I would love to be a meal planner. I really would. I’d love to be someone who makes a big batch of beans on Sunday and knows the "nine surprising ways to use them all week long". But that's not the life I lead right now. Because instead of one life, I lead two.
The first is the typical nine-to-five life of a media soldier (I'm the Associate Social Media Manager of this website—hi!). The second is the life of someone who runs a restaurant in Brooklyn that’s open until 11pm.
That someone is my boyfriend Bill Clark, co-owner of MeMe's Diner. Not long after we started dating, he told me: "I'm opening a restaurant soon, and our lives are going to change drastically. You know what I mean?" Having little-to-no idea what he meant, I replied with an enthusiastic "Of course! I’m in.”
And I am. Many nights after work, I head to Bill's restaurant and jump right in beside him. When I get there, he's already been working since 9am. If I'm not running food and clearing tables, I'm downstairs helping him prep the batches of biscuits, pies, cakes, babka, and sticky buns he bakes. Sometimes I help him do inventory, or shoot something for their Instagram, or manage their online orders—all the things you need to do to run a restaurant, but don't have time for...because you're busy running a restaurant.
If I'm lucky, Bill and I make it home around 11:30 pm. Once I unlock the door, my priorities are as follows: let the dog into the garden, get a martini in my hand, and get food in my stomach, ideally before the clock strikes midnight.
Of course, getting good food into our stomachs requires having groceries in the house, and that requires a little meal planning, and that—well, please see the beginning of this article.
But one night, while scanning our understocked kitchen for something two tired adults could possibly call dinner, I spied some stragglers: a half-loaf of She Wolf pullman bread, a bunch of Tuscan kale, a couple of lemons, and a box of cherry tomatoes crying to be used up. I hollered for Bill to light the grill, and my favorite quick summer dinner was born.