I hate to cook.
There, I said it.
It's true. I wish it wasn't true, but it is.
Meal planning stresses. me. out. Grocery shopping is inconvenient, to say the least. Pan-frying meat in a skillet does not do anything for me. Chopping up a bunch of onions and tomatoes and broccoli sometimes makes me want to just lay face-down on my kitchen floor.
Oh, the comfort of cold tile on my forehead.
When I was in college, I was around mothers and wives who rocked the cooking thing out. Like homemade meals every day from scratch. Plus homemade whole wheat bread from scratch. And when I would eat at their house, I felt special and valued, like I was participating in something meaningful because I knew how much thought and effort went into the meal in front of me. It was delicious. There really isn't anything quite like partaking of a meal you know was hand-crafted from beginning to end. It gives you this wholesome feeling. It's wonderful, and these women were so wonderful. I wanted to be just like them when I grew up.
And here I am almost three years into providing meals for my family, and I am nowhere near this level. We eat out much more often than we should, and I make freezer meals more often than I should (thank you, Trader Joe's, for selling super tasty yet slightly addicting freezer options).
To be fair to myself, I'm not a bad cook. I can get the job done. One time I made homemade fried buffalo chicken bites from a recipe I found on Pinterest. I chopped up the raw chicken and breaded it and fried it all myself and even made a homemade sauce. Bam. My husband loved it. I thought to myself, Never Again.
I can survive in the kitchen.
I would just rather be somewhere else.
But it's awesome when moms are naturally excited about meal planning and know how to work a kitchen efficiently. And it's even more awesome when those moms have blogs and share their secrets so people like me can preserve a little sanity. I've appreciated my friend Brittany and her blog for this very reason. Just today she posted about a pumpkin banana smoothie I plan on trying with Evie that sounds pretty delicious, quick and convenient.
I've also recently discovered companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh that will ship recipes with all the ingredients you need for three meals every week. Everything is laid out for me. All I have to do is cook the meals. It's great, but we can't do it every week because it's expensive. But this is a great option if you need a break every once in a while. Which I do. I really, really do.
Maybe I'm lazy. Maybe I should challenge myself to muster up a better attitude.
I'll admit that I need to grow in this area. I could definitely put in more effort. But I think it's also ok if my way for feeding my family looks a little different from someone else's. When reality and I are staring each other in the face, I realize I will probably never be a woman who makes homemade bread on a regular basis. But as long as my husband is happy (and full) and Evie is actually eating, I think I can chart a couple of tallies in the winning section. And I think it's ok for me to not be passionate about cooking. It's not something I naturally enjoy right now. I need to work on being excited about serving my family in this way, but I don't think I necessarily need to fall in love. I don't think disliking to cook makes me a bad wife or mother. But I do think it couldn't hurt to take advantage of a growing opportunity when I see one.
I came across this quote while I was reading some of Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow:
"Frustration doesn't come from the nature of the work; instead, it comes from the boredom inevitable in any job done poorly or unimaginatively."
So true. And a little bit convicting.
There's hope for me yet. I just need to be a little creative.
In the meantime, what works for you and your family? Ever get stuck in meal planning? Any favorite recipes you'd love to share? I can use all the help I can get!