I write this after a rather anticlimactic meal. Not the actual food…but my family’s response.
It all began when I sat dinner on the table. I prepared a meal of grilled chicken thighs marinated in a Chipotle mescal sauce (a bit spicy for the littles, so for them plain chicken poached in butter) over a bed of cilantro rice.
I served dinner with two sides: spiral-ized butternut squash roasted to perfection with sea salt and olive oil; sliced watermelon intermingled with local blackberries.
I plated everything beautifully.
My 4-year son’s response: “I never said I wanted this – I want Mac N’cheese – I don’t feel good – can I go lay down?”
After sampling everything, my 2-year old daughter decided that only watermelon satisfied her.
Now you might think maybe my kids were right – maybe it is not tasty. You can stop those thoughts right there– everything was delicious! Take my word for it.
As my kids peeled away from the table – I dramatically announced:
“I am done cooking dinner – FOREVER”.
My husband shrugged in a “here we go again” manner.
After dinner and very shortly after my grand exclamation, I began perusing a Fine Cooking magazine & my mind began to wonder about what marinate to use on the short-ribs in I bought today.
There lies the internal conflict…
In that moment I realized that I cook because I love to cook! Not for them – but as a release for me. I love cooking magazines, I love cook books, I love ingredients from the simple to the obscure, I love pots and pans, I love roasting and baking and grilling and frying and sauteing, and churning and whipping…I cook for me.
And…I also do it for them. We wander the aisles of super markets and farmer’s markets picking out great smelling peaches, rubbing out fingers on herbs to get the scent, sniffing for the perfect cheese. They love to stir batter, husk corn, pick tomatoes from the garden…and weirdly enough put away clean dishes.
Although my littles may not be ready to appreciate all of our fancy creations – sometimes I do hit a home run with something they’ve never had and sometimes I give in to the mac n’cheese or pizza they so desperately crave…
…but, I will not ever stop exposing them to the unique and the distinct.
However, I realize now that I am make food for me and I hope they come along for the journey.