Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Am What I Am

Hi, my name is NoMo and I have a confession: I don't like to cook.

I don't like it. I don't derive any pleasure from doing it. In fact, it stresses me out. Timing everything so that it's all hot at the same time. But not too hot or it will burn the mouths of babes. Worrying if you're going to make people sick by undercooking the chicken. Worrying if you overcook the chicken that no one will eat it. Angry because you spent a lot of time making food and a certain somebody won't eat it because it's not grilled cheese. This is not fun for me.

I DO, however, love to bake. But you can't just bake goodies all the time. Brownies for breakfast, lunch and dinner is not cool. Especially when you have two little mouths to feed. (I'm pretty sure an all chocolate diet for kids is frowned upon. I'm not 100% positive though - I didn't read the handbook.)

I was reading Domestic Goddess Kgirl's post at Playdate about a working mother's meal planning, and I was just floored by how she's got her act together. I swear, one of the toughest things about going back to work is not rushing to get the kids out the door and to two different daycares, not rushing through a backlog of work, not rushing through lunch doing Christmas errands with less time than usual because you have to leave early, not rushing to get to two different daycares to pick up the kids and get them home before their mouths and there stomachs complain too loudly - it's that after all this, I then have to find something for dinner. And find it fast. This week I've foisted the dinner-making on Mr Earth, and have been much less stressed because of it.

This past year on mat leave, I have tried and tried to better myself in this arena. Once a week, I would make a healthy, balanced dinner from scratch. Not reheated, not defrosted, not from a can or a mix. From scratch. (And yes, I'm aware that once a week is abysmal, but remember, I am The UnChef). The boys and would go to the local markets and get fresh meat, fresh produce everything. I had some help from this awesome book that my friend at Random House sent me: The Good Food for Families cookbook. It's pretty great - it has lots of easy to follow recipes, advice about what to serve with the main dish, how to make the family meal kid-friendly and stuff about the Canada Food Guide. It's so user-friendly that I actually came to enjoy cooking a meal. The kids still didn't eat it, but oh well. The Boy doesn't venture far off the grains section of the Pyramid, and the Little Guy was just starting solids. I felt pretty good about myself. The quintessential Family Dinner. We even went around the table and shared our "three (favourite) things" of the day.

Needless to say, that has fallen by the wayside since going back to work. It actually fell by the wayside earlier than that, who am I kidding? And now that the Little Guy is turning out to be such an adventurous eater (beets! parsnips! salmon! bok choy!), I want to get some of that back. I feel so pressed for time, though. At the end of the day, I'm just happy if the four food groups re represented. I already spend so much of my evenings prepping for the next day so that I can get out the door and to work on time, if I add prepping a meal, I fear that I will lose any "me" time that I've scrounged for myself. Ack! Get out the world's smallest violins and play a sad song for me will you? Parenting is hard and I should suck it up.

Cooking is not my talent. No sir. I am good at many things, and that is not one of them. I need one of those doohickies from Star Trek where you just tell it what food you want and it appears. OH! That reminds me - something I AM good at: spotting the hotties. Get yourself on over to Playdate and see what Hollywood hotties made Mama Drama's list. You'll be surprised.

10 comments:

painted maypole said...

while cooking is not my fave thing to do, I'm not near as bad as a friend of mine, who said she'd rather be cleaning toilets.

Mac and Cheese said...

We are so the same person.

kgirl said...

I think you're on the right track. Trust me, much as I enjoy cooking, it's a lot less enjoyable right now. Hopefully once things calm down and we all get adjusted to our new normal, feeding my people won't seem as daunting.

I am in real danger of losing my domestic goddess status, trust me.

Mary G said...

Yeah. And me. JG says that my idea of gourmet food is a new mix. True. My least favourite thing is making salads -- time consuming and messy. Especially annoying when the junior diners roll their eyes and refuse even to try whatever it is. I make huge batches of stuff when I do cook and freeze portions for later.

When my kids hit the teens I coerced them into doing the cooking -- I left ingredients and instructions and came home to a hot meal. Mostly. It worked, too, because they are both splendid cooks and like doing it. Then they left home and I got the job back. Sigh.

motherbumper said...

WAIT - there's a handbook? No one told me about no stinkin' handbook.

ewe are here said...

Cooking isn't fun when it becomes a chore.

Here's to baking brownies! yum

Erin said...

It is hard but because I work every second day we coast on crap every second night. I keep lots of fruits and veggies on hand at the ready and call that good enough.

Beck said...

I think that it's really hard to work full-time AND keep a family well-fed and healthy. The women I know who do it well have figured out a system - freezing things ahead of time, using their crock-pots regularily AND having their husband step in when he can. But it's certainly not easy.

bren j. said...

I'm with Beck about the freezing meals and crock pot.....but mmmmm......brownies.....

bren j. said...

And you know, I just remembered, I even have a recipe for brownies in a CROCKPOT! :)