The Lazy Cook – In the Beginning

So I guess I should start a little farther back than when Tummy started acting up.  In my early years, we were very poor.  The exposure to the different kinds of foods was limited.  Let’s face it, kids don’t want to eat weird things unless they are sweet.  Most things you would find around my house were inexpensive to purchase and easy to make.  My mother was single and had three kids to feed.

The two things I learned to make as a child was baked chicken and spaghetti.

Chicken was the meat served most nights which pretty much meant that I didn’t eat most nights because all I was ever served was the wing and let’s be honest here, there is no meat on a wing.  The chicken was no big deal, salt/pepper and some pats of butter on the top and into the oven it went for an hour.  And yes, I know, that is way too long.  Many times the chicken came out so dry, you needed a gallon of the dry milk my mother would make just to get the stuff down.  But then again, maybe it was just my piece that was so dry (wings dry out fast).

Another staple that was prepared a lot was spaghetti with homemade sauce.  This was a little more involved as it took onions, mushrooms, tomato paste and sauce, some herbs, and a lot of time.  The sauce usually came out pretty good over some noodles and quickly became one of my favorite things to make, even into adulthood, much to my children’s dissatisfaction.  To this day, I still get heckled over the constant preparation of chicken or spaghetti for dinner as they were growing up.  I think my spaghetti sauce evolved over the years into something different but I can’t say that it was ever great.

Going into adulthood, I made a lot of things that I had recipes for and actually prided myself for being able to make anything you want, as long as I had a recipe.  I thought this was cooking.  You get some things together, you follow the directions and viola’, dinner!  Not only did this seem incredibly tiring (it takes a lot to follow someone else’s instructions), but I also found that I really didn’t want to drag out the cookbooks every time I needed to cook dinner.  The task was really daunting for me.  Because of this, I found myself falling into the black hole of processed foods to feed my family.  Fried chicken, check.  Macaroni and cheese, double check.  Before I knew it, there was not a single identifiable piece of actual food in my house.  The kids were eating hot lunches at school, breakfast consisted of cold cereal of their choosing, and dinner was either McDonalds or their favorite frozen food.  My cookbooks were sitting on a shelf getting dusty and I was becoming even less domestically inclined than I was before.

At some point, I knew it had to stop.  I look at my kids eating habits now (they are both adults) and I see them repeating the same nasty cooking habits that they grew up with.  And now they are lazy cooks too.  ALL MY FAULT.

Hopefully, I will do better with the grandkids…umm, yeah.




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