My dearest friend has an ability to open any kitchen cabinet and in seconds pull out the ingredients for a four course meal including desert. Where I can walk into the local market and not find anything for dinner.
I’m lost without a recipe and even with recipe in hand I’m hopeless – Gerbil food is more appealing.
For years I thought I hated cooking because I was bad at it, then figured I was bad at it because I hated it, but in recent months I’ve realized I hate cooking, because I don’t like to eat!
I don’t eat – I snack. A doctor once told me to eat smaller meals more frequently and I took that as a life style choice! But now I am failing Family Meal Time 101.
Our evenings tend to go like this:
After School Snack: This is usually something rather unhealthy in reward for ensuring Mommy isn’t called to the office.
Broccoli: half hour after snack my toddler decides to be a disruptive influence during homework time. Eating chalk is one of her favorites as is climbing the counter tops to get sweets. I refuse to sit on her for a half hour, which would be the only way to get her under control while I do homework with my oldest daughter, and you can never eat enough broccoli!
Juice Box or Chocolate Coconut Milk: My toddler takes medication to help her “GUT”. This must be mixed with something to get it not only into her mouth but to continue down to the before mentioned “GUT”.
Apples or Carrots: Soon after our medicine bribing drinks, I’ll walk into the living room to find the girls eating apples or carrots. I say “You know I‘m planning on starting dinner soon?”
To which my oldest will respond: “I’m not really hungry for dinner, just wanted a little anytime food.”
SIDE NOTE: in the hope of empowering my children to make healthy choices they are allow to eat several “any time foods“, any time, day or night, without asking, even if they did not finish their dinner – which in this case hasn’t been made.
Frozen Veggies: I start preparing for dinner – most evenings this means I have forgotten to thaw something and because by youngest has a restrictive diet I have pulled out many fresh fruits and frozen vegetables and I now have 2 choices either 1) spend the next hour trying not to step on, trip over or screaming at my toddler OR 2) I can start feeding her now. Because unlike most children, the TV isn’t going to do squat to entertain her. There are no games, no activity that will keep her from the kitchen. Short of locking her in her room – which I will Not even consider, she will be under my feet.
As fast as I can microwave veggies, chop cherry tomatoes, cut up grapes, slice apples, slather with sunflower seed butter, my youngest is making it disappear – I can‘t get ahead of it.
By dinner time, every pan is in the sink, dinner is over cooked and tasteless, my youngest has eaten everything in sight, my oldest isn’t hungry and I’m full from the brownie I had 2 hours before. No one ate dinner, everyone is full, and there was no ‘sit down at the table meal’ which is supposed to be the cornerstone of family communication.
The entire dinner is left over. It sits in the fridge for a while, then it goes bad, then it smells, then I remember it’s there.
What is the secret to cooking?