Monday, November 12, 2012

What's for Dinner?

So the other night my 9-year-old had frozen waffles and microwaved eggs for dinnerthis after two nights of me not cooking at alland I had to admit that I might have a cooking problem.

I just don’t like to cook. I like to eat, but I don’t like to cook. 

I’m not sure when this started. 

I used to like cooking well enough. But then my boys started growing, the question “What’s for dinner?” started to grate on my nerves, and I began to hate it. 

One thing I can say is I'm tired of making the same old meals, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for growth, because my youngest likes exactly four things—tacos, pasta with tomato sauce, baked chicken, and roast beef. 

Lasagna, or indeed, a casserole of any type? Nope. 

Soup of any kind? Nope. 

Stew of any kind? Nope. 

Chicken stuffed with anything or topped with anything? Nope. Nope. Nope.  

So, either I resign myself to becoming a short-order cook (not happening), I cook what I want and give my son a bowl of cereal, or I give up completely and rarely cook unless I’m in the mood for pasta. I’ve chosen Option 3.

My husband, who will eat anything, is less than happy with this phase of our marriage. He walks around the house, rubbing his middle-age spread, complaining about how I don’t feed him. I try to tell him that rubbing his belly is creepy and he should stop, but he thinks it’s cute.

I’m in need of some serious inspiration, because when 75% of your groceries are picked up in the frozen-food aisles and you eat out 50% of the time, something is amiss. 

Truth be told, I think this lifestyle is fine for a single person who doesn’t like to cook, but not for a family. I’m starting to feel bad for them. (And, if you’re wondering why my husband doesn’t cook, well, he’s lousy at it.) 

So, I dream of a beautiful, well-organized kitchen with shiny, clean pots and pans and a fully-stocked and attractive pantry overflowing with all the ingredients I could ever need to whip up a delicious and healthy meal at a moment’s notice. A kitchen where I could be that mom.

My only comfort is that, while my older sons are 19 and 24 and clearly past childhood, there may still be time for my youngest. 

Maybe if I get this right today (okay, next week), 15 years from now, when my older sons are sitting around at family reunions talking about how bad Mom was because she didn’t do this and she didn’t do that, my youngest, having completely different memories, will look at them quizzically and somewhat smugly and say “What are you talking about? Mom was great.” 

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