People who update their Facebook pages or Twitter streams with the impressive, healthy, complicated dinners they are concocting for their families are darling.

You know who I’m talking about — those pals who post around 5 p.m. each night “Poached halibut in saffron broth,” “five spice chicken with cucumber salad,” “pan-roasted duck with dried-cherry sauce.” And I’m not talking about professional foodie folks like Aviva and Andrea whose job it is to provide us with recipe inspiration. I’m awed by the doctors, executives, parents who work their booties off all day and once home they turn into Jacques Pépin.

Example of a Facebook-worthy meal

I think it’s interesting to hear what other people are making. I’m not criticizing the practice. It’s great way to track food trends, since according to Facebook half the world is making kale chips, detox smoothies and cake pops. I picture my friends leisurely cooking in enormous kitchens with sparkling copper pots while classical music softly plays.

Susan Albers, Psy. D. of Eating Mindfully writes in her article in Psychology Today, “Food is social. It’s no surprise that food photos have their fair share of time on Facebook.”

But let’s face it: people mainly do the dinner shout-out when they are making something they are proud of.  I usually have to feed my three hungry kids well before my husband rolls in after dark, throwing together our meal with a baby on one hip while overseeing homework and a ringing phone. About half those solo nights I am able to craft something farmers’ market fresh and healthy and possibly Facebook boast-worthy. But with all the steps and prep and hollering of “Two more bites!”, there is no time to drop everything to Tweet the menu.

The other half of our busy weeknight dinners are shamefully quick, easy, sometimes processed, even weird. And I’m tempted to start posting them on Facebook to shake things up.

The type of meal I'm tempted to post on Facebook

Here are some of those anti-boastful meals I have fed my kids, and their accompanying imaginary Facebook updates. Judge away!

“DiGiorno and a banana.”

“Hamburger casserole + bagged Caesar salad.”

“Frozen chicken breasts and broccoli florets. Dessert? Popsicles!”

“It’s clean out the crisper night!  If it’s not moldy, it’s on your plate, covered in ranch dressing!”

“I’m calling it Chinese stir-fry, but I doubt any of the billion people in China have ever imbibed this.”

“Kids: Trader Joe’s nuggets, Mom: Kendall Jackson Reserve.”

“Ortega taco kit, olé!”

“When I told the kids to can it, I meant it! Annie’s Homegrown Organic P’sghetti Loops (I’m even heating them!).”

“Crock pot stew…again. One complaint and you’ll get nothing and like it.”

“Old school night: Fish sticks and Jell-O.”

“It’s peanut butter jelly time.”

Hey, at least no one went to bed hungry.

 

Photos by mojosaurus and kalleboo on Flickr via a Creative Commons license.