the girl who thought making easy mac = cooking

I’ve always eaten my fair share of crap… well, not always. I was my high school’s first ever vegetarian (because of my stance against factory farming and animal cruelty). I also jumped on this other bandwagon that included eating breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast, for a time. In college I became a full-fledged American consumerist, eating Taco Bell and Wendy’s daily, and buying ramen noodles and pizza rolls by the grocery cart-full. I considered easy-mac “cooking” because it involved adding the powdered cheese and stirring. I have never enjoyed real cooking, by the way, except on the rare occasion that I was making food for a group of people, then I found it ok. When I was in a serious relationship (for the short time that I was), cooking dinner for “the family” and eating it together was actually one of my favorite things to do and favorite times of the day. It made me happy. (Would someone like to come over and eat dinner with me??? Warning: it will probably take you a couple of hours to reach this middle-of-nowhere godforsaken place.)

I still find that I have an inner resistance to cooking, for myself definitely, but cooking for a toddler is equally unsatisfying, because she will probably not eat most of it, or any of it, and ask me instead for “cheese???” or “cereal???”. I also don’t feel like I’m a great cook… at least not at what I want to make. The few times I tried my hand at Indian/Nepali food (which I love and want to make every day) it just tasted off. But honestly… doesn’t even a PB&J taste better when someone makes it for you?

This week, what with our recent grocery purchases being raw fruits and vegetables, I was forced to do something I consider “cooking”, that thing being transforming a stalk of brussel sprouts into something fit for consumption. I had no idea brussel sprouts grew on stalks (rather than in grocery stores, for instance). They are big on the bottom but quite small towards the top, so I really was unsure of how far up I could eat them. Or how to get them off the stalk. Or how long to cook them. Or how to cook them. Boiling seemed difficult (google says if you cook too long they are no good), steaming seemed complicated (I didn’t even understand the pieces of cooking equipment this called for), so I settled for the frying pan.

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Helping with food prep! She actually fished out the sprouts I forgot to cut and counted the pieces. At least she won’t grow up thinking brussel sprouts grow in grocery freezers, like I did.

Lo and behold, I made a decent pan of brussel sprouts. They were really good! My mom even ate some. M even finished off a bowl and then said, “More? More candy?” *snort* If she thinks that’s candy, I’m going to be getting brussel sprouts more often!

Delicious, sauteed in butter (or oil, for our second batch) brussel sprouts!

Delicious, sauteed in butter (or oil, for our second batch) brussel sprouts!

In spite of the brussel sprout success, I still find myself shying away from “cooking”, but I’m determined to be able to make a small but satisfying variety of dishes that don’t come in packaging. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure!

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Categories: lifestyle, parenting

3 Comments »

  1. You did it and M liked it, that’s all that matters. 🙂 I’m in the opposite boat, I ADORE cooking and plating, but don’t have the time to really do it 😦

  2. Impressed! I usually bake them so I can put them in the oven while I do other cooking things. Here’s my suggestion for you: get some index cards and write meal ideas on each one with basic instructions and measurements on the back. Do this for things after you’ve cooked them at least once and know you like the recipe. Then you can grab a few cards for the week, grocery shop, and decide which days you are making what. Make enough for leftovers for another dinner or at least a lunch for you. It makes it feel more worth your time that way.

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