There was once a time when I cooked for the joy of it. I dared to try different techniques, different regional tastes, or daring feats of culinary craziness. I deboned a turkey for Thanksgiving just to say I did it. I make a mean tiramisu when I take the time to. That went with my Italian Christmas feast I made one year with homemade pasta and reinforcement salad. And now I am in mourning for the cook I used to be.
I soooooo miss those days when the pursuit of culinary loveliness was just for self-gratification. And for the gratification of the ones I love of course. What wine pairs with my culinary feat du jour and who am I inviting over to impress? Do we have enough wine? Who cares the time.
Those days are gone Daddy gone. I became a Mom and Eamon and Fiona are happy to be eating some boxed mac and cheese and a microwaved hot dog. Don’t forget the ketchup. And the ice cream.
When I indulged these thoughts, I felt suddenly as if I were mourning this memory. I love cooking to cook. And I resent cooking plebeian meals for temperamental palettes. But my wise and dear husband pointed out, after I shared my depressing revelation of cooking sentence, that he thinks eventually those same children will develop their taste buds and sense of adventure and they’ll be cooking with me and eventually for me.
I dearly hope his prediction is correct. I won’t hold my breath. But my love of cooking came from my parents, yes, although I also was an adventurous eater. I find it very hard to put so many parts of my soul on hold for the sake of the children. And yet, my complaints are rare because I do understand that this is one of many sacrifices one makes for your children. Like the reading of a book or peeing in private. And that to wish the hurrying through of this phase is to wish to hurry their childhood. And I’m not about to do that.
Sandra Lee had a pretty keen idea of mixing the downtown and the uptown cooking and I commend her for her efforts to create fancier meals with less prep and throw in a decorative element to make the dining experience an event. Children can learn to revere the meal times and eventually the food that is there on their plates. And it’s time I revisit the review I did of French Kids Eat Everything by Karen La Billon. It was really good.
So here’s me dreaming of truffles and oysters and sabayon. And planning a dinner party sometime soon so that I can get some culinary yaya’s out.
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Yes, yes, a hundred times yes! That is exactly how I feel about it all too. There seems little point spending ages making some culinary triumph, these days, when it can almost certainly guarantee that nobody will consider eating it, preferring something out of a tin / the microwave…
Oh thank you for chiming in Sabrina. Those selfish days are gone and have been replaced by selfless days and dreams of eating out.
Oh I remember those days! I had a child that didn’t like PB&J for goodness sakes. But he was trained to eat what was presented to him at a guest’s home. Some great additions to the family mealtime came from his exposures to such culinary treats as mashed potatoes (Mom,you have to get Janyce’s recipe!)and meat loaf. Now he’s almost 33 and must’ve absorbed some of my love of cooking and culinary adventures as he has become a great cook who loves to try something new. His wife is very grateful by the way.
So don’t lose hope, Shalagh. And trot out something new every once in while. Amazing what they absorb by osmosis!!
I am glad for his wife! Alas, my husband can not cook and so I am to suffer another decade it would seem. And dream of food that I’ll one day hope and pray my daughter will make. Because it ain’t gonna be my son.
Love to You Shannon !