Confusion in the kitchen

Over the last few months, I have noticed that my creative inspiration has been slipping away from me. It’s been hard for me to try to overcome, as I never really thought of myself as a creative person until I realized that I wanted to write, take pictures, to create as I had in the past, and I could not force myself to do so.   I’ve wallowed, ignored, forced myself, and tried new projects, but have had limited success.  While I am certain that it will come back to me in some form, I am surprised at how this funk seems to blanket every aspect of my life.

One of the places where everyone in my family seems to notice the rut I am in is the kitchen.  Meals have become boring and predictable.  Each week’s menu plan is reminiscent of the week prior, and the smalls in particular are getting a little frustrated.  They have even asked me to stop cooking some of their favourites, for a while, because they were sick of seeing them every week.  This was the sign that I needed to mix things up.

One of the reasons that I was sticking to the family favourites is that we are not the easiest family in the world to feed.   While the lils are very adventurous eaters, we all have our likes and dislikes, none of which overlap.  Add in the fact that Woo and I both have severe allergies and that I am a vegetarian, and you get a certain amount of chaos. I try to make meals that appeal to most of us, or that can be easily adapted for their carnivorous tastes, but I have struggled in the last few weeks.  There have been too many nights where I have run out of food for some of us, forgotten to cook anything for me, eaten just mashed potatoes and salad, or had to cook three or four different meals, because I realized too late in the game that the menu I had planned didn’t really appeal to any of us.

I’m fed up with the confusion that I have created for myself, and the rapidly rising grocery bill that has accompanied it.  Yesterday was the first day of my renewed efforts to take control of the kitchen. I planned the meal perfectly, beef stew for the family and vegetarian chili from the freezer for me, both accompanied by a loaf of homemade bread.  We sat down to eat, and everyone dug in.  Goose, in particular, was eating with much enthusiasm.  This surprised me, as her number one nemesis, the onion, was plentiful in her bowl.  She had munched on happily for about ten minutes, when I noticed that she was really digging in her bowl.  “Mama”, she cried, “there are NO BEANS in my chili!!” It seems that knowing I was having chili for dinner made her think that she would be getting it too.

Happy that I was not the only one who was mixed up in the kitchen, I explained that that she got the stew because it was non-veg, and that I was the only one with chili.  She got a cross look on her face, noted that my bowl was empty, and declared that she was finished, as the stew was not to her taste.  I sighed, and went back to the drawing board on the menu plan.  Confusion reigns for another day.

Category: life | 2 comments

  • allison says:

    I swear, there are times when I forget how to cook everything but four things. Then I go nuts in the kitchen and try new recipes and some are horrifying and some are big hits, and I have a 13 year old boy who sometimes eats sixteen small meals a day and sometimes just says “I need meat” and eats three chicken breasts and a pork tenderloin. Sister, family feeding is confusion central. Don’t feel bad.

  • Lynn says:

    Agreed – we have similar confusion here and sometimes I wonder how my children are capable of growing when they seem to eat nothing but air and cookies. Everyone in our house has food allergies except my youngest daughter, and of course, everyone has *different* food allergies, so cooking for all is crazy. I have a four-week dinner rotation schedule – that’s 28 different meals – and yet, there’s still quite a bit that gets old or tired or seen-too-often. It’s almost a full time job – or at least, a full time hobby, one I didn’t exactly choose.

    But we’ll muddle through, somehow – there’s always cereal in the cupboard :) .

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