Friday, June 3, 2016

For What It's Worth

I hear a lot--and see a lot online--about the impossibility of cooking dinner or making breakfast or lunch every single day. Even single people, people who only cook for one, say this, how hard it is just to have food to eat on a daily basis.

My first thought every single time? Yeah, it sometimes sucks, but honestly? You are making it too hard.

I feel I can say this, as a person who has prepared almost every single meal every single day for years, for many people. (More people every two years, as a matter of fact.) And here's my secret: I am not a chef, and I do not try to be.

My goal is to feed my family. Period. They deserve good food, but not fancy food. Fancy food will make you crazy. Fancy food is not for everyday cooking.

You want gourmet food? Feel free to pay thirty dollars at a restaurant. You want to be fed day in and day out? Come to my house. I may feed you bacon and eggs and spinach and potatoes (not coincidentally, what's on my stove at this very moment for dinner), but the process of cooking these will not make me feel as if I can't bear to cook again tomorrow. It will taste good; it will fill you up; it will be nutritionally sound.

It will not win me any prizes from a culinary institute. Who cares? You want to eat good food every day? Me too. But I don't want to slave in the kitchen for an hour every day.

So I suppose my best (totally unsolicited) advice to someone who wonders how the hell a person can bear to cook every single day without feeling like his or her life is a continuous loop of kitchen drudgery: Lower your expectations. Cook food, whatever you feel you can handle to make a balanced meal, eat it. Repeat. And leave the restaurant food to the restaurants, with their multiple staff members.

That's it.


Marsha said...

You are so right on this one!

Anonymous said...

Amen. Food on table (with a vegetable for dinner) is the goal. Anything else is a bonus.


Anonymous said...

And if the people at the table are eating the food, and then returning to eat the next meal, that's a good indication you're doing just fine.

Sherry said...

Damn right! My goal is quick and easy and nutritious. Crockpot, stir fry, on the grill, but it doesn't have to deserve the cover of Bon Apetit!

Anonymous said...

I'd come to your house for dinner any day! Mary in MN

Daisy said...

True this! I teach full time, and somehow I manage to feed my family, too. My slow cookers are my friends. Pre-cooking on weekends is one of my strategies. Nothing is fancy, but it's often fresh or frozen from the garden or farmers' markets.