Monday, August 18, 2008

Not enough cooks in the kitchen...

Ok – here’s the thing. When I was 19 I went to live with my sister to be her nanny. One of my responsibilities was to cook dinner. It was a relatively simple process. I looked through my little magazines full of “tasty – if – not – impractical” recipes. I decided which ones I wanted to serve on which days and then took the menu to my sister for approval. Once it was approved, I would do the shopping and followed the menu completely. Of course my cooking time was uninterrupted and I had as much time as I needed to cook. Everyone ate it all (or at least I thought they did)
Fast forward 17 years. I have 5 children and husband to feed. Their palates are all so different. Some love sea food, others gag at the smell. Ketchup is adored by some and spewn out by others. Some kids will eat veggies, others will throw them on my wall. Kids prefer sugar, white flour and anything that can cause a heart attack. Hubby and I however are trying to eat better and not die before we reach 40. One child’s nutritional needs include high fatty foods, trying to “put some meat on them bones”. But more of us in the family than not need low fat foods. So there is a predicament. What I can make for one to enjoy the other cannot eat, or should I say will not eat.
My cooking skills are limited. If I don’t have a good recipe in front of me, you don’t get good food. While most women in Heaven were lined up in the “homemaking skills” line, my ADHD personality drifted to and from the “cool-power-tool” line and “any-other-project-BUT-homemaking” line. Now don’t get me wrong, I can cook a mean baked potato and I have never seen an ear of corn I can’t prepare. I am also pretty good with alpha sprouts and tofu, but that is another therapeutic blog to come.
I am just not a natural homemaker. Unfortunately, cooking falls under that “homemaking” title. So here is my problem. I learned from Food Network that if I add enough butter, cream and/or cheese to anything, it will taste pretty good. I also learned at the feet of my mother, any health book on the market today and the Doctor Guy on MSNBC that these things are all BAD for you. So, combine my inability to cook with the absence of the “sure fire” cooking strategies. Do you know what you get? HUNGRY!
I am on a quest now. How can I find a healthy recipe that won’t end up with children on the floor crying, an empty bottle of A-1 sauce or a secret trip to McDonalds (yeah, guys… I know about that) How do I keep more food in my kids belly than the garbage – without being a Nazi? We need to eat more fish. And in spite of the fact that we tried convincing the kids that their brains will be smarter by eating fish, even my best eater can barely stand it. Is it the fish or is it the cooking? We may never know. And, if I find a meal that three people like, what about the other four? Should they go hungry? By the way, how am I supposed to cook with someone hanging on my leg, another shoving a paper to sign in my face and three other people trying to carry on a conversation? Don’t they know I will end up adding cayenne instead of cinnamon?
All of this lack of ability combined with that I really don’t’ want to spend two hours cooking a meal that people are going to spit out, causes some problems. On this quest of mine, I have to find convenient food (preferably just add water) that is totally healthy. Combine that with green leafy veggies (natures scrub brush, y’know) and we will be set.
But alas, tonight we will eat rotisserie chicken from Basha’s and some homemade cornbread (not healthy). Oh – I can make cornbread too. But then again, it is full of butter and cream, how can you go wrong?


Natalie said...

Kathy when you figure out the answer to this dilemma, please pass it on. Alyssa is extremely picky. Every dinner I make, she claims is disgusting. Sometimes it is so discouraging to be told every meal is gross. I know Christine tried the Jessica Seinfeld hidden veggie/fruit cookbook. I don't know if it really disguised the healthy food well or not.

Erin said...

I have also tried the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook and was quite pleased. My kids are pretty good eaters, but they were totally unaware of my sneaky cooking and there was not a complaint to be heard...from the kids. Jesse couldn't get past the cauliflower in his eggs even though he admtted that he couldn't taste it!!