When your kids are better cooks than you…

I’ve been wrestling with divergent cooking challenges lately. I love to cook. I want to return to the days when I was more creative about cooking than recently when throwing a hunk of protein into the oven or on the grill and cooking something white (rice/potatoes/pasta) to go with it plus a salad is my go-to route. But… I do not love to muck around with complicated cooking when I get home from Cubelandia. This *usually* means cooking enough for weekend meals that I can reheat leftovers during the week.

I am making “tamale pie” tonight. Oh don’t get all excited. I googled recipes and the one I chose involves a little box of Jiffy* corn muffin mix and ground beef, etc. It is not some kind of authentic Tex-Mex/whatever thing, more like the kind of thing a WASP-y type person like me can manage. We’ll see how it turns out.

I managed to let the cat outta the bag about the tamale pie this morning during a visit to the Plum Market. The grapevine got going (“moom is making tamale pie”) and the other beach urchin started texting me (“rumor has it…”). We were talking about food and menu planning and before we were finished, she had sent me several links to fantastic looking soups! Making soup is also on my brain. My issue with soup is that a lot of recipes yield a lot more than two light eaters can eat in a couple days. But I’m gonna try to figger that out.

It never fails to crack me up at how creative/savvy my adult children are about food and cooking. I was one of *those* parents who decided my children would learn to eat what was in front of them and not fuss about food. They would eat vegetables, roight? Do all inexperienced parents think that? What the bloody hell?

Lemme see… Fluorescent orange macaroni and cheese by the wheelbarrow? Cheese-it! Cheese-it! Cheese-it! PIZZA ROLLS (getting stuck in the Glen’s Groceries freezer trying to get at them). Then there was the time they cooked spaghettios *by themselves* (they pulled a big stool over to the stove so they could reach it). I was in an adjacent room and had no clue what was going on because I was totally engrossed in balancing the PTO checkbook I had just “inherited” (yes, I am a nerd). Zapping pepperoni on paper towels in the micro – ugh, the smell! Ramen ramen ramen couscous parmesan up the wazoo. Breakfast for dinner. White, orange, and yellow food ruled.

All the while this was going on I was dumbing down my once at least sorta-semi creative cooking skills and now that I can cook whatever the heck I want, I am often sitting around spinning my wheels unable to think of anything beyond the limited go-to repertoire of dishes I can make without engaging my brain. Not that there’s anything wrong with eating a hunk of protein/white side/salad (I’m thinking salmon some day this week) but it’s time to get organized and ramp up the creativity again. And nowadays I have my former fussy eaters to help me.

*Fun fact: Jiffy mix is made in Chelsea, MI, 15-20 miles west of here.

Photo credit: Well, *I* took the photoooo but it is a detail from the Robolights installation we visited Friday night. There were a number of tall cone shaped (hmm, what to call them) “pieces” made of discarded “artifacts”, mostly but not limited to old electronic stuff. Each cone was spray-painted a single color, this one blue. I wish I had gotten a pic of the whole cone so you had some context but I am a haphazard iPhoneographer and all I have is this detail. I dunno if this artist needs any drywall buckets but if he does, I know where he can get some [wink].

One Response to “When your kids are better cooks than you…”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I’m a decent, although unimaginative cook and was always in a rush when the girls were busy with ballet and gymnastics, so no time! Now that I have time, I’m too lazy(more like unmotivated) to cook for one person. Both my girls, especially Ashley, are way better cooks than I am!