When You Have To Cook

You know those guys who sell really expensive pots and pans and make you listen to a seminar with the hopes that in the end you will be going on a luxurious, FREE, vacation to Mexico? Yeah, you know them. Right before Ed and I got married, we sat through one of those seminars. The guy preached how these million dollar pots and pans would change our life, save us money, help us eat healthier, blah, blah blah.

I looked at Ed and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry!”

And no, there was no FREE trip to Mexico. A full hour of our lives were wasted in the Marriott Conference Room. Looking back on that day, there was one thing the guy was sort of right about. Cooking will change your life…in really wonderful ways, but you don’t need million dollar pots and pans to do it.

At first, I didn’t know what I needed. We got married. We had a baby. I resigned from my full-time job. We moved away from the city to the country. Pizza hut, Chinese food, and Tudor’s Biscuit World were basically the only restaurants close by. So many changes, and after eating Pizza Hut, Chinese food, and Tudor’s Biscuit World on a weekly basis, my insides hurt.

I HAD TO COOK. (Insert Sad Emoji) Aside from needing the obvious, like cooking tools, recipes and ingredients, I needed patience, encouragement, and persistence overall.

I made some truly AWFUL, MAKE YOU GAG food. I remember watching my husband trying to choke down some chicken salad I made from BOILED CHICKEN! Blah! I will never eat boiled chicken again. I made some KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK, HOLY COW I’M BASICALLY A TOP CHEF type of meals.

I should have written all the good ones down. I used Pinterest, and my favorite method of finding a recipe, Googling what’s in my fridge and pantry and letting the internet tell me what to make. Ha! Ok, that doesn’t work all the time. I became a Pampered Chef consultant and tried some of their recipes. (You can totally go to pamperedchef.com and get FREE recipes that are really simple. No complicated ingredients!)

So how is cooking life changing? It saves you money. We used to spend at least $50 on one meal for 2 people weekly at Olive Garden. You eat healthier. Fresh ingredients start replacing the processed food, and prepackaged meals.  You start making time for family dinners. The day finally came where the majority of my cooking became edible. That was also the day where I sadly realized how disappointing restaurant food is when you can COOK! Seriously, a very sad day.

I am still figuring out what meals we like. Even though cooking can be frustrating, it's also really rewarding (and FUN) to see people chowing down! You know they like it when they go back for seconds! Here in this house we all go kinda crazy for Ed's chili with special spice blend. (Not even I know what's in this chili, but it's darn delicious!) Someday, I hope to be one of those amazingly organized people who meal plan, but for now, after a whole day of traveling, I am going to ask Google, "What's for dinner?” and hope I come up with something good. Even if I don’t, we will still enjoy talking to each other, pleading with our 4 year old, and making memories around the table.