I like the idea of cooking. I like the result of cooking. I just don’t like DOING the cooking. See my dilemma?
I used to really suck at cooking. I had no patience, no skill and no desire to “try something new”. We had a pretty steady dinner time routine that included Pasta Monday, Chicken Burger tuesday, Perogy Wednesday, something-something Thursday and please-just-go-pick-up-dinner-tonight-dear Friday. I did not cook on weekends, virtually flat out refused to do so. Everything I made originated from a box of some kind; seasoned rice, pasta side dishes, pre-cooked chicken or beef or pork (though rarely pork). Sauces from jars, gravies from cans, burgers from the freezer, pizza from a box (or three). It was quick, it was simple, and while it wasn’t always tasty, it was quick and simple.
I believe that a lot of my distaste (see what I did there?) stems from the fact that I cook for an incredibly picky audience. McK has always had food issues so I know what I can and cannot make for her but Pat? That goes back a loooooooong way. I think I fell into a cooking rut because it was safe, he would eat it, and there would be enough for his lunch the next day. I would try, occasionally, to get creative, spice things up, and come up with a concoction based on a recipe with a picture that never looked like what I put on the plate once the smoke alarm stopped screeching. It rarely worked. The one that stands out as the catalyst of why I virtually stopped trying in the kitchen? Picture this. Dinner is served. I can tell he’s trying to choke it down. I am getting annoyed because theres nothing wrong with it in MY eyes. And he? Says “Soooo, should I throw this out or can I give it to the dog?”. Yeah. Pretty sure you can guess where I told him he could put it.
Then one fine day, two Decembers ago, he went to the doctor who told him he needed to see a nutritionist and lo, a new way of living was inflicted upon us. And it has been DELICIOUS ever since.
Basically the nutritionist told him he needed to watch his carbs because carbs become sugar which affects his blood sugar which was her main concern. So we started to shop with that in mind. Pastas and breads that gave us the most carb bang for our bucks, making sure we reduce any sugar intake and buying any and everything based on carb/sugar count. And we haven’t looked back. That’s just one way that we have changed. The real kicker in the kitchen was when I decided to follow some “clean eating” recipes. Clean eating is not a new concept. Its not really a concept at all. Its just basically eating well and eating things that don’t come out of a box, no processed junk.
I am now cooking pork and chicken and beef, things I would NEVER do before because, well, I had no idea how to do it well or how to cook it to a point where he would not find it too rubbery or too dry. I am making sauces and dips and the VEGETABLES! Ohhhh the vegetables! The biggest downside is there are NO leftovers. Ever. If there are any scraps left, they get lapped up in a hurry, if not at dinner time then later in the evening. But I’ll take no leftovers over an entire meal steaming in the garbage can.
Prior to my discovery of the whole “clean eating” thing, my tweets used to look like this. “I am trying a new fish for dinner and if he doesn’t like it I will go Mahi Mahi on his ass”. I still don’t particularly LIKE cooking, but when the result is edible, nay, delicious, it sure makes the effort worth the outcome. Last night I even made my own whipped cream for tonights dessert. No more cans of “edible oil product” for us.
I may not toss ingredients into the pan with flair or come up with something amazing on the spot, I may not know how to make a red wine reduction or have confidence when cooking steaks, but I’m getting there. What I CAN do? I can chop onions without tearing up. So yeah, I’m practically a professional over here folks.