Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our special tonight is....

I love to cook. I really do. And I must say, I'm pretty darn good at it, too. I have developed a pretty good sense over the last 5 or so years for adding the right ingredients to shake up an old favorite, or pairing the right side with a new entree.

Brian was a true pleasure to cook for. He almost always enthusiastically tried my new creations. He was a great and gracious guinea pig. We agreed on most food selections (Except meatloaf. I hate meatloaf and I made it ONCE during our entire marriage. He LOVED meatloaf.). We enjoyed our meals together at home or out.

Since Brian died, and I am left with the world's pickiest eater and the world's heaviest snacker, I don't cook much anymore. It isn't worth the effort, mess and time to listen to someone incessantly complain about every bite, rendering mealtime less enjoyable than gnawing off my own arm.

Still, there was a time in my life just a few months ago, when I could whip up this Sweet and Sour Salmon and this Orange Sesame Shrimp without a recipe after a full day of blogging and googling random crap to prove my incredible intelligence housework and homework assistance. More impressive was that I always had those ingredients on hand, and limes had a purpose in my fridge for adding that little extra touch to something OTHER than my Corona.

Today, my fridge is stocked with plenty of Ranch dressing to enhance the CHICKEN NUGGETS my kids eat on a weekly basis instead of my salad that I NEVER MAKE anymore. Prepackaged cheese sticks have taken the place of fresh bricks of cheese. Danimals have overthrown the homemade dips and sauces. And leftovers in my fridge come from our Chili's, NOT my stove.

I think I sunk to a new low during my last grocery store visit, when my grocery cart looked more like that of the sad, lonely senior citizen than that of a young(ish) mother of two. It was filled with items like these:

And they actually tasted GOOD compared to the crap I have been eating.



  1. Hmmmmmm...have you been peeking into my refrigerator? I have tons of the exact same stuff. I usually try to "cook down" to my kid's level because I figure why waste the time and money on cooking something good that they will just complain about.

    Maybe it's time we took back our kitchens!

  2. I totally get ya. Nowadays I only cook a "big meal" 2 or 3 times a week, when Ryan is home for dinner. Otherwise it's pizza or leftovers or Chef Boyardee or McDonalds. Or, if I want to treat my kids, I'll make them Hamburger Helper. Because I love them THAT much.

  3. I couldn't respond to the "club" post, just couldn't. But this I could so go for a couple of those frozen burritos and a glass of ice cold milk right now. I know your intention wasn't to stir up anyone's hunger, but you did. You also stirred a found memory. My closest friend from high school got me hooked on those burritos with a glass of milk as a snack any time of the day. He has been in Germany since we graduated and I have only seen him twice in those 24 years (the same number of times I think I have endulged in those burritos...the ones that are kind of hard to bite through if you over microwave them).
    Thanks for stirring some memories. They are more fun than the now.

  4. First of all--young not -ish. Secondly, I am sorry the peanut gallery is not giving you props when you try to cook for them. It's so not worth it if they are going to give you grief (insert melodramatic, fake gagging noise here) when you try to cook something nice.

  5. Don't feel guilty, eventually you get sick of convience food too and then you break out a recipe or too. We also have the pickiest eaters. Two days ago I watched disqusted as my 15 year old son disected an enchilada of all onion and any spice that looked like it could be from a vegetable. His teeny bites of chicken were pitiful. I mean please he's 15 now, I've decided that he should broaden his horizons. From now on, if and when I cook, it's going to be something I like.

  6. It is so hard to cook for an unappreciative audience. It's a phase--you'll recover your love of cooking at some point and they will become less picky.

  7. You just may find comfort in a Jennie-O Turkey Roast ;)


  8. I wandered over here from your post on Bossy, and I can see you're hurting and there's a good reason for it. But I can't agree with the others that this is all right. Those foods are HORRIBLE for your children, and for you. They have nothing in them to help you find your strength and get over your depression. You don't cook good, nutritious foods to get compliments - you cook them to keep mind and body strong and your kids growing in the right direction.

    Cooking is therapeutic, too.

    Life can be SO unfair and so hard. And the only thing we can do about it is to weather it with grace and strength and determination, and show our kids how to do that, too. If not just for you, then for them - you have to step away from the Lean Pockets and make something fresh, wholesome, and creative, like you used to do.


  9. My daughter lived on baby food scrambled eggs, milk and toast for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwiches and milk for lunch and green beans and baby food tiny wieners for almost 18 months. She would not touch anything else.
    Then, amazingly, she started to try things like mustard (just plain everyday French's mustard).
    Don't give up hope. Try to include anything from the food pyramid that will round out your diet and theirs. Yes, they are picky. Their trying to push the envelope and you at the same time. This is probably a transition move that is normal to grieving children.
    Hang in there. It hasn't been that long since they ate whatever Brian ate and didn't say a thing about it.
    Bless you and keep you as you too transition. All my love, your sister in Christ, Karen

  10. I don't know anything, because I've never been where you are. But, sometimes I do the things I love just for me. Maybe they don't love your Sweet and Sour Salmon, but if you do, maybe you'll find comfort in doing it again if you view it as something just for you. Give them their nuggets and burritos and you can enjoy your creations. Think of THOSE leftovers!!!

  11. To "Anonymous Dobes"....
    You must not have ridden a true storm in life to be able to give up such advise of "wholesome" food. Dont you realize that survival is SURVIVAL. Give me a break....If healthy eating is a normal way of life for her, it will come back, just like many of the aspects in her life. It is SO EASY to say life is unfair...yeah yeah yeah.. we all have said that. Until you ride on her ride of life, dont judge her for what she is doing to get thru a day. PLEASE! Support, encourage, love, listen...otherwise Shhhhh!

    Annoyed Follower of a friend going thru a tough time!

  12. Give yourself a break, Dear.
    And, maybe your boys would like to cook for YOU?