The adults rushed out to a long-awaited concert last night, and the kids had a babysitter, which means they got to choose dinner. I would like to report that they voted for cioppino or tamago or the broccoli quiche from Mollie Katzen’s kids cookbooks or other past favorites. Truth compels me to report, though, that corn dogs are their current craze on Babysitter Night. A lot of research points to how much cheaper junk food is than wholesome food, but I found it interesting that the corn dogs, at $1.39 apiece at QFC, actually cost more than the adults’ dinner of grilled Gardenburgers (75 cents apiece).

What I’m fairly sure of at this point is that time and knowledge are as significant as ingredients. If I have the luxury of commiting time to my dinner (e.g., filleting fish or braising meat, or even driving to a store with cheaper ingredients), I can make an inexpensive meal as easily as a costly one. If I’m in a hurry, the cheap and nutritionally bankrupt options appear more plentiful than the cheap and healthy ones. (Even the Gardenburger didn’t quite cut it for us — more on that another day.)  

I did add at least partially backfill the dogs with a pound of grilled $2.99 asparagus. (If I had waited and bought it during my Hunger Challenge run to Ranch 99 Market today, it would have been a $1.99 bunch, or I might have instead chosen the $1.29/lb bok choy that we’re having tonight.)

And maybe next Babysitter Night, I can at least steer them toward Matthew’s pad thai, which the adults like as much as the kids.

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