When I was a kid, I listened to everything my mom said about cooking, I paid attention, but never really volunteered to do much of it. I did like to bake/decorate cakes, though! Once I got a little older, I made salads for my dad, I’m actually pretty good at that! Then my mom started working, and had some odd hours (she stayed at home with us for quite a few years) and so I was asked to put casseroles in the oven, cook hamburgers, etc. I didn’t enjoy it though.
Fast forward a few years to getting married. We ate a lot of frozen pizza. We tried our hand at hamburger helper. I always made a lot of ‘stuff’ at Christmas, but that was always shared with co-workers. Occasionally we dipped into our family recipe book. With both of us working though, it was few and far between. It wasn’t until we had kids that we decided to make more use of our recipes, go in search of new ones, and do more ‘special things’ as the kids grew.
My husband repeatedly had asked me to do some sort of menu planning, and it just sounded too boring. We’d tried that before and ended up eating a lot of hotdogs. However, being a lot older and wiser, I figured we could set aside a day or two a month for something junky like hot dogs, and put some really good hearty foods like meatloaf with mashed potatoes alongside hamburgers and Parmesan chicken (grilled, not fried). Anything that’s not immediately snapped up in leftovers gets frozen and used for something else. We make our own frozen pre-cooked meatballs, too. I used them last week when Brennan seemed like she wasn’t going to eat anything else (teething, again).
This winter has proven to be one full of baked goods, roasts that stretch into other meals, budgeting and freezing leftovers, and in general trying to use all we can (and doing better than we ever have before). We’re buying fewer ‘quick’ things, planning better, and hopefully eating better meals because of it. Certainly there have been only one or two times since we started this in October that we’ve forgotten to thaw something or been caught unprepared. Usually that was once or twice a week, and ended up costing us big bucks in over buying at the store or visiting the local pizza place. Now it’s all more special, homemade biscuits are less expensive, big pots of soup last for several meals and stretch a dollar, and I have fewer fears about things ‘not working’. After all, if it doesn’t work, it’s just a lesson to be learned, right?
What’s your cooking story? Do you cook at all? I’m always astounded by all the celebrities that swear that can’t even cook an egg for breakfast during those chats with daytime hosts. Do they not have time or are they just that bad? How do you ‘fare’?