I think it is safe to say I have a complicated relationship with food. I associate it heavily with family, friends and generally good times. I love cooking for other people. The creative process of cooking is fun for me. Also, food is a way I can show other people I care about and appreciate them. However, there is a flip side to this. Making meals for my family sometimes really stresses me out especially the process of deciding what to make on a day to day basis. Somehow being the defacto meal preparer completely takes the fun away.
What also isn’t fun is knowing that I use eating food to compensate when I’m sad or stressed. That particular added complication also detracts from all the awesome good feelings I have about food. I want to be able to make tasty things sometimes healthy, sometimes not and have some level of confidence I’m not going to over indulge. This is particularly important to me now that I’m a mumma. The smile on my little guys face when he has a treat I made just for him means a lot. I want to be able to bake cookies for him! So I’m trying to figure it out. The freezer is my friend. Treats in the freezer aren’t as tempting as treats on the counter. I’m also trying healthier recipes with mild success. Sorry but the way my gram made it is still better for a lot of favs. Undiscovered things from the healthy recipe land seem to go over better to my tasty buds.
With weeknight dinners, I’m making it fun in different ways. The biggest change is making the process participatory for “el nino”. Whether it is measuring and dumping ingredients or pulling ingredients out I’m trying to find ways to engage my son in the process. While this can slow prep down, the truth is most of what I’m making is so simple that the extra 5-10 minutes isn’t that much of an ask. Plus it beats having a hangry or attention deprived child harassing you in the kitchen. Also I hope it will reenforce the values I grew up with. That making food means something special.