Monday, March 24, 2014

When I Don't Feel Like Cooking

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No one is immune to it, least of all me. I've had people tell me how much they dread cooking on certain days; how they wish they were "like me," because I always want to cook. *sigh*

Let me be clear. Yes, I cook. And bake. But I do it because, well, I like to eat. And so does my family. And Tim is only known for his boiled hot dogs and scrambled eggs, which are fine on occasion, but not every night.

Today is that day. Let me rephrase -- this week has been that week. I love to blog. I love to write. Taking pretty pictures can be fun. But to clarify, I do not always love to cook. Which is why I'm not posting a recipe, but rather an article about what to do when you don't want to cook. Which, for me, is a large majority of the time.

1. I remember that food is important.
Now that I'm a wife and mom, I can't just say, "Forget dinner, I'm eating cereal." Not that there's anything wrong with the occasional Golden Flakes dinner. But I could do it every single night. My family cannot.
Meals are essential to my family's life and well-being. I am a firm believer that Virginia Woolf was dead on when she said, "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

2. I remember that food is healing.
I have had a relatively easy life, in terms of the rest of the world. But when I was hit hard with an episode of OCD during my pregnancy, few things played much of a role in my ability to function. One was, admittedly, wholesome foods.
Also, Tim is in the ministry, so we tend to have guests over to our house on a fairly regular basis. And he'll tell you, I am not one for small talk. I want to get to the nitty gritty; I want to get to the heart of things with these people I love. While food isn't meant to be a manipulator, it does relax people. It promotes authenticity more than, say, sitting awkwardly in a living room. It relaxes people. "If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him... the people who give you their food give you their heart." Get it, Cesar Chavez.

3.  I remember that food doesn't have to be complicated.
I'm guilty of this. I Pinterest. I find extensive recipes that take forever to make, and half the ingredients have to be bought at Whole Foods, so actually, I can't really afford the meal to begin with. Then I remember...why can't I enjoy a baguette with fresh bruschetta, sliced mozzarella and a bottle of wine?
Okay, actually, I know the answer to that. It's because I don't like bruschetta or wine. I would end up eating cheese and bread...which sounds pretty amazing right about now. 
Okay, how about hummus with pitas and cous cous? That's more my pace. Who said that every single meal needs a protein, starch and vegetable? Sure, it's the preferred way of doing things. But I'm tired of all the rules. I just want to do what works.

4. I remember that food doesn't have to be healthy all the time.
Once again...healthy food is obviously preferred. I'm sure we'd all love to be able to afford the money and time to eat organic and from scratch. But we can't. It's not reality. Let it go.

5. I remember that take-out exists for a reason.
To my knowledge, kids don't grow up remembering that fresh salmon you made them eat. They remember you saying, "Screw the salmon. We're ordering pizza, and we're watching TV while we eat it." Side of guilt not included.

6. I remember that there are far more important things in life than cooking.
Like I said earlier in this post, cooking is important. But it's not the most important thing. That's why I stopped apologizing for taking the occasional two or three day break from blogging recipes -- because I have more important things in my life than always being in the kitchen.


Like playing with him.



And supervising this.

So take a breath, friends. Someway, somehow, you and your family will eat. It doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't have to constantly be jaw-dropping.

And it's totally, perfectly, expectedly normal.


Love and forgetaboutit,




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