A simple goal for 2011: eat well

I hate to cook. There I said it.

I hate to cook. And I hate the word hate. I rarely use it. Have you ever had a conversation with someone in which the word hate appears as often as um or so? I know someone who hates everything – or at least she says she does. It’s awful to talk to her.So now its me – using that word and now that I have used it, it seems a bit too strong a word for my relationship with cooking.

I dislike cooking. How does that feel? That feels okay but it still doesn't capture my whole multilayered relationship.

I am not fond of cooking. That feels right. I am not fond of it, in fact I would rather not. I would rather set the table or do the dishes. I am rather fond of doing the dishes, for the result of one's labor lasts much longer than the 20 minutes of food consumption that tends to happen at my house.

I would prefer not to cook. Yes, I would prefer not to. I really would.

I love when someone else cooks. Yes, that is absolutely it.

I think I just needed permission to say that I hate it. Or that I am allowed to hate to it. That as a woman I am allowed to hate it and that now as a mother I am allowed to hate it as well. So now that I have given myself permission, where do I go from here?

Well, I learn how to cook. 

I have spent the last 5 years pretending to grasp this cooking thing. The outrageous irony is that my famous maiden name in foodie circles has done nothing for my ability to throw together something with whatever is in the pantry. My brother can do that I am insanely jealous. I need time and a recipe and undisturbed silence and the right measuring cups and no pressure. Then and only then, can I actually create something that I can actually be proud of. A hungry husband, no recipe and a toddler aching for attention all add up to a mama meltdown in front of the open refrigerator door right around a quarter to six..
So, instead of carrying on any further and wishing that I had a husband who loved nothing more than whipping up a Boeuf Bourginon, I have one simple goal for 2011: Eat well.

And what that looks like for me, is to start simple, stay organized, plan ahead, do my best and allow the occasional Pizza Margharita from Tony's down the street to save dinner on a Friday night. I laid it all on the table yesterday and went from this...

to this...

One almost perfetly organized menu book that makes me smile.

There are three parts to my eat well goal:

1. To roast a chicken

2. To try every recipe in my book

3. To keep our grocery bill at or below $500 a month

I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, tips and recipes (if they have less than 10 ingredients). And if anyone else wants to do this with me, there is always room in the kitchen for one more.


Shadi said...

I wish we lived really close. We could be our own little village raising our children and I'd do the cooking. Happy to do cooking sessions with you if you are up for it.

jen said...

yes, i hear you, sister...i actually love to cook but hate the 5:45pm panic, too...feeding a family well is a lot of responsibility. the pressure can be extreme.

my 'trick' is to having some cooked food in the fridge all the time...hard boiled eggs, brown rice, steamed vegetables...and just 'throw dinner together' most nights. once a week i delve into the recipe book and saturday night is ALWAYS pizza night.

remember to go easy on yourself...it doesn't have to be perfect (or even pretty)...let it be 'good enough'.