I’m not a fan of cooking – at all, but someone has to feed my family long-term. I drew the short straw, so this gig is mine forever. I traded in my straw for a chef’s hat and committed to putting a meal on the dinner table nearly every night of the week; my husband is responsible for dinner on Saturdays, which means we are nearly guaranteed a treat to a restaurant. Someone else plans. Someone else shops. Someone else cooks. Someone else serves. Someone else cleans. Works for me!
Friends and family often suffer through my complaints about cooking. Make no mistake, I feel truly blessed to be able to feed my family, but I usually lack motivation to get started. I don’t know if it’s because I sometimes have to leave home soon after dinner to drop a kid off at an activity, so I’m in a hurry. Or, if it’s because I as soon as I leave my paying job, I go directly to the kitchen to cook – no time to wind down from the day. Or, if it’s because I don’t always have my monthly meal plan posted and am under pressure to come up with something fast and good. Whatever the reason, I get it done, and most of the time, it’s pretty awesome! I know this because frequent silence during dinner means that everyone loves what’s on their plate. Talking begins after plates have been cleaned. Everyone is happy!
On Tuesday evening, I managed to whip up something new for dinner…stuffed peppers. The recipe that I had seemed simple enough, so I became Martha Stewart for that brief moment in time. I chose four colors of bell peppers (green, orange, red, and yell0w), prepared the recipe with a few modifications, snapped a few photos (in case I wanted to share my masterpiece with others online), and dished out servings for everyone.
They were excited about how colorful dinner was and were eager to try the stuffed peppers. Well, most of them. My husband isn’t adventurous when it comes to trying something new, so he sat and watched the rest of us chow on my newest creation. Once he was convinced that my new-fangled entree was edible, he plated one for himself. The next day, his aunt asked if I cook often and he made me look good by telling her about how tasty Tuesday’s dinner had been.
Cooking is still a journey for me. I got a late start in the kitchen, so in my early adult years, I depended heavily upon cereal and frozen food. My poor kids spent the first few years of their lives eating this as well. Now that I know my way around my own kitchen, the kids (and my husband) expect me to step up my game every now and then – and they let me know how displeased they are when I call for a “free-for-all”. That’s when I tell everyone to feed themselves by opening a can or box of whatever and leave mommy/wife out of the “what’s for dinner?” dilemma.
I am thankful that I have been able to enhance my cooking skills and no longer rely on cereal to sustain my family. We still eat a lot of cereal, but for breakfast only. Oh, and I haven’t totally given up frozen food, but I do have enough skills to make it my own if the mood strikes me.
Thank you for supplying my family’s nutritional needs. I ask for Your help in not complaining about the blessings that You provide for us. I pray for Your guidance as I continue to evolve in respect to being creative with meals. Please help me to pass along what I know to my children, so that if they choose, they, too, will be able to create a good meal for their loved ones. I pray for those who are less fortunate. If it is Your will for me to help them, please help me to discern my role and recognize their needs. In Jesus’ name, Amen!