Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cookin' with Gina

So one of my New Year's resolutions was to cook more. I enjoy cooking, even though at times I can find it an exhaustive task. Between the prep, the cooking and then the requisite clean up, usually all I want to do is sit down for a bit.

Since Mr. Personality was born, I have tended to make things that were semi-prepared, or just needed me to toss a few things in here and there as opposed to making things from scratch. There are actually many things I enjoy more than cooking, and in the past, I have opted to do those instead.

This directly opposed the view of myself that I had built up as a mother. How could my child reminisce about his favorite dish when Mom's favorite thing to cook for dinner was spaghetti? All his future wife will have to do is brown butter for his pasta as well as I can, and poof! There goes the pedestal.

One of the major problems I have is how to keep Mr. Personality occupied while I am doing all that pesky measuring and mixing. He desperately wants to help me whenever I cook, and as I am trying out new recipes, it is already taking longer than usual for me to finish. New recipes stress me out, because I have no idea how it will turn out, and here I have spent 45 minutes making a failure of a meal when I just should have boiled some water and thrown something in it, dammit.

Compounding this problem is that for most nights, Hubba-hubba is not here for dinner due to his work schedule, so it's just Mr. Personality and me. I cannot always trust him to play by himself quietly, and actually, if he is being quiet, I am immediately suspicious. Not particularly conducive to cooking a meal from scratch, at least in my mind.

But today I broke one of my cardinal rules. I was so eager to try out a recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese which Mr. Personality loves, that I broke out a DVD from Christmas that hadn't been opened yet and parked him on the couch while I putzed around in the kitchen.

Lord, forgive me my sins, for I know not what I do.

The unease I had at committing this act should have warned me that things would not turn out in the perfect Betty Crocker moment I had been trying to conjure. I was first encouraged as he kept coming into the kitchen to eat some of the plain pasta. Then he would come in and sniff and make approving noises. My hopes soared as the dish began bubbling in the oven.

I unwisely had no backup.

The macaroni and cheese did not even enter his mouth. He sniffed the finished product, screwed up his face in disgust, and declared that he would not eat it. I forced him to sort of at least lick the spoon, and I instantly regretted pushing the issue.

Him: I doooooon't liiiiiiiike iiiiiiit!

Me: But you love macaroni and cheese! Try it again, you just didn't taste enough of it!

Him: (sobbing) But I liiike the macar-r-roni and cheese that doesn't have the macaroni or the cheeeeeese!

I think I need to go find a sledgehammer, because that pedestal just isn't worth it anymore.


heidi said...

OMG I want some!

Liz said...

I love homemade mac and cheese and I like making it to. My 16 year old told me the other day that she prefers the Kraft in the box stuff. No wonder I am too burned out to cook.

Heather said...

I don't think I know ANY parent who hasn't used the TV at least ONCE as a child-distractor, so don't beat yourself up over it :-)

We had a similar supper last night - Maddie declared she would NOT eat the taco salad the rest of us were eating. Instead, she ate taco chips with some apple sauce on the side to give her at least ONE of the food groups.

Suzanne said...

This is why I barely bother cooking anything new. I have a hard enough time getting my kids to eat the foods that they supposedly like, let alone an unknown dish. I've thrown away more food (or consumed more food myself) than is publicly admissable.

I tell myself that someday things will change and that my kids will eat something other than pancakes and noodles for dinner (the two currently acceptable dinner dishes).

Oh, and back to you -- I would have loved some of that mac and cheese!

Anvilcloud said...

Perhaps my favourite thing to cook is a light macaroni and cheese that everybody seems to like. But I would consider the source if a young lad didn't prefer it. :) I'm sure you do too, but good blog topics are not to be discounted.

Mel said...

What? We aren't supposed to use the television to district our kids? What?

Gina said...

Well, I will just have to extend a standing invitation to dinner at my house!

WordsRock said...

Well well. Try as I may have, I never once made my son cry over mac n' cheese. My attempts at cooking have made him laugh, but never cry.

I'd better get busy if I want to keep up with the Jones, yes?