I don’t cook.
Well, I did cook once. It was actually one of the things I looked forward to most when I first got married: cooking my man his dinner. Unfortunately, he wasn’t particularly enthralled by the two meals I knew how to make:
- Chicken Rice Casserole: chicken breasts/ cream of mushroom soup/frozen broccoli/ Minute Rice
- Tuna Noodle Casserole: can of tuna/ cream of mushroom soup/ frozen peas/pasta
The look of hungry dissatisfaction on Mr. Mia’s newlywed face remains branded on my mind almost twenty-five years later.
Things got a little bit better when Mr. Mia grew a garden. I figured out how to make a fresh zucchini/onion/tomato stir fry, which I served over rice or pasta (and, for the record, it wasn’t a casserole) that my husband actually liked. I made it every day for three weeks.
And then he didn’t like it anymore.
This cooking dilemma compounded with the birth of my extremely finicky first daughter, Ali. She nursed for a long time—I couldn’t go wrong with that. But when the time came for her to eat solid food—well, it didn’t go well. I tried all of the typical “kid foods”: chicken nuggets, grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, buttered noodles, and pizza. NOPE, NOT HAPPENING. So, I shifted into “chocolate milk shakes for all three meals mode”, into which I would sometimes slip some fruit or yogurt.
“No banana, Mommy! No yogie! Just milk and ice cream!” (And way too much chocolate syrup.)
About a year later, I asked the pediatrician, “Can a child survive on milk shakes, Wheat Thins, and Kudos bars?” The doctor looked at me strangely. And for the record, at this point I wasn’t too worried about what Mr. Mia ate for dinner.
Child number two… less picky. Yay.
Child number three… WAY MORE PICKY. Ugh.
Child number four eats anything… and everything, for the most part. Cool.
And then dinnertime got CRAZY. Swim team, dance class, art lessons, baseball, after school enrichment program, soccer, soccer for someone else… you name it, my kids did it. Sitting down at the dinner table became a thing of the past.
I was not overly disappointed, as dinnertime was nothing like the picture above. It had become rather stressful, thanks to the fact I had to make four separate meals each night.
We got out of the “sitting down to dinner” habit. For the next few years, I put together one meal for two kids at five, and Mr. Mia put together a semblance of dinner for another kid at seven, and I picked up fast food for more family members at ten, on the way home from dance. What Mr. Mia ate each night… I have no clue.
Yeah, that was another sigh.
All I can say is I’m reasonably confident that nobody was starving.
I called myself “The Lone Arranger” when it came to coming up with dinner for the kids. (I actually thought everybody called me this catchy nickname, but I have recently been informed—rather rudely, I must say—that this is not the case.) In any event, I didn’t cook dinner—I simply arranged for each family member to have access to something edible each night.
The situation has become even more challenging lately, although it’s not often that the entire family is home to eat dinner seeing as one child is in law school, two are in college, and my only child who is living at home is heavily involved in sports.
Ali is a vegetarian—and a super “foodie” vegetarian at that.
Demi is gluten and dairy free by necessity.
Sisi eats about five foods in the entire world, but this number is slowly growing. I think she is up to seven foods now.
Chris isn’t so much into vegetables.
Mr. Mia refuses to eat fast food and those easy heat-up frozen meals.
I tried to be a “hunter-gatherer” for a period of time for health reasons, but finally gave up and I just eat what I can arrange.
We cook a Green Chef meal a few times a week and hire the lady across the street to occasionally cook us comfort food. Mr. Mia grills every now and then. Momma Mia makes that chicken/mushroom soup/broccoli casserole once in a while. Sometimes we eat big bowls of cereal.
Sometime we just drink wine (excluding my son who eats leftovers from the above list).
I don’t cook—never really have, and probably I never will.
But we’re getting by.
By the way, did you hear that Omaha Steaks is offering new crockpot meals?
This is Beef Bourguignon.
Here is how they are marketing this delicious meal…
“The only difficult part about this French family favorite is saying the name. Also known as Beef Burgundy, it’s a flavorful savory dish that’s been difficult to make for centuries. Now, there’s no mess, no stress, and no shopping or chopping multiple ingredients. It’s all included – just add it to your Crock-Pot® slow cooker before you leave for the day and it’s ready when you get home.”
I’ve already tried selling the idea to Mr. Mia. He’s a tough customer. And then there’s the fact that children #1-3 won’t be able to eat it, for various reasons (see above) and child #4 will pick out the vegetables.
I’ll let you know how it turns out.
I want to know HOW YOU DO IT… How do you feed yourselves and your families on those crazy busy or I-don’t-feel-like-cooking nights? Please!! I need the help!!
❤ YA Mia