18 July 2013

When did cooking get easier?

Today I planned to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, but we were out of spaghetti sauce. No problem, I thought. I had one bag of frozen Roma tomatoes left from a friend's garden, several cans of diced tomatoes, and various seasonings in the pantry. So, I proceeded to throw these ingredients in a pot, along with some butter and onions, and I made my own sauce. Easy-peasy!

The fact that I thought this was easy made me think about how far I've come in the kitchen. I'm no great cook, by any means, but I am no longer whining about having to make dinner from scratch. Part of this willingness to take a few extra steps at the stove probably has something to do with the fact that I am still unemployed. Not only do I have to stretch our food budget by making the best of every item on the shelf, but I also have the time on my hands to do so.

When I was working, I would say a silent "Thank you!" to God when ABM suggested that we pick up McDonald's meals or a pizza on the way home. After a day at one of my boring jobs, I wanted to do nothing more than sit back with some fast food and a book or TV show. My kids ate their fair share of Hot Pockets and ramen noodles in their early years, so much so that now even my meager attempts at home cooking are met with cheers.

Now that I am trying to stay away from boxed meal helpers and be more creative in the kitchen, the kids are stepping up and trying new recipes, too. DJ was the one who helped me with the sauce tonight, and he also make the turkey meatballs. C1 can't wait for us to have a cooler day so we can try making bread again. Even M, my picky eater, has branched out and is making fish in foil packets instead of living on plain rice. Hopefully this means that they will feed their future offspring less junk than I fed them.
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