Anyone else do weird dinners?
My husband is a great cook, he understands the science of cooking. I am more of an assembler. I hate cooking, mainly because I don’t understand it. I took technical drawing at high school instead of home economics, because I hated that girls and boys, but mostly girls, were herded into gender stereotyped classes. I know, my adolescent righteous indignation isn’t helping to feed my kids thirty years later.
If I won the lottery, the first thing I would do is employ someone to cook meals.
Cookbooks sit on my shelves teasing me because no matter how hard I try the recipes which promised to be quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious turn out to be not worth my effort and a waste of the ingredients I put into them. I apologise for another ruined meal as the kids pick around what they can eat and my husband pours chilli sauce on it.
My motto? Food that was meant to be eaten raw should be eaten raw. The meat that needs to be cooked will be cooked separately and added to the salad. The vegetables that have to be cooked will be cooked and cooled and tossed into the salad as well. If I had my way we would have salad every night for tea.
Because children do not like salad every night for tea, my forte is weird. Putting foods together that don’t exactly match in taste or texture, but are available and easy to cook.
The other night we had smoked salmon and avocado on roti that I had crisped in the toaster, with corn on the cob. The salmon was near its expiry date. The corn had to be eaten while it was still fresh. And the kids were haggling for avocado because Dad was out and we can’t eat avocado when he is home because he is allergic to it. The roti is yeast-free because some of us are yeast intolerant.
My favourite weird dinner is corn fritters and maple syrup. Every time we have maple syrup we wonder how anyone had the thought to tap the sap out of trees and eat it.
The kids eat the weird dinners because they are so much better than the recipe dinners. I make sure to tell them it is a weird dinner and possibly no-one else in the world has had this combination of food, just in case they start to think that what I serve up is normal and to disuade them from replicating what I do in the future for their friends, partner, or children. They tell me that it’s ok because I’m good at other stuff. I ask them what I might be good at. The eldest boy says “working, and being kind”, and the youngest boy says “being our mum, minus the cooking and pulling out wobbly teeth”. The middle boy does not commit to an answer.
Thank goodness their dad can cook.