Cheat Nights


At our house, when the cook—that’d be me—gets a night off, we call it cheat night.

I’m not entirely sure how the nickname stuck but I think it had something to do with me commenting once that I was going to cheat on cooking supper and everyone was going to have a bowl of cereal instead.

I will suggest a cheat night if I’m feeling lazy, not very hungry or my inspiration is depleted of supper ideas. Then there are evenings when my husband will recommend a cheat night.

One of the first things I discovered about him is that he does not  like to wait to eat when he’s really hungry. There’s a reason why microwaves were invented by man. When I ask my husband for his advice on what to fix for supper, that’s his indicator that getting to eat could be two hours away because I most likely don’t have anything pulled out of the freezer and I would spend half an hour filing through recipe cards and cookbooks to find something to fix. When I ask him what we should have for dinner he’ll usually say, “How ‘bout a cheat night?”

Occasionally my kids will request a cheat night for supper. This happens especially if they overheard what I was thinking about cooking and they don’t like the sounds of it or there’s a new box of weekend cereal they’re anxious to open up.

Cheat nights are a treat to my kids because I don’t let them eat cold cereals on school days. I prefer to make them hot breakfasts instead.

Of course, anytime someone suggests we have a cheat night there are usually no objections on my behalf. The only time I don’t give in is if there are leftovers that need to be eaten up. Even then, my husband will offer to eat leftovers so the kids can have a bowl of cereal and he doesn’t have to wait to eat.

Depending on my energy for cooking, how busy we are, and what leftovers are in the refrigerator, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays are sometimes game for cheat nights. I enjoy preparing dinner for my family and having family meals together but sometimes I can be such a cheater when it comes to cooking.


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