mother would get anxious when hosting guests. Nonetheless she deserves a shout out as an excellent baker. All three of my siblings and I have fond memories of annual birthday cakes baked from scratch, stored on a glass cake plate with an aluminum cake dome. I used to cook and bake regularly, but as life’s responsibilities expanded, my domestic duties dwindled.

Sometimes, though, I want to have a home cooked meal. I shopped at the farmer’s market gathering some ingredients for dinner, and foraged the refrigerator for the rest. Even as I began the prep work, I remained hopeful for a nice dinner. Inevitably, by early evening, I was forgetting one thing or another, and my hope slipped to a tepid aspiration for a good enough meal. Perhaps it’s this feeling along with my full schedule that diminishes my fondness for cooking these days.

I realized, which might mean I’m late to the game, that planning, and subsequently serving, dinner is a process that mimics the complications of caring for oneself and perhaps others. First there’s the consideration of taste. What do I like? What does Larry like? Are there foods that appeal to us as the same time? If not, what variations do I make? Will I challenge myself with a new recipe or will I rely on the tried and true? Not only does flavor matter, but so does nutrition. I’m not a stickler that every meal meets the daily requirements of a balanced meal plan. However, I do like to have a variety of tastes, textures and basic health guidelines met.

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Janet Zinn

NYC Psychotherapist, writer, wife, mother, & more...