Food is boring.
At least, as the main meal provider for the family, I find food boring. With the exception of spaghetti with meat sauce (I make a killer meat sauce!), no matter what I make, someone has something to say about it.
Let’s face it. As the wife and mother of the house, it’s a lot of pressure on our shoulders to provide all of the nourishment for our families. After a while, I start to just remake the same old reliable meals: spaghetti, meat loaf, chicken on the bone (that’s what Cat always called it), and chicken caesar salad.
If I make ham, Cat and I get emotional because of our piggy. If I make steak, Alex doesn’t like the texture. If I make fish, they all act like I’m trying to poison them. Cat basically grew up on chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. Alex? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. Yes, my son had a more explorative palate than my daughter as a child.
This one likes baked potatoes. That one likes applesauces. No one likes pickled beets except me.
Sometimes I just give up and order in.
The problem is that I actually like to cook. And, while I know that they like to eat, they just don’t like to eat what I cook.
OK, full disclosure. I do tend to forget that I’m cooking. It happens a lot. A few of my readers might remember the time that I blew up a chicken in the oven. Just the other day, I was making my good ole spaghetti rescue dish. While browning the meat, I wandered outside and completely forgot about the food because Marc bought me flowers to plant (which, frankly, is a lot more fun than browning meat).
Alex opened the sliding door and yelled out, “Uh…hey Mom. You cooking something?”
I pretended that I hadn’t forgotten and nonchalantly finished planting the marigolds, wiped my hands on my pants, and slowly walked back to the house.
It was smoke filled and Marc had just walked in the door. I was stone-cold busted and the meat was red-hot burnt.
Take two was more successful.
Anyway, I made a decision on Sunday that I’m going to try that “Cooking with Julia Childs” trick from the movie. Only I’m not going to use Julia Childs’ cookbook. If you saw the movie and bought the cookbook to try cooing every recipe in the book, chances are that if you are like me, you read through the recipes and realized defeat before you even started. I don’t think I’ve made one recipe in that book. It’s like doing Calculus…so many ingredients, measurements, steps. With my attention span, forget it.
So I am choosing Ina Garten as my Julia Childs. Her recipes are simple, easy, and usually not chock full of ingredients that any normal food store carries (with the exception of morels which are super delicious and I can only find at Kings supermarket on occasion). I have a few of her cookbooks so I picked one book out and started.
The first dinner recipe is Panko crusted chicken and the first vegetable recipe is sauteed green beans with pine nuts. VOILA! Dinner is served!
They can complain (although I think I will have a winner on my hands) but at least I don’t have to think about what to cook. I’m going to let Ina Garten walk me through spicing up my food life.
Follow me on Instagram. I’ll post nightly photos of the first week’s recipes. See how you like my experiment.
Hopefully I don’t burn too many dishes.
And hopefully Ina saves my dinner table from the same old bland boring food dishes to some new culinary cuisines that open their eyes to the wonderful world of fine cuisine. Or, at least, fun cuisine.