This Cooking Thing, It Could Become a Habit

My mom has always said she started cooking when she had kids. Whereas I haven’t eaten crap for my whole life, I can see where she was coming from. The burrito, pasta, some sort of chicken dish rotation doesn’t quite cut it once you are cooking for a little one.

I mean, it does. There are always vegetables involved and it’s all at least semi-balanced. But, I’ve come to feel like we need more variety to make sure we are eating right, and enjoying it. When the Noodle began to eat solids last year, I firmly decided I would make all* of his food. Part of this was determination not to be lazy – I am his mother, I should be able to prepare meals for him (since I wasn’t also going to a job for 8 hours or more a day). Part of it was just the idea that the less processing there is, the better. But, I think a main driver was the transition between him eating through me and him eating independently of me. I had nourished him for 41+ weeks inside me, and then nourished him with milk from my body for another 25 weeks. I didn’t stop breastfeeding completely until Noodle was 9 months old, but it felt like that was the “cord cutting” for us, that was when he became separate from me.

The weaning was hard at first. But then I realized that I could still be that food making factory of nourishment, I just had to approach it from a different angle. And not only could I, it had to be me. My 1-year old was not going to stand in the kitchen and say, “Burritos again? Mommy, you are not feeding me right.”

We found a bargain cookbook at WH Smith’s one day, and I have to say, I think it is the best cookbook ever. We don’t have any another where I have made so many recipes. My mom is coming next week, and I don’t think she is going to know what hit her. Chicken and artichoke pie, mango chicken and quinoa salad, Mediterranean chicken. I’m on a roll. I’m even making additions, improving on the recipes. (Like, come on, if you are going to make sesame beef with pak choi and spring onions, how hard is it to throw in carrots, mushrooms and red chillies – yes, I feed my toddler food spiced with garlic and chillies. He likes it.)

I made lasagne this week. As I was stirring the bolognese sauce, I realized, “in my whole life, I don’t think I have ever made lasagne.” I’ve eaten it plenty of times, and had it lovingly made for me, but I cannot picture myself in any of my kitchens layering out the pasta and baking up the dish. It wasn’t bad. Not great. It needed way more cheese, and dare I say more bechamel sauce on the top layer (I’m not a big fan), but that can be accomplished next time.

I’m so proud of myself. This “best bagel toaster in the world” is moving up. But, to be fair to myself, I’ve never been a bad cook. Even Crunchy husband jumped to my defence the other weekend when one of our friends, when trying to understand the situation, started to say I wasn’t good. I can cook. I just don’t like to. It bores me. I can think of so many other ways I’d love to spend my time. But, it has to be done. So, I guess it has to be done right.

*There were always food pouches and baby food jars in our kitchen for times when we were traveling over night, or just in case, but for the most part, I did it.

Tuesday: Run – 30.14
Friday: Run – 30.28

Seal of approval - a happy boy after his lasagne

One response to “This Cooking Thing, It Could Become a Habit”

  1. Susan says:

    I love that you’re cooking for Noodle! I started cooking at 13 (I truly believe that it was a precursor to becoming a scientist). I’m a firm believer that less processing makes better, healthier foods (or at least offers a way to control what goes in to what you eat). No, I don’t always do it myself. But I try :) My food processor finally gave up the ghost. Or rather, the bowl part broke to the point that I could no longer snap it into place. No, it had nothing to do with the fact that I’ve dropped it multiple times. Onto hard tiles. And that plastic is very much against contact with hard surfaces at any kind of velocity. I swear! But my food processor helped a lot to make purees from fresh foods to incorporate into cooked items. It also cut down on slicing and shredding times. Until I lost the little doohickey that props the extra blade into place. I promise I’ll be nicer to my new food processor :)

    Keep it up and good luck in your endeavors!

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