I keep thinking that I like cooking, until I realize that I like cooking, say, three to four days a week. The other times, I like takeout, and leftovers, and restaurants…see where I’m going with this?
But I’m starting off this year (oh, ye of little resolutions!) with a vow to stop wasting–wasting money, wasting food. So I’ve armed myself with our checkbook, an expense tracker portfolio (called ‘Organizher’, by the way–because that’s not annoying), and a copy of Kathleen Flinn’s The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, and I’m trying my darnedest to plan meals, use up what we have, learn new ways to improvise. And not ask David to pick up Thai food on his way home.
It’s January 4th and I’m already exhausted.
Right now I’m waiting for chicken stock to simmer on the stove, and there’s bread baking in the oven (this is the fourth loaf out of dough I made this weekend, and I’m squeamishly wondering why the bread gets sourdoughy-er as it sits in the fridge–can someone help me out with this?). I’ve roasted a chicken, cut meat off of roasted bones while trying not to faint, gagged at the sight of cartilage, second-guessed my decision to make a tentative dip in the carnivore pool, and washed more pots and pans this week than a busboy at your local Red Lobster. In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve showered today, but no, the hair’s not done and the contact lenses are still sitting in their solution. It ain’t pretty.
What is kind of nice is that I haven’t thrown out one bit of food all week aside from carrot peelings (yes, we should compost. No, we’re not there yet. Don’t nag me…baby steps, man, baby steps). My children have eaten mac and cheese that came from our stove and not from a box. I’ve discovered that leftovers don’t have to be awful, and that homemade vinaigrette is so easy it’s sort of lovely. I won’t be throwing out any bags of slimy lettuce this week, I’ll tell you that much.
So who knows if this little experiment of mine will become a lifestyle. I like the challenge of it. It’s good to feel like I’m getting rid of the toomuchtoomuchtoomuch. And our house smells awesome. Not to mention how clean all those pots and pans are…
This morning, right before lunch, SK came up to me and asked, “Mom? Can we have some ketchup soup and the cheese with the crunchy bread?” It took me a moment to remember this is what she calls tomato soup and grilled cheese. Sure, I said, and headed into the kitchen.
A little later, at the table, Saoirse sighed happily. ‘This is the most boo-full lunch I ever had,’ she said. I thought my heart was going to swell up out of my chest. I’m so glad to hear that, I told her. I added: Mommy made that bread, you know.
Saoirse closed her eyes, nodded, and smiled. “I love this.” And I happily floated away on the cloud of my own little success.
Maybe I will keep this up. Maybe we’ll be eating takeout pizza by Friday. I don’t know, but I can’t decide now. I have to take the bread out of the oven first.