When I was much younger, I used to wish I had been an early pioneer. Leaving family and friends to venture into the unknown, by wagon train of all things, was beyond amazing to me!!! (I must have scurried over the Indian raids, illnesses and deaths in my extensive readings, because I don’t remember any apprehension, on my part.) I spent hours dreaming of how exciting it would be to have lived off the land, making my own butter, cheese, candles, and clothes. Sleeping on a mattress filled with straw, riding a horse to school, and learning to embroider all seemed so exciting. Obviously, I was very young.
When I took up weaving and spinning in my 20’s, I did it as a hobby and it was extremely enjoyable. Along with my kids, we even made candles, baked Indian frybread and cooked dinner over a fire. It was great fun but I will be the first to say, that if I had to do any of these activities on a daily basis, my opinion would be far different.
At this point in my life, I would gladly give up any and all of my daily chores. Cooking has become my newest dreaded chore. At best, I never was a very good cook — now, I find myself lacking even in inspiration. I think I need to go back to the time when I had young children and relied on 5 or 6 basic recipes. Right now, I just stand and stare at the items in my fridge, freezer and pantry trying to visualize the outcome if I combined several together.
I’ve learned though that it’s dangerous to unleash my creativity in the cooking arena. If there is any saving grace, it has got to be Trader Joe’s. I have found that if I add a jar of Corn & Chili salsa to a few core ingredients, I can create a tasty and edible American/Mexican casserole. Sweet Red Chili sauce? It has the ability to save almost any cooking disaster I create. When absolutely nothing comes to mind, I can always heat up a packet or two of Trader Joe’s East Indian sauce and serve it over rice with a salad. I want to say I haven’t lowered myself to using a frozen entrée but of course, that would be dishonest. I do try to keep the usage of such dinners to a minimum since I know home cooking is much healthier. Plus, it’s a hard blow to my self esteem when the family praises the TJ frozen entrée dinner as one of my best!
I could so appreciate having a cook — she wouldn’t have to cook all our meals – just dinners, as that seem to be my biggest challenge. We spent a week in Playa del Carmen a couple of years ago, and our house rental included a maid and cook. It was beyond amazing!
And just so you don’t think I’m a total loser in the kitchen …. I want to assure you that I can create a killer cheesecake! So the bottom line here is, if you ever get invited over here for dinner, suggest coming just for desert!