I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. On the one hand, I get great pleasure out of making healthy and nourishing meals for my family. I feel accomplished to have a dinner made in advance, or better yet: meals frozen in the freezer for the week. I feel like I’m on my mom-game when I grocery shop with a specific meal plan, and perhaps a new recipe to try.
When I’m really in the flow, my kids claim that they can “taste the love”. My favourite part of when they cook with me is their ritual of adding the love – done by blowing on the food, waving their hands over it, or giving it a “presto!”-type douse with a flick of an invisible wand. (And I have to admit, their scrambled eggs really do have something special about them…)
The down side of my cooking escapades is two-fold: Sometimes I lack the time or motivation, and sometimes no one likes the meal I make. There is nothing worse than preparing a meal that leaves people grouchy and hungry – unless I add in the frustration of feeding it to our dog or adding it to the compost after days of being untouched in the fridge.
A few weeks ago I felt like every meal I made went to waste, and upon emptying the fridge of the leftover containers, I declared that I was not going to cook again. So meal planning became an action of making sure we had meat and vegetables for each dinner meal, with no soups, stews, sauces or otherwise-planned additions.
But in a moment of weakness, combined with a dislike of wasting food, I made a brocolli-cauliflower soup last weekend. And it was a raging hit.
And now, here I am realizing that today, much of my day will focus on food. I was busy for much of this past weekend at a seminar, leading to more meals out for both myself and my family. Perhaps because of this, I awoke with thoughts of planning meals in my head once again. Added to this is the fact that tonight I give an Eat by Design workshop in my practice (where I teach how to optimally fuel our bodies, with similarities to a “paleo diet” of meat, vegetables and fruit, no grains, sugar or processed food)
The reality is this: If I could hire a live-in cook and eat the quality of food I like, I would do so. I would LOVE if I could cook only when I choose. But the reality is that if I want to feed my family well, I have to plan, prepare and spend some time in the kitchen. Maybe it’s not glorious, but by filling my fridge with good meals today, I know that I will feel like I have nourished my family well. And I won’t forget to add in the love.