I am not a chef. I came to that conclusion today as I was cleaning the kitchen. I am not a chef.
A chef cooks to please his customers. A mom cooks to provide nutritionally sound food, that will help her kids grow strong. When did the two become confused?
A little background. I used to cook. As a teenager, I was one of the first in the kitchen to help with the cooking. I loved the creative process of mixing, pouring and baking. Breads were my passion. The smell, the feel of the dough as you kneaded it into perfection. When I was young, family meals were prepared and attendance was mandatory. I can still hear the dinner bell. When you heard that bell, you had thirty minutes to get to the table. You arrived clean and ready to eat. I never recall anyone mentioning the beans were a little cold, the meat was a little chewy or the salad could use more dressing. You sat, you ate, and you chatted about your day. If something needed more salt, you simply salted it. No comment necessary.
Yesterday the family had dinner with another from the neighborhood. Our kids a like siblings. We gathered to a nicely sat table and started eating. The meal was simple enough to be comfortable as fancy things are not necessary when neighbors eat together often.
After a few minutes, the oldest child indicated the Mexican casserole was not spicy enough. He got up, went to the fridge and came back to the table with a bottle of salsa and a torn bag of chips. He then poured half a bottle of salsa on his plate. His meal, chips and salsa with a little casserole. He was not ugly or overly showy. Just a simple critique and a quick fix to better suite his tastes.
This processes got me to thinking. This is an example of why I cook less and order out more. I used to cook real, homemade meals; on a regular basis. I would spend a wonderful afternoon cooking only to have the food critiqued. This could use more salt, this is too crunchy, the rolls are burned and so on. Little comments here and there add up. Comments not meant to hurt but to “help one cook better”. Really, I am not a chef. I do not recall asking for input. I think my taste buds work just fine. Ie I can tell the beans need more salt and the rolls are just a little overdone. There is salt on the table and I am not forcing anyone to eat the bread.
My resolution for 2013 was to eat out less, cook more variety and eat a little healthier. I plan on keeping that resolution. I plan on cooking different things. I know I will burn, over cook and even make a few things that are not so good. Details are not my strong point and thus my casserole may be a little off. I’m thinking, thank goodness there is food on the table.
When my kids are off in college, I may take a cooking class or two. But for today, this week and this year, those that sit at my table may or may not think I am the best cook in the world. The table will be set with a variety of foods for those that gather. I will kindly let them know, my taste buds work and if I want advice or the food rated, I will ask. Otherwise, come when the bell rings. You may eat if you wish or simply enjoy the company of others. I will kindly ask for comments, if I feel like a chef. So please, critique only when asked a direct question.
Simply a mom, not a chef