Monday Musings: Notes from the Kitchen

As I mentioned last week, the BaldMan had a partial knee replacement done on 5/7. He’s doing well, but with somewhat limited mobility (he’s using at least one crutch most of the time), and some discomfort still, he has not been doing the cooking like he usually does. I’ve taken over. It’s not too bad, really. I can cook. I’m not nearly as good as he is, but I don’t practice every day, either. I just don’t really enjoy it. I get tired of trying to figure out what to make every day, day after day. Then I fall back on making the same things, on repeat. But it has been kind of fun for the past week or so, really. I will be glad when he gets back to kitchen, but I’ve enjoyed trying to figure out what to make, and finding recipes, and putting a good meal on the table. They haven’t all been stellar, but no one has refused to eat the food, and no one has starved. Yet. I even grilled veal chops on Saturday on the Big Green Egg, and they were pretty good.

This has got me thinking about a lot of stuff, really. One is why I don’t enjoy the cooking stuff as much. I love baking. I could bake every day and not get tired of it. Okay, the fact that I have a sweet tooth is part of it, but one of the things I love to bake most is bread. And most bread is not sweet. Even though I do use the Kitchen Aid mixer to help with the kneading (I have problems with tendonitis in my hand and kneading can irritate it), I love the feel and smell of dough. The everyday meal cooking just doesn’t get that same reaction from me. That seems more like a chore. Weird, maybe, but there it is.

The other thing is why more people don’t cook. I mean really cook. Not open a container and heat it up. Not brown up some ground beef and add a packet of “stuff.” Not grab some pre-made, heat and serve from the supermarket. Or, worse, just run through the drive-in at a fast food place. Now, sure, some of the things we make are involved and take time, but most are not. Most are perfectly good weeknight meals. We make a spaghetti sauce with canned tomatoes, a little butter, and an onion cut in half that is ready in 45 minutes. A roast chicken takes an hour. And that hour is free for other things. Sure, you must have something with the chicken, but buttered noodles or potatoes, and a vegetable don’t take an hour to put together. Homework can be done in that hour. Look what Rachel Ray can put together in 30 minutes. Yes, it may take you a little longer if your knife skills aren’t super good, but not much more. And the food is fresher, healthier, and so much better for you. Less chemical additives, far less sodium and sweeteners, more nutrition, and much better tasting. And you can make it family time, and get the kids involved in helping. You get to spend more time with them, and you are teaching them valuable life skills. I really wish more people would try it, even if it’s only a couple of nights a week. You might find you actually like it!

Now, when is the BaldMan going to be ready to take over the kitchen again? 🙂