Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cooking - gah!

Mmmm. Doesn't that look delicious? Well, I wouldn't know how it tastes, because cooking is stupid.

Inspired by the fabulous Mary Allison and the readers of her blog, The Make Shift Revolution, I decided to ramp it up a notch in the kitchen. My own green-eyed Mama Guilt Monster also played a role in this foolish undertaking. I know I rock this Mama thing. And I know I have other gifts too. But I still listen when my v.o.j. gives me a hard time about not feeding the boys homemade nutritious meals very much. They don't eat total junk (just partial), but we do a lot of repetition and a fair amount of convenience food. In short, they subsist on a steady diet of grapes, cheese, yogurt, and morning star to-ficken nuggets. So shoot me.

So this morning I attempted to force myself to want to and to be better at cooking. Here's how this endeavor consumed (I'm in no mood for puns) my entire day.

1)Woke up feeling guilty about not providing better nutrition for the boys.

2)Spent Boogie's first nap researching recipes and making lists (that's right - plural).

3)Spent an hour and a few limbs at the grocery buying ingredients. Who knew ingredients were so expensive? (although I will say that Mary Allison's grocery list organizational strategies did make the shopping part of this run smoothly, while also catering (again with the puns) to my obsessive compulsive tendencies).

4)Rushed through a sewing project (something I enjoy and am good at) to get dinner going. I Chopped, sauteed, stirred, preheated, greased, and whipped.

And here's where things started to break down (and always seem to). I'm feeling rushed. We're all already hungry. Boogie who's teething is fussing at my feet. Dizzle is dizzying me with questions and "help." We're all fried. I spent a good hour cleaning our teency apartment kitchen (that's a stretch - it should really be called "Wall with Stove") earlier today in preparation.

Then in walks the fella. I probably should have picked another day to do this because the fella left before we all got up and hiked a fourteener today. He got home at...yes...dinner time.

He whisks away the whineys and tidies up a bit (thank goodness), and looks over as I'm chopping away and asks, "What's all that parsley for?"

"Honey," smugly I reply, "That's cilantro."

"Um. No"

"*&#**ing cooking!" "Cooking is *#*(@*&$@! Why do people act like this is $*&*^^ fun? Cooking is **&$**$& stupid."

Toss pot to back burner. Tears. Cursing. Grapes, cheese, yogurt, and morning star to-ficken nuggets.

So shoot me.


  1. awww, man, i really am sad that i inspired such guilt! remember your own revolutionary words: "stop shoulding all over yourself!" for what it's worth, the dinner LOOKS amazing. and you only made one tiny little mistake, right? you can't give up now... you have lists! (and can you share them, by the way?)

  2. Oh, Jessa! I'm so sorry! Kudos for the valiant effort! The perfect, do-it-all mama is such a huge myth! Let it go down the trash shute with your tostada! I hope you can eventually pat yourself on the back for all the work you did. And heck, to me, parsley sounds like it would have worked well for that recipe. Kids are so clueless and have no idea what good stuff they're missing out on!

    But I can totally relate. It's surprisingly hurtful to work so hard for something only to have them not eat it (especially when you've rather do something else with your precious time). We've learned (the hard way) to make recipes that take no more than 20-30 minutes total to make and that way it doesn't feel like such a production, and the pressure is off to make it a big success. (Or I tackle parts of it - washing, chopping, etc. - over the course of the day to make the dinner hour go faster.) Over time we've found 5-6 quick and easy meals that are scary-nutritious that both of our boys love and dependably eat, which means we all too often fall back on those same recipes. But I'm willing to forego variety for the sake of full, happy tummies. You gotta do what works for you, right?!

    We've also found that starting off is the hardest part. If cooking isn't your thing, the learning curve can feel steep and labor-intensive in the beginning but then you find a groove and things get easier eventually. Keep on trying, keep it simple, and most of all, cook whatever makes you happy! The kids can just eat a sandwich. ;)


  3. I'm with you. I don't think cooking is fun, and don't really ever think is going to be. And I don't have the added stress of any little mouths to feed! Troy likes it so he can keep doing it, is my motto! And when he's gone, I love my bagels and mac n cheese, going with what I know I like is comfortable.

  4. Oh sweetie! I sooo feel for you. I too have shed many a tear over a cooking fiasco, just ask my husband. And to add to that, if it weren't for canned veggies, my kids wouldn't know what a vegetable was. The funny thing is my daughter recently exclaimed that I was a really good cook after I was apologizing to someone about not cooking anything fancy. They'll warm your heart one way or another...just appreciate all that God has given you! Hang in there!