Oatmeal…it’s what’s for dinner

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Cooking has never been one of my talents. When I moved into my own apartment, back in college, my parents bought me a meal plan to the dorms’ dining services. Probably out of a hidden fear that I would starve to death if they didn’t. Once that plan expired, I lived off PB&J and Mac and Cheese (or Hamburger Helper if I was feeling especially adventurous). Believe it or not, giving birth to children has not magically imbibed me with newfound abilities in the kitchen. I’ve put forth a good effort, but I still find myself rolling my eyes and skipping any recipe that has the words dice, slice, peel, cube, or more than 8 ingredients. Two things have made it even harder to motivate myself to put forth more than a marginal effort in the kitchen. The first being that Sir Smiley is rarely home for dinner. Four nights a week he works, one night a week he has worship practice, and one night a week we have dinner with our Bible study. This leaves a whopping one night a week together, which usually becomes a date night night of some sorts. So when I cook, it is for me and my four year old and my two year old. Note: I do send leftovers with Sir Smiley so that he doesn’t eat out. It saves us money. So he does eat what I make, I’m just rarely there to witness it.
Problem number two would be my kids. To say that they don’t have a sophisticated palette would be an understatement. I try occasionally to make a new recipe that is somewhat healthy and balanced. I usually find it tasty, but they stare at it like I served them bugs and then make horrible gagging noises when I make them try it. So here I’ve spent an hour cooking (remember, monkeys have more cooking skills than me, so it takes a while to make something new) and then the only feedback I get is horrific retching. A bit of a downer. Then there’s the fact that when I take two minutes to make them oatmeal, a banana, and veggies they act like I have prepared a bountiful feast. Doesn’t help improve my motivation to actually cook. That’s not even including the whole process of cooking with kids underfoot. (See this post for a taste of that..pun intended…)
Maybe when Sir Smiley gets a schedule that allows him to eat with us I’ll put more effort into my kitchen exploits. Maybe when the kids are older and not underfoot. Either way, I’m sticking to pastas and casseroles (and a lot of oatmeal) for the time being. I’m just proud of myself for getting some veggies on the table.

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