I was catching up on blogs and came across a post on Orangette about everyday cooking. I nodded vigorously as I read and then followed the links. I read three articles that were so different on the topic of home cooking, but I related to all of them. My enthusiasm and energy for cooking varies with what is going on in my life and for whom I am cooking. For instance, the first roommate I had in Atlanta was a good cook; she and I took turns making dinner which helped to increase my confidence in the kitchen. When I lived in Durham, Beth and I were house mates. Beth is an amazing cook; we took turns cooking, but when it was my turn, we would often eat out. However, we hosted a few parties which made it seem feasible to cook for and host a crowd even in our small space. I learned many things from her, but the things related to this post are washing dishes and trying new cooking techniques. One of the unexpected benefits of being in book clubs in both cities is that we hosted meetings with food and I got to practice preparing meals for a group.
When we moved to MA, I was newly married and excited to try out all the cookbooks for which we had registered. We also had many brand new, fancy cooking utensils and dishes. As time went on, my enthusiasm dimmed and while I still prepare food for book clubs and other parties, the everyday cooking game is weak.
While I still enjoy reading food blogs and eating, I am not much of a cook. I aspire for us to have homemade food on the table most nights and want to be a better cook. We are SUPER SUPER SUPER lucky that my mother, aunts, and other relatives so generously cook and freeze food, so that most nights we defrost something that is homemade, pretty nutritious, and delicious.
I felt so much relief and validation when I read this piece by Luisa who is a pretty accomplished food blogger. It made made me feel better about feeling bitter when the Little One would reject the attempts I made at cooking well for her or when a dish that was supposed to take an hour, took me much longer and I cried when she still would not eat it. The first piece she mentioned, To Cook or Not to Cook, made me laugh so hard. I especially related to the daughter's viewpoint of her mother's cooking attempts. I have been trying to engage the Little One in cooking more and vow to try to keep the food preparation part of eating fun for both of us. I am not sure if I will succeed, but at least I have it in mind. The second piece, What if You Just Hate Making Dinner? also had me nodding my head in agreement. I think that I am drawn to the glamour and promise of preparing a good meal, the way it is portrayed on food blogs or in movies. However, the every day grind of daily dinner stresses me out; even with all the yummy food in our freezer, I find myself bored with the options. I want to find a balance between the food bloggers whose work I admire deeply, the writers of these pieces to whom I can relate, and the reality in which I am living.
I have had food resolutions in the past. I am going to try again. In 2015, I would like to prepare a home cooked meal which I define as cooking and serving a meal on the same day at least once a month. I am going to make it slightly easier on myself and say an *average* of once a month.
If you have any advice or things which work well for feeding yourself and your loved ones on a daily basis, I would love to hear.