I am not a great cook. Well, let me rephrase that. I don't like cooking. Of all the things I like to do with my time, cooking is at the very, very far bottom of a very long list. I find no thrill, no excitement, in preparing a meal. I dread it, I loathe it, and I generally do anything and everything I can to get out of it. I do love to eat, and I especially love good food. And I especially love good food when it's prepared by someone else, like a chef at a nice restaurant.
The surprise is if you eat something I've prepared, you are likely to say that it tastes delicious and that you really enjoyed it, and ask for the recipe. I can be a great cook when I put my mind to it. But the effort involved is overwhelming in the worst possible way. Especially when a meal that has taken so long to prepare is consumed in mere minutes by my hungry boys, husband included.
In these rough economic times, eating out has become a luxury. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to eat at home more often. So I'm trying. Really hard. Last night I made Mexican Lasagna from a recipe I received at my bridal shower almost 14 years ago. It's really good. And I know this because Nathan and Ben were positively singing my praises. They all but licked their plates clean. Nathan declared it to be the very best meal he'd ever eaten. Tonight I made an Italian chicken recipe that has mozzarella, tomatoes, and chunks of sourdough bread. When Nat looked at it, he said "yuck". When I told him what was in it (all his favorites), he changed his tune and took a bite, declaring it to be the best meal ever. And then he paid me a lovely compliment. He said that my cooking was completely out of this world! I got all warm and fuzzy feeling, and then he said it was so out of this world, it went to outer space where even the aliens ate it, loved it, and sent back down to earth for seconds. Golly! High praise indeed! From an eight year old, anyway! Hmmm, just wait until he tries my Slimy Green Burritos, a meal so incredibly tasty that Michael long ago composed a theme song for it. Yeah, it's really that good.
I guess the key to me enjoying cooking involves people singing happy songs about it!