Thursday, March 12, 2009

Empty Shelf

There's another reason I won't win The Mother of the Year Award any time soon.

I hate cooking.

I have been very vocal about this and anyone who knows me knows that I really am not all about being a slave to the stove.

Let me clarify a little for you. There's a difference between hating cooking and being able to cook. I can cook and I do it very well. I have no choice about it. My DNA set that standard a long time ago. I've said for years that my Mama is Emeril's relative. That woman can cook anything she wants. I can't tell you how many times she's made something that was just amazing....and we never see it again. She just wanted to try it. It was good and she moved on. My brother is an amazing cook. He LOVES to cook. I haven't tasted anything bad he's cooked yet.

Small aside here: I saw a recipe for Shepherd's Pie. I have never had that particular dish. It looked simple enough. I called my mother to ask her a question about it and she said she's never made it so she didn't know. What??? I asked what was up with that?? Why hadn't she made this dish before?? Know what she said to me? Make it and let her know how it turns out, she might just try it herself. *shocked face* Like I, the daughter of The Great Cook, would DARE think I could put myself on the same level as her. I made it, it was good, and I called her right on up and told her to try it. That was like a shining moment or something for me. Sad, huh? (For all of you getting ready to express shock over my not ever having had this dish? Save it. I had to try so many other dishes growing up, it's not even funny. I have to forgive my Mama for not doing that particular one.)

Me? Eh, not so much. I have some good dishes that make my children skip when they find out I'm cooking them. I get effusive compliments at the table during most meals. (I'm still not sure if they're genuine or if my people don't want to cook, either.)

I get tired of the same old stuff week after week. I told my husband that the ONE thing that drives me crazy about being a wife and mother is the meal planning. Ohhhh, how I hate meal planning. I don't mind grocery shopping, but I do mind the planning of meals and making the list. Nothing irritates me more than for a kid to say, "Humph, I didn't want THAT for supper." Oh, really, Sweet Child of Mine? My eyebrow goes up and gets lost in my hair and I stare at that sweet child until they start eating. (This works with the girls-not The Boy so much-he's a stubborn one, that kid.)

Last week I sat down with some of my cook books to see if I could get some new fresh ideas. I swear to you, it was torture. I HATE doing that. I told both Carla and Mama that if I was ever captured and my captors wanted to torture me? Make me browse cookbooks. Both laughed at me because that's one of their greatest pleasures. Both of them could sit for hours and look at recipes and probably make all of them with finesse.

I told The Man the other day while making a meal that I have visions of one day...when the nest is empty.....of us eating out at night. Every night. I can dream, right? I'm not saying it'll happen that way, but that thought sees me through.

I also feel I shouldn't have to suffer alone. I make meal preparation time a family deal. (minus The Boy-he's not ready yet) All of us are active and helping with some aspect of it. I buy simple biscuit mixes so that Makenna can fully prepare that side on her own. She's become right skilled about it. Paige can prepare meats and even cook them on her George Foreman grill. The Man is the runner and helps with heavy dishes out of the oven, makes tea, and lets me know if my seasoning is right in sauces. I guess that means I incorporate child labor? I look at it as I'm preparing my children to one day be on their own. At least I'll know they won't starve, except by choice.

Again, I miss out on that elusive award. Really, though, doesn't that make me normal? Seriously, who truly loves every single aspect of their jobs? I believe, in the long run, I'm just like everyone else. Making it day by day.....meal by meal.


ronee said...

I am so glad to hear other people live my life. My family has their favs..and rarely like to live outside that shell!
oh well!

Krys72599 said...

The closest thing to a cook about me is my maiden name (Cook).
My mom never taught me; in fact, she didn't/doesn't like it either.
I'd rather make a HUGE mother-of-a-meal, like Thanksgiving, where we all sit down and eat for two hours and then clean for an hour and then eat again for another two, than make a darned dinner every single night that DH eats in 10 minutes and is done with before I even start mine...
There's just the two of us - here's our weekly schedule:
Monday - dinner at home
Tuesday - $.99 Whoppers at Burger King
Wednesday - dinner at home
Thursday - dinner at Costco: one slice pizza and hot dog combo - grand total of $3.73
Friday - sub if we're on the way to the lake, otherwise dinner at home
Saturday and Sunday - we eat out since we're at the lake and don't keep food there (yea, that's been working for 8 years now...)

Monogram Queen said...

Oh God Hope, I hate meal planning too and i'm such a lax cook and housekeeper it's shameful.
My dirty little secret!

Miss Hope said...

I wanna be you Miss Krys!!!

Anonymous said...

Hope you know me I love to cook, more than anything I like to cook quick a usually simple meals. After all it's just me and the boy, and he'll eat anything. I hate planning out meals, cause I never know how I'll be feeling that day. I'm working on teaching the boy to cook more or at least help me out. I'm adding recipes to my blog, most are kid friendly and easy to make. Feel free to pick my mind with food questions, who knows what random thing I'll remember, like those persimmons.

Michelle said...

love to cook hate to plan and clean up afterwards. Love the cookbooks but tend to use them for ideas and then do it my way!

If funny how much alike and different we really are! Sometimes you'll do a post that makes me think about it! I think maybe your mother and I are more alike is this aspect!

Oh...I've never done the Shepherds Pie either...don't really know why?

Sam, Missy and Alex said...

Ooo ugh! I am with you, don't like the whole planning of a meal. I love when someone has a flashy new recipe and it sounds great but to have to hunt for it ugh! no way!

I still think your rockin' even if you don't like all aspects of the job!!

Anonymous said...

Can I just say - I LOVE TO COOK. I'm right there with ya on the meal planning though but oh how I love to get in the kitchen and rattle some pots 'n pans.

You nor I neither one may be getting Mother of the Year anytime soon but YOU have an award waiting over on my blog :).

Thanks for all you give me, Hope!

Stefany said...

Is it equally wrong if I love to cook but HATE (no really despise) cleaning up.

Denise said...

My cooking prep usually involves standing in front of a shelf of cans and boxes at about 6:15 p.m. and trying to figure something out. HATE it!

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I love shepherd's pie. My grandma used to make it with turkey. Once, last year, we acquired fresh elk meat and donated it to the school lunch program and they made shepherd's pie with it. Nothing compares. I am glad you have discovered this culinary treasure. Now you have to teach me about grits. I've only had them once and they were terrible, colouring my perception of all grits. Of course, to be fair, I was in a truck stop in Kentucky so... they couldn't be the measure, could they?

Busy Texas Dee said...

You sound just like me. I hate to cook. I can do it but I hate it. But again we have to feed our children. Ashley is a big help with the cooking. Some days she will cook because she wants to try something. Michael rarly cooks because he is always working on the house. Even if we are using the outside grill it's usually me doing it because he is busy. Both my little ones think they have to be at the stove with you stirring something. So I guess that's a good start at teaching them. Of course someone stays right with them. Sweet Pea will stir for a second and then has to taste whatever it is she is stirring. And of course the spoon goes right back into whatever it is she has in front of her.

Miss Hope said...

Oh, Lawn, grits are a divine pleasure! Happiness reigns through my house when I make a big pot of them! Except when my mother-in-law visits. She, too, can't find the tasteful goodness in them. If ever you are this way? I promise I'll make you some and you shall love them!

C said...

Now, see, I *love* being in the kitchen, and really don't even mind dishes so much... but I *despise* folding and putting away laundry. We all have our "things," right? (By the way, if you ever need cheap, easy recipes let me know what you like and I'll send some along to you. :) )

AndreaLeigh said...

cooking stresses me out! i love the end result, but i get seriously worked up by the process and i'm not sure why. i'm glad the crew does their part, though!

Tracey said...

I HATE meal planning. And the shopping isn't much better. If someone else would do that part of the meals, I wouldn't mind the cooking so much...

I Am Boymom said...

I didn't grow up learning how to cook, except for 7th grade Home Ec. I am so NOT a cook and so meal times around my house are a real struggle for all of us. I make about 6 things that actually turn out decent enough to eat, I just really despise the whole cooking thing in general. I really need to take the time to come up with some new meal ideas, but the whole process is just torturous. I do notice that it helps a bit when the family get involved in the preparation.