Thursday, February 21, 2008

" I don't cook"

I have never quite understood what people mean when they say, "I don't cook." First of all, I want to say, "Is that an option?" But what are they, or you, saying? Does it mean that you never cooked because your mom never taught you and that it somehow doesn't apply to you? Does it mean that you tried a few times and failed? Does it mean that you would rather just eat out and not do dishes? I am not sure but however you paint it, it's just a stupid excuse for something you really should be doing. Now, I don't mean you have to cook every night and it doesn't have to be a gourmet meal, but you need to cook. Period. First of all, it is a form of love and service for your family. Second, it is making sure that your family gets nutrition. Third, you are teaching your daughter what she should be doing when she gets married.
If you are just intimidated by the whole process, you just need to start. You will mess up and try things that just don't work out right but you need to just start. And for those of you who do cook but make the same 10 recipes, you need to learn a few new tricks too. No one should feel over burdened, dinner is a hard time of day when the kids are all asking for your help and you are just tired. Start small. For me, I have lots of recipes that I have made over the years, but I am getting tired of many of the old stand byes. This year I am going to make one new recipe a week. By the end of the year, I will have tried 52 new recipes. That is a lot. I am sure I will only keep half of them around but at least we will have a little adventure. If you even just try one new one per month, you have 12. I make out a two week schedule and plot out my meals, I take 2 days off max per week. This way, I make sure I have the ingredients ahead of time and I am not surprised each day at 6 that dinner has to be made. It was planned ahead of time.
For some great recipe ideas, I found a great little magazine at my son's Dr.'s office the other day. It is the size of a Reader's Digest and is full of healthy and yummy recipes. It is called Everyday Food. It is from PBS network. I am ordering it. They had 12 different copies in the office and while I waited for him, I copied several recipes. It is so easy to get stuck in the same old routines. I shy away from recipes that have different ingredients but have vowed to change this year. I just stocked my pantry with Chinese spices and sauces and my recipe repertoire has just been expanded greatly. What a little Hoisin sauce will do is amazing! Try it out. Be adventurous! Your kids are developing their taste buds at this stage in life, they will not like a lot of variety at first, but if you keep feeding them the same old stuff, they will never learn to appreciate the fine food in life!


briansarahannah said...

I think people say they don't cook, just thinking their cooking isn't very good. My cooking isn't always the best, but I love trying, and I think my husband appreciates that.

shawni said...

Hey Shari, I just read your story and loved it. Thanks for sharing all that. You made me even more motivated to stick with this thing. It's going well so far, and Lucy's not dying of deprivation! Thanks so much for your help.