Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thoughts on Cooking

Being a homeschoolin' Mama to eight requires, as my friend Barb says, 'wearing a lot of hats.' Over that past two or three years, I've found myself resenting/dreading/slacking in the area of cooking for my family.  It just seemed like one more task to try to fit in, and often I failed to plan, so after a successful day of homeschooling, at about 4:47, I'd suddenly think, "Oh--DINNER!!"  Cooking felt like an endlessly-undone task.  I was simply trying to stave my begging children off for another 2.3 hours every time I fed them.  My husband has come home some weeks asking innocently, "So, what kind of frozen pizza are we having tonight?"

Plus, I've never been one to really enjoy cooking. My Mom was too kind and gentle on me as a teenager, and I was never required to do much of anything in the kitchen, including cleanup.  I distinctly remember calling her during my newly-wed days, asking her how to make tea.  I kid you not.  My Mom and Mother-in-law were surely snickering behind their hands, but were gracious to give me tips, recipes, and ideas over those first years.  Kevin was blinded by love and endured a lot of sub-par food.  Ask him about the tuna casserole event.  

These days, the world seems full of people who love to cook and create in the kitchen, but maybe there are some of you out there who feel as I have.  Recently The Lord has allowed me some insight that has really helped my attitude and motivation, and maybe it will encourage you, too.  

As a child, I remember having a certain feeling when my Mom was in the kitchen cooking or baking.  There was a sort of anticipation, and a sense of security.  Though unable to articulate it at the time, I felt loved and cared for.  Even when the menu included something I considered gross, I never doubted that dinner would be on the table and perhaps if I ingested the gross stuff, there would be dessert. I liked it when Mom was in the kitchen.  

Even as an adult, food has clearly communicated love to me at times when I've been on the receiving end of a nice meal.  After the birth of each of our children, kind friends have showered us with dinners to give us a helping hand.  Probably near a hundred meals, if I were to figure ten or so for each child's birth.  What a simple but powerful way to put love in action for a tired and sore Mama and her adjusting family!  

So, lately it's helped my motivation and creativity to remember that I'm giving my children that same subtle feeling of security when I'm creating something in the kitchen. There's so much more involved in making a home for your family, but food is a big part of it. I certainly no gourmet cook, but I'm hoping that even my small efforts will communicate love to my clan.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you! I'm not really fond of cooking, but I feel that preparing a meal for your children and a husband who comes home from a long day at work is so important!

Jenia said...

I totally understand!! I love it when I am actually organized enough to put something in the crockpot so it is ready when we are ready... I wish it happened more often :)

Liz said...

Maybe this will help you! I use it EVERY SINGLE WEEK to plan our week's meals.

Anne said...

My meal preparation tends to ebb and flow. ;) Some weeks, I do well and plan it all out and prepare everything on my list. :) Other weeks I forget KEY ingredients and end up throwing something together at the last minute. Every time I use my crockpot I think to myself "Wow, this is so great, I really should use it more often!" But I only end up using it once or twice every month. Maybe we should swap our 'go to recipes' ;)