Thursday, 24 May 2012

Masterchef...not me.

Somewhere out there, a perfect family sits around a table, steaming, tasty looking dishes in front of them.  They all smile, perfectly groomed children pick up knives and forks and eat politely, staying in their seats, telling the creator of the meal (a smiling mum if we are to properly continue the stereotype), how delicious it is.

Dining Table
This is what my table looks like every night
After the meal is over, they take their empty plates to the kitchen, load the dishwasher themselves and go off quietly to finish their homework or do their music practice or....WAIT! STOP!

Can somebody slap me?  

Cooking. That day in, day out, do they really want dinner AGAIN sort of cooking, is not fun, it's seldom appreciated and it saps my (very limited) brain energy as I scramble, night after night to produce something, tasty, healthy, unprocessed, with all the five food groups in the correct proportions that five people will eat happily.


Really, who am I kidding, I'm not trying, because this is impossible.  I would go so far as to suggest I couldn't even do it for two consecutive nights.  I'd be lucky to do it for one.  I believe the correct terminology would be a fluke.

If it's got too many vegetables, it's a shit fight.  If it's got too much sauce, my beloved firstborn cracks a narna.  If it's remotely spicy it sends the drama queen into hysterics.

I can't win.

So I've stopped trying.  All I ask is that everyone eat their carrot because everyone seems to like it.  Josh likes broccoli.  Sarah doesn't mind green beans.  Issy likes complaining and falling asleep in her dinner.

And we have a few rules to limit the tears and tantrums (mine of course):

1. If I'm trying a new meal, everyone must make a reasonable effort to eat it.  The definition of reasonable is my decision.
2. Three out of five family members must like a meal for it to be repeated, (countless likely prospects have gone to dinner heaven due to dissent from the ranks).
3. Favourite meals can be requested only every fortnight (less often is preferable) at the risk of overdose and ceasing to be favourite.
4. On your birthday you get to pick your dinner, but it can't be McDonalds.
5. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Enough already
I'll keep trying new stuff, as recommended by friends, or complete strangers whose brains I pick, or found on websites or blogs, such as abeachcottage, or Babymac, because I can't spend the next ten years eating a relentless rotation of chilli con carne, stirfry and spag bol.

I drag out the slow cooker, I toy with soups, I loiter at the butcher.

Fruitless and soul destroying, yes.  But definitely a first world problem.

Recipes anyone?