Momtourage: Are You Stuck in a Rut in the Kitchen?

Dear Family,
I’ve decided I’m no longer cooking dinner. You are on your own.
Yours truly,
P.S. There’s cereal in the pantry.

Are you tired of cooking? Ever feel like throwing in the kitchen towel? Every time you make a meal, do you get complaints? Is your husband gluten-free, and allergic to crustaceans, not to mention has an aversion to nuts? Does your daughter have lactose intolerance? Is your son just so bull-headed he won’t even try a vegetable?

Sadly, something I once loved to do has become a chore, one with the critical and nagging question:  How can I cook a meal and make sure everyone enjoys it?

Each time I’ve felt defeated by the hypercritical foodies, (my family), I’ve given it another try. This last time, I went through an entire cookbook, from a famous chef and cookbook author, and had them rate the meals I cooked. Some got thumbs up and some not so much.

I’ve even tried keeping some Yumble dinners on hand in case someone didn’t like a meal I was making. But I regularly ask myself, why does it take so much effort to get everyone to eat a healthy dinner? Why is my family so picky? Is your family also this difficult when it comes to dinner?

Circa 1987, I can assure you that none of these problems existed. We came inside from playing with our friends, washed our hands, sat down, and ate what my mother made that night. No complaints, no alternative meals, no, “Www, I don’t like this!” (except if it was a fatty piece of meat).

How did my mom get it right all of the time, and yet every week, I sit here stumped by what to cook, unable to please just three people?

As I continuously ponder this question, I think to myself: Is it because nowadays families eat dinner out more often and children are used to ordering a la carte? Was it the outdoor play that made the kids of the 80’s so hungry they didn’t care what they ate? Or is it that I have a very particular family when it comes to food?

Now don’t get me wrong, we have our go-to dinner items that are always a hit – chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, (with a stick of butter and heavy cream), hamburgers, and lemon chicken – but we can’t eat those four meals every week, can we?

Watching the Food Network for inspiration used to do the trick. I would watch Ina Garten on Sunday mornings, and the following week, feel inspired to try all of the new recipes that I saw her make.

More recently, it has been challenging to muster the energy every week to try and make them happy and assure that they have eaten a delicious, nutritious, home-cooked meal.

I feel defeated by the harsh food critics, the ones that live right in my own home.

If you have any words of motivation, or ideas on how to help, we would love to hear from you!

Can’t take the heat, so I’m getting out of the kitchen,

The Momtourage

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