Friday, March 31, 2006

What's for Dinner?

Like Noelle Robbins, I don't enjoy cooking. When I was first married, I tried to cook most evenings and The Husband often tried is hand at cooking dinner. (Truth be told, he enjoys cooking more than I do and is better at it, too.) But my repertoire was limited and I wasn't a very adventurous cook. It didn't take very long for The Husband to announce is that he had never really liked spaghetti, was tired of chicken and Rice-A-Roni, and didn't like the way I flavored the pepper steak.

This was the beginning of the end of dinner in our house. The final nail - or nails- came in the form of our 5 children - 2 picky eaters, 1 who will try most things and 2 who will eat almost anything.

Now trying to decide what to make for dinner requires evaluating the pros and cons of each meal in relation to every member of the household. (Let's just skip the lecture about making them eat whatever I serve - I just can't do it. Being a picky eater as a child I am too familiar with the child's side of that philosophy. More on that in a later post). If I make something that the majority of the kids will eat, The Husband will most likely turn up his nose. If I make something that The Husband would enjoy, chances are only 2 of the children will eat any of it. Either scenario will probably lead to the making of an alternative dinner or allowing someone to have cereal for dinner, thus creating dinner envy amongst those who ate the original meal, but would have preferred the cereal.

Really it's too much stress for me. About once a week I attempt to make something that the majority of the household will eat. About once a week The Husband makes something that he would like and about half of the family will try it. The rest of the week, well let's just say, we eat a lot of cereal and spaghetti.

While I do not enjoy cooking, I love to bake. Cookies mostly, but I also like to try brownies, fudge, pies (but only those that are made with a graham cracker crust), and cakes (yellow with chocolates frosting mostly). I make the best chocolate chip cookies (ask my friends, they'll back up my claim). For me baking is therapeutic (unless I have more than one little helper, then it's not quite as relaxing). It is also how I can show my love to my family. I have been known to make 3 different cookies in the same day just to appease varied tastes of my children (of course they can't all like the same cookie, that would be too easy). I will gladly whip up a batch of cookies whenever one of my brothers visits (or needs to bring something to a work function). I rarely visit a friend without also bringing a plate of goodies, and my annual Christmas Plates are eagerly awaited by the lucky recipients.

I believe in the grand scheme, my cookies compensate for my lack of gourmet dinners joyously prepared and served. At least that's my story.


April said...

I can totally relate!

ali said...

Hey Mere! I'm finally reading your post, a LOT late and I have to say, your philosophy sounds like a good one to me! Your children will likely remember the sweet cookies rather then the dinners.

Hope you post again soon!
ali :)