I can’t cook. I mean, I can, I guess. But it’s not easy and I don’t like it and I know it’s my cross to bear, but ugh.
Tonight, I made chili after agonizing all day long about what to make. Chili. That’s what I came up with after hours of brainstorming and so much avoidance that I actually fell asleep for a few minutes while I was thinking about it. Now, ok. Chili’s not gourmet, but it’s not a horrible meal. I added chips and guacamole and shredded cheese, but as it turned out, the chili was terrible. Too salty. I didn’t plan ahead and so I didn’t have a spice packet on hand and I had to quick-Google a recipe for seasoning and then rush to get it done and I didn’t have seasoned salt and so I just used salt, but clearly too much and it was just yucky.
Anyway, the point here is not how disappointing my dinner was tonight; the point is how much I just generally suck at dinner and how I’d really rather feed my family take-out every single night. Except, of course I wouldn’t. Because I want The Who to develop healthy eating and because m* deserves decent meals after her 12-hour days and because it’s the gig I signed up for. But it stresses me out and bums me out and I hate it.
I always feel so inadequate when I cook or think about cooking or plan meals. I have one friend who loves cooking. (I mean, I’m sure I have many friends who love cooking, but I am talking about one specific one here.) Her husband comes home from work at 4pm and so she generally gets time alone in the kitchen to prepare a fresh dinner every night. She always has produce to feed an army and makes things like sesame-crusted tofu and — get this — her family eats it! Do you know what would happen if I put that down in front of my family? The Who would be delighted at the sight of it and then say, “I don’t want sesame tofu. I want mac-n-cheese.” And I’d say, “We’re not having mac-n-cheese tonight. We’re having tofu.” And he’d eat none of it and eventually I would offer him some jello and that would be that. M* would eat it and smile, but she wouldn’t be happy. Tofu is no kind of meal for a meat-n-potatoes eater.
I am lucky, though. M* is always so appreciative of the effort I put into cooking (when I put the effort in) and her clear support has rubbed off on The Who, who often says, on his own, “Thanks for cooking dinner, Mama! Delicious dinner, Mama!” I know I’m lucky. I know I’m lucky because I really don’t deserve that kind of praise for a job that is rarely well-done and always done begrudgingly. I gotta step it up. I gotta find a way to like it more. I have a lot of meals ahead of me.