Thursday, April 14, 2011

Betty Crocker does not live here

The other day, while sitting around the table eating dinner, Molly looked up from her plate. She turned toward me and declared, "Mommy, this is the best dinner you've ever made!" Now, for most moms, this would probably be a moment of great pride. This comment would puff them up (rightfully so), and they could strut around knowing that they pleased their 3-year-old's picky taste pallet.

Me? I burst out laughing.

I wasn't laughing at Molly. She was being completely sincere and earnest. And, I did appreciate that she was actually eating her dinner. I laughed because the meal she was raving about, the meal that was the height of my culinary expertise, the meal that she asked for seconds of? That meal? Yeah, that meal was a pre-made rotisserie chicken from Target.

Yup, pretty much exactly like the one above. I can't even claim that I prepared the thing. It grosses me out to cut the meat off the bone, so I made Cory do it. And, I didn't even make any of the vegetables or bread that went with the meal. Cory did that, too. So, pretty much all I did was pick it up off the shelf at Target, put it in my cart, pay with my credit card and bring it home. But, according to Molly, that was the best cooking I had ever done.

She's actually probably pretty accurate. I don't cook. I don't. I have a sign in my kitchen that proclaims proudly, 'I have a kitchen because it came with the house.' I don't get joy out of cooking. It makes a big mess, and then you have to clean it all up. Whenever I tell people that I don't cook, they immediately say, "Oh, but I have such an easy recipe, you just ... " I will warn anyone in the future, when you say this to me, I zone out after the third or fourth ingredient. Too many steps, too many ingredients, and I lose interest.

That's not to say I don't make things on occasion. I like to mix some dips together. I even like to bake some desserts. But, here's the thing, I only make what I deem is important. Desserts, they are important. I could live on Coke Zero and cupcakes if my body would let me (see previous post re: Little Debbie snack cakes). However, even my desserts are from a box. I totally believe that "from a box" equals homemade. I made it at home, right?

Clearly, I just don't deem dinner dishes as important. If it were only me, I would eat cold cereal, salads, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (in addition to the Coke Zero and cupcakes, of course). But, since I have this family who, for some reason, like to eat real, substantial meals, we have to eat actual meals with meat and veggies and bread and stuff. Now, who's going to make it? You guessed it. Not me. Again, if it were up to me, I'd buy all our "real" meals. It's a big reason why we go out to eat for lunch almost every day. If you look closely, a lot of our pictures are taken in various restaurants around town. See below:

This is what happens when you whine and cry as a restaurant worker is trying to put out freshly baked chocolate chip cookies right in front of you. She gives you one for free. (Maybe I should try that sometime.)

But because Cory is a tight-wad with the money, for dinner, he's taken on 98.9% of all the cooking. I say 98.9% because on the rare occasion, I have felt the guilt of being a terrible mom, and have delved into the world of cooking. I browned my first thing of hamburger meat this last winter to make tacos. I also put some stuff into a crockpot to make chili. But, considering I can count on my fingers how many meals I've made, I don't think it amounts to a whole heck of a large percentage.

In my past, I have had some experiences with cooking that have led to some disastrous results. I will never forget the Easy Mac incident of 1999. Ugh. FYI, when you let the noodles sit too long without putting the cheese in, it leads to ooey, gooey, pastey mush. The fact that Cory ate it at all (before I tasted it) shows what a good man he is. But, that was when we were still just dating; I doubt he would do that today. Then, there was the infamous baking of muffins in a plastic muffin tray. Who knew it would melt? Ok, we probably should've, but seriously, who makes plastic muffin trays?!?! I cannot take the full share of the blame on that one, however. Leigh, I'm looking at you.

So, you see, there are valid reasons I don't cook. And, I've stopped making apologies for it. If I want to feel domestic, I'd much rather scrapbook or even clean. If you are invited over to my house, I will fully forewarn you, you will not be getting a homemade meal. This is not to say we don't love having people over. We do, just check out my party post. We just come up with other things to serve. Things that only require mixing (preferably with four or fewer ingredients), or taking from a box and putting into oven (I also consider that cooking). Heck, you never know. Next time you come over, you may even be served my world-famous, most-excellent, high-praise worthy, Target Rotisserie Chicken.


  1. I stand by the logic... The mix makes six muffins. There is a muffin pan that will hold 6 muffins or a tray that will hold 12. As child under the age of 10 how was I expected to know better?
    However, I do have to admit I use that story as a great excuse to get out of cooking dinner. :)