Our 7 Day No-Cooking Plan

A Sheltering-in-Place Escape from the Kitchen

Our 7 Day No-Cooking Plan

It seemed like a fun idea at the time. If you can’t go on vacation, let the vacation come to you — seven days of no-cooking bliss, just ordering-in dinner! Think of it: a week freed from menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and kitchen clean-up. Short of a cure for COVID-19, it’s my idea of earthly delight.

AND as an added bonus: a week of order-in meals means a week of yummy ready-made lunches since take-out food is always way too much to eat at one sitting. So, happy plan indeed!

What could go wrong? After an unfortunate food delivery disaster last week, we had mastered the art of online ordering. Or I should say, Handsome Hubby assured me he had the whole process down pat. We were good to go for our No-Cooking Stay-at-Home Stay-Out-of-the-Kitchen Vacation.

What could go wrong for two many-years happily-married middle-aged muddlers?

Don’t ask.

OK, ask.

The answer: Minor, almost major, marital mayhem.

Day One: The No-Cooking Kick-Off

The first day was easy. Even though it wasn’t part of the official no-cooking plan, we already have a monthly ritual. We order in bagels and lox from a local shop and gorge ourselves on fattening deli delights.

Deli delish! We so gorge ourselves that we frequently can’t eat dinner. And that’s what happened. So, Day One was a breeze. No restaurants to choose between. No complicated computerized options to select. And no delivery systems to navigate or fret about.

Day Two: Perfect Ordering Harmony

Like two cylinders in a well-oiled machine, Handsome Hubby and I were clicking in high gear. We were jonesing for Mexican food, and so, quickly agreed it was time for tacos, tamales, and taquitos. Yes, sir, it was burritos or bust!

Handsome Hubby researched the best Mexican restaurants within our delivery zone with the devotion and skill he normally reserves for the most important of his legal briefs. After 45 minutes, he solemnly announced his restaurant pick.

Next, we studied the take-out menu with all the due diligence required, then carefully made our selections, and ordered.

I didn’t tell HH, but I did have some residual anxiety about whether our dinner would actually arrive, given last week’s DoorDash fiasco, when he and the delivery guy had a shouting match over the phone and our food never arrived.

But this time, there was no problem. Our meal arrived on time, hot, smelling delicious, and then, tasting even better. And even though we stuffed ourselves, we had leftovers for lunch the next day.

Our no-cooking vacation was off to a great start. ¡Olé!

Day Three: Aegean Sea

Smooth sailing continued on the third day. We were still seeing eye to eye on restaurant picks, quickly agreeing on Mediterranean food from our favorite Greek restaurant — a gyro platter for me, a falafel wrap for HH, and baklava for two, if you please! Óra!

Day Four: HH Pushes His Luck

“Ethiopian?” he suggested.

“Gee, not tonight, sweetie,” I said — which, after 33 years of marriage plus five years of dating, is wife code for “Hell no” — OBVIOUS — obvious to any woman that is!

“Oh. Ok. Italian?” HH queried.

“Sure,” I sweetly replied, wondering why he had to ask. I’m always down for Italian. Second to bagels and lox, what else is better?

As an aside: This ordering-in plan was especially glorious for me because, as you might recall, HH is vegan while I’m a card-carrying carnivore. I try to be respectful of his righteous plant-and-planet-loving ways when I cook especially during these close quarters shelter-in-place days. BUT when we get delivery, I figure what HH can’t smell cooking doesn’t “technically” count as disrespecting his healthy eating choices. So, I’ve been ordering beefy delights with abandon all week long!

Tonight’s pick — spaghetti with meatballs and as far as I was concerned, forget the “spaghett” and go extra on the meatballs!

Day 5: No-Cook Stormy Seas

“So, since you’re anti-Moroccan, how about Thai?”

“Huh? Who’s anti-Moroccan? I’d love to try Moroccan food!” I enthused.

“What? You didn’t want Moroccan last night,” HH said with a huff.

“You said ETHIOPIAN. Not Moroccan. You know how much I want to go to Morocco. I’d LOVE to try Moroccan food. That would be great.”

“I don’t know of any Moroccan restaurants,” he said with a sniff and a sulk. “And since I ordered Italian for you last night, it’s my turn tonight. I want Ethiopian food and I’m ordering Ethiopian food. Besides, I’m the one doing all the work ordering all this food.”

So, he did.

I considered picking a fight over the “I’m doing all the work” line but didn’t. I contemplated pointing out that I do the lion’s share of ordering groceries, planning meals, and cooking dinners AND that the weeklong, no-cooking arrangement was to give ME a break from dealing with “all the work.” But I didn’t. Because I’m a superior person. An adult. I just stomped out of the room and pouted.

Then our Ethiopian food arrived. And I have to admit, it wasn’t all that bad. I had forgotten how much I actually like injera, the spongey pancake-y bread, upon which rubbery surface are placed an array of foods, including curries and spicy stews — meats and vegetables of all kinds. Score 1 for HH!

Day Six: Salad is Our Salvation

I wanted Chinese. He thinks Chinese is too bland.

He wanted Thai. I think Thai is too spicy.

“How about Mexican?” I suggested.

“We had Mexican the other night,” he reminded me — none too nicely I might add.

“Pizza?”

“No.”

“Peruvian?”

“Now you’re just naming foods and countries that begin with the letter P,” HH accused me.

“Pshaw,” I replied.

To avoid continued menu — and marital — bickering, we decided to keep it simple and green. We ordered salads. Aside from the crunch of lettuce, peace and quiet reigned supreme.

Day Seven: The Deliveryman Rested

We cracked. We couldn’t handle the restaurant picking pressure. Didn’t think the marriage could stand the test. One-hundred-forty-plus days of sheltering in place together are enough of a challenge. Living and working together is one thing. Sharing the remote control is another. But having to agree on the same order-in restaurant seven nights in a row was a test too great.

So, technically, even though one day remained on our no-cooking vacation, I cooked. It couldn’t be helped! It was the only recipe that could save our marriage!

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