The week's narrative told through its meals

menu.jpgFirst, a small update on the fridge. As I’ve said, Warners’ Stellian came to take the still-malfunctioning on December 1st and give us a much smaller, but working unit. And on Friday the 5th, they called with the mistaken notion that we didn’t have an extended warranty and presented us with a $300 estimate. A mistake that they corrected, but took more than half a day to do so and inform us. This you know.

On Wednesday the 10th, they called to tell us that the warranty company had approved the work, and that they’ve now ordered the parts. This I don’t understand. The warranty company had to approve this? The fridge is broken. *Still*. Warners’ Stellian’s technicians have attempted to fix it several times, but have failed to do so. Does this somehow put into question whether or not the warranty still covers the cost of repairs? Does it mean that the warranty only pay for a couple of *attempts* to fix a covered appliance?

How does this require approval? And even if it does, how does this need to take 9 or 10 days to get approved? Is it such an unbelievable case that it requires vigorous debate? No. It’s crap. That’s what it is.

Okay, so on the 10th, my representatives at Warners’ Stellian have now ordered the parts. And, helpfully, they have absolutely no idea when they will get them. But if past experience is any guide, I’ll be without a fridge for another 20 to 30 days. Because a customer without a major appliance like a refrigerator for 3 months doesn’t instill the team at WS with any sort of urgency at all.

So at the time you read this, we will be going on 15 days with the loaner fridge, and 3 MONTHS (or 14 WEEKS or 98 DAYS, whichever you think sounds more outrageous) without a properly functioning refrigerator. That’s September 18th through today, December 15th.

And we still don’t know when the problem will be solved.

Want to read about my bad experience with Warners’ Stellian and their extended warranty from the start? I’ve created a new category here at the Q-Blog that contains all posts that touch on the subject of my powerfully bad experience with Warners’ Stellian.

[Check it out.](

### The week in meals

In the many days sans refrigerator, my family and I have eaten out too often (and spent a lot of money we wouldn’t ordinarily have spent). I enjoy eating out, but only because it’s a treat. It’s somewhat special. But when you eat out so regularly that you start to get sick of it, it’s as though some of the fun has drained out of life. So while I have no update on the fridge, which is currently still in the shop, I am enjoying life a little bit more.

This past week I’ve been able to cook 4 meals and have enough leftovers to provide a bountiful leftovers night.

On Saturday, I made Bloody Mary burgers. Not so good. Don’t think I’ll be making them again anytime soon.

On Sunday, I made a modified chipotle chili with hamburger, ground turkey, bacon, and Great Northern Beans. Very very tasty. It’s been eaten for 5 meals and there’s still some left over.

On Monday, I made chicken with lemon poppy seed stuffing and gravy for me and my mom, who was in town for the week helping out. The stuffing was easy to make and interesting, made with leeks, celery, olive oil, various items from the spice rack, and crumbled poppyseed muffins, but this last ingredient made the concoction a little too sweet. I might try it again, but using plain old bread instead of muffins. Erin was in Chicago for a meeting this night. I had planned an early bedtime, as Torbin’s been pretty regularly going to sleep at 8pm or shortly thereafter, but it was not to be. At about 9:45, Thessaly woke me up with some coughing, which turned into yelling, which turned into vomiting. Which caused a 9:30pm bedtime into an 11pm bedtime. A subsequent coughing jag at 2:30am (and what turned out to be a stealth barfing) woke me up later that night. And since Erin was out of town, I had to handle the 4:30am feeding of Torbin. And a well-deserved morning of sleeping in until 7:30am was disrupted by an unfortunately timed pre-meeting check-in phone call from Erin. It was a bad night.

On Tuesday, the very very tired chef ordered a large mushroom pizza and cheesy garlic bread from Fat Lorenzo’s. So very good. I love that tubby Italian.

On Wednesday, I made a tasty soup with dumplings made from ground chicken. Also in the soup were penne pasta, grape tomatoes and spinach. Very tasty. Much leftover.

On Thursday, there was enough chili and soup and other items left over that Erin and I were able to mix and match for a very satisfying leftovers night.

On Friday, I made one of the wife’s favorites, smoked paprika chicken with egg noodles. We wolfed that one down and even shared some of it with the little girl, who enjoyed it almost as much as her momma. No leftovers when we make this one.

On Saturday, because we were just so successful with getting our holiday shopping done over 2 weeks early, we celebrated with a take-out order from the 5-8 Club, a purveyor of fine burgers and cheap beer. And we finished off the leftover chili earlier in the day for lunch. Oh, and I made my first foray into baking by nearly ruining a batch of simple, take-out-of-freezer-and-bake Nestlé cookies. Wait. That’s not entirely true. My *first* baking experience was the creation of the lemon poppy seed muffins from a Betty Crocker box that Monday.

### I enjoy cooking and so does the budget

I’m not very ambitious, but I don’t have a lot of kitchen space (or refrigerator space) in which to get real creative, but I find that it’s a fun way to end the workday. I also find that our grocery bill is *significantly* smaller when I take a little time to plan out the week’s menu. Another thing that I’m looking forward to is older kids so that I can enlist them in the program. And then when we’re done, Momma can handle the clean up.