My buddy, Connie, left this comment:
I’ve always wanted to like to cook, but I struggle with it, does that make sense? I blame a lot of things….a house with some picky eaters and a husband that likes a totally different style of food than I do, a way too tiny kitchen, living for so many years on a majorly tight budget…. and I could go on and on. So, what can I do to try to enjoy it more?
What do you think I am? A wizard! 🙂
Don’t give me that tiny kitchen story. 🙂 When we lived in KY, we had our home out in the country but ended up buying a small house in town and had plans that I would stay at the house in town all day and quilt, then go home at night. As it turned out, we stayed in town almost all the time and hardly ever went to the house in the country. Here’s the kitchen at the little house in town.
The wall you can’t see has a refrigerator and a closet where the washer/dryer are located. I know there are smaller kitchens but just so you know — I haven’t always cooked in a great kitchen. If I managed to cook in this little kitchen, anyone can! All the canned food, pots, pans, crock pot, etc. were kept out in the garage. The coffee pot and mixer were on top of the dryer! 4-1/2 years I cooked in this kitchen!
As far as picky eaters, Chad was such a picky eater until just a few years ago. I kept things he could eat. They weren’t always the best but here are some picky eater tips that worked for us:
- Chicken! The chicken paillard I made tonight, or chicken parmesan – anything like that, you can fry up some of the chicken strips for picky eaters and fix the good stuff for the rest of you.
- Ground beef! Brown up some ground beef and freeze it in ziplock bags. Picky eaters can get canned (storebought) spaghetti sauce poured over browned ground beef; they can have sloppy joes with canned sauce over browned ground beef; they can have cubed potatoes browned with ground beef.
Chad was always welcome to eat what we ate but there were the not so exciting, run of the mill dishes he could eat if he didn’t want what we had. As he got older, I told him his options and if he didn’t want what we had, he was responsible for fixing his own meal and cleaning up his own mess. He learned to eat what we ate just so he didn’t have to clean up his mess.
I always tried to have something Chad would eat. I’m a big believer in “when they’re hungry, they’ll eat”. He may have had to pick out the things he didn’t want . . there was a time when we had to strain his gumbo so he wouldn’t get onions and peppers but we did it and he ate. As long as there’s food on the table, they’re not going to starve to death and maybe they’ll even learn to like something new.
As far as the budget, it’s amazing how many interesting recipes there are for chicken and ground beef. You may have to spend more time looking for budget friendly recipes but theyr’e out there. Watch for sales. Sometimes I’m amazed at the prices I can get on sale. Right after Christmas, I got lamb chops marked down to $3.99/pound.
In the summer, plant a little herb garden. Grown things that are expensive to buy and you can chop and freeze for times like now.
The real drawback to liking to cook is time. For those who work outside the home, sometimes it’s a real accomplishment just to have something on the table. I worked and I remember those days. You may be able to do some planning and cooking on weekends but if you just don’t have the time, don’t fret — there will be a day when the kids are gone from home, or when the budget isn’t so tight and you’ll have more freedom to cook more creatively.
We can’t do all things so enjoy the things you are able to do; cook elaborate meals when/if the time is right and don’t feel bad if this isn’t the time in your life for you to cook real creatively.