A Happy Meal not on McDonald’s menu

It began simply enough. A need for food. Dinner.

Rather, breakfast.

You see, I’m too often guilty of not eating during the day due to lack of interest or appetite and then scrounging in the evening for whatever’s quick and reasonably nutritious. Peanut butter, quesadilla, a couple handfuls of the Kirkland tortilla chips from Costco that I love, a can of soup, an egg with a slice of Dave’s Killer Bread — sadly, these comprise most of my meals.

My aversion to the kitchen is no reflection on my feeling about cooking. I love to cook. Love it. It’s the kitchen. It’s bad juju in the kitchen.

More than that, I’ve just not been able to shake the images of all that rat product, turds, hair, urine and smell introduced in the room when the landlords were pretending to deal with the rats in the ceiling many months ago. Even though I’ve scrubbed that kitchen immaculately, that nightmare … {shudder} remains. Afterward, cooking all but ceased completely. I scrape by.

After an overdue jog around the park yesterday, I decided to do something kind for myself. Cook a nutritious and pleasing meal.

Wasn’t as easy as it sounds, I’ll admit that. The pickins’ are pretty pitiful. I scrounged. Then inspiration struck!

My favorite vegetable is spinach. I looove spinach. When I was a girl and my mother gave me and my sister the choice of any foods we wanted on our birthdays, mine was always: pigs in a blanket (hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls) and spinach. To this day, that remains my favorite b-day meal.

Fresh spinach is preferable — Costco’s beautiful baby spinach is to die for! — yet I won’t turn down frozen.

So from these:

the makings for a white sauce

I created a simple white sauce: 1 tablespoon butter … 1 tablespoon flour … over heat stirred into a roux … 1/2 cup of diluted half-and-half … a generous sprinkle of nutmeg … a pinch of sea salt and black pepper

That half gallon of half-and-half btw? About $2.50 at Costco. It’s half that price for a pint in markets.

Then from the freezer:

frozen spinach. I'll take it.

about half the bag = half a pound added to the sauce. Since it reduces significantly, I kept adding (also utilizing the ice as additional liquid) until it achieved the perfect consistency of creamed spinach.


homegrown from Judy

Eggs. I absolutely love eggs! And they love me. Two. From Judy’s backyard chickens. Cooked in a smidge of butter to sunny-side-up perfection. Runny yolks rock!

None of this was planned. It just unfolded serendipitiously.

My Happy Meal:

My Happy Meal

Until the Attack of the Flatware:

Unhappy Meal

The meal was perfection! The rabbit pulled outta the hat! And deeeeeeeelish!


19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Raymond
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 13:43:19

    Love your culinary creation, could you maybe sell your idea to MickeyD’s? At least send a picture… šŸ™‚


  2. inaformerlifeanexpat
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 14:07:53

    Creative, but arruugh!


  3. katie
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 15:48:31

    In a word: Yum! I love spinach,especially spinach salad, but creamed spinach is awesome too! I have a recipe for creamed spinach I got off of the Food Network site ages ago.’I’ll see if I can find it and post it at some point -it was really good.


    • allycatadventures
      Sep 30, 2010 @ 17:16:49

      @katie – Food Network’s addicting! I don’t care for rich foods, buttery sauces and the sort — how unAmerican am I, I know! — and I find many creamed spinach recipes too rich. Not that a recipe’s necessary, it’s a basic white sauce; however, I make it a point to keep it as light as possible and the 1 TB of butter is a minimum and just right. Will be curious what your recipe looks like, hope you find it!


  4. mkirkd
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 16:25:04

    What a fun meal and I really like cream spinach too! We got some chicks in the spring and should have fresh eggs very soon…and one of the chicks is now a rooster.


    • allycatadventures
      Sep 30, 2010 @ 17:20:28

      @mkirkd – Very rare that I eat saucy foods – lol – but with fall weather, a little warmth and richness (very little) is really satisfying. Aren’t fresh eggs the best?! I used to work with a woman who for a buck sold a dozen eggs to coworkers. It was hard to go back to the market variety after that!!


  5. mkirkd
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 17:34:18

    I used to give my eggs away…this time I don’t have as many chickens…just 4 hens so we won’t have tons of extra eggs.

    Wish fall would come here it was anotehr record breaker today 103 I think…I want some coolness please!


    • allycatadventures
      Sep 30, 2010 @ 17:51:46

      @mkirkd – Yes, I have no bananas, I mean eggs, for you but if it’s coolness you want, THAT we have in overabundance. Our so-called summer was the worst in recent memory of folks who’ve lived here all their lives, with about 20 minutes of sun and topping maybe 93 for all of 5 seconds. So please, please let me send you coolness! … as much as you wish … if you’ll send over some sunshine and heat! Deal?


      • mkirkd
        Sep 30, 2010 @ 18:04:20

        Oh I love that yes I have no bananas….I thought you were young…anyway heat and sun coming your way…oh were are you?

        This was the hottest summer on record and the hottest Sept ever…tired of all the heat. *wipes forehead*


        • allycatadventures
          Sep 30, 2010 @ 18:18:00

          @mkirkd – I am young! When I’m not 250 years old. The bananas tune was before my time, it’s just one of those quirky bits stored in the mind. How odd, you have record summer heat and we record summer cold gray. {blow blow blow blow} There’s the chilly air being fanned your way. How ’bout cold overcast? Want some of that too? {whooosh whooosh whooosh} There, feeling better? šŸ˜‰


          • mkirkd
            Oct 01, 2010 @ 15:42:26

            Yes I’ll take the cool and the overcast please…thanks so much, I’m sure the temps will cool down now….you are such a good friend!


  6. revstan
    Oct 01, 2010 @ 14:08:18

    Love your happy meal. I love cooking but don’t do anywhere near as much since I’ve been single. Just can’t be bothered to spend time on something just for myself. I do make vats of soup for the freezer thought and then I’ll just some of that heated in the microwave with a boiled egg cut up on top. Love a boiled egg or eggs generally.


  7. Redscylla
    Oct 01, 2010 @ 14:20:38

    *sigh* I wish I liked eggs. They always look so nice, but the smell…


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