Friday, May 21, 2010

Bunch of Sickies and Cooking Boycott.

3 out of 4 kids have had fevers in the last 12 hours.

Cant' find my camera charger if you are wondering why this blog is so wordy?

Well its one of those days.

Had to cancel Darby's girls tea party birthday party for tomorrow....

second birthday party we've had to cancel of hers cause she got sick.

So I've been eating cake balls all day while trapped in the house handing out medicine and wet washclothes....curse you Motrin and Tylenol for your danged recalls and making me question the safety of all medicine! Cake balls are ruining my diet.

How much tv can be watched by sick kids in one day is like asking how much wood can a woodchuck chuck if I wood chuck could chuck wood.

And yet, there are lots worse illnesses for my kids to have. So I'm grateful its just fevers for now.

Getting a little stir crazy, since my middle child was sick on Monday so this week was full of me trying to feel for the thermometer in the dark all week....makes me wonder why I don't have a system for its location down yet. at 4:30 in the morning as I'm sicking it under Luke's arm it never beeps, so I rush into the bathroom to turn on the light and it says "low Batt' . Who knew? What bad timing. But fortunately my hand thermometer told me it was burning up.

I have yet to cancel my babysitter on Saturday nite secretly hoping all will be well by then because I'm sure we will need to get out of the house.

I opened my cookbook today. My beloved cookbook that I have made myself full of recipes I've tracked over ten years. I even put my mixer on my stand. But I didn't use it. Just got through about three pages before it gave me the chills.

Some of you know that I have boycotted cooking. For most people this might not be a big deal, but for me it is. I made a deliberate decision to try and not cook anything til 2011....I don't know if I can last that long. But it has been liberating. And I've had to get very creative.

I was just spending too much time in the kitchen. Hours and hours. Which I'm sure is expected as the co-CEO of a family of six....BUT I also have to be efficient. And recognize my life situation...bla bla bla...I just needed to pull back. It was sucking way too much time and energy and creating more work for myself.

The most common reaction I get when my friends hear about this is, "But I love to cook (by the way, if you are wondering, all my kids are passed out sleeping right now so no I'm neglecting a bunch of sick kids)" Me Too. "No, I really like to cook." I do too, but right now my motto in life is SIMPLIFY. I always read that and thought I did it, but I didn't. Not when I was making homemade bread, cookies and elaborate meals multiple nights a week. That is a whole lot of dishes.

So now I just prepare. Only easy stuff. We have been eating a lot fresher. My kids haven't mentioned anything yet and its been a few months. So instead of baked potato soup in homemade bread bowls, we are just having baked potatoes with a salad. Instead of homemade baby food its mostly out of the jar. Quesadillas, spaghetti both made the cut. Noodles. Lots of pasta. With butter and salt.

One day I will go back to my cooking world. Maybe when my baby is bigger. But lately I've been reading fiction books instead of cook books (seriously I love to read cook books, cover to cover). My favorite channel is the cooking networks, and I could almost give you bios on all the chefs. Don't even get me started on my other fetish: cooking blogs....But for now I am taking a break. It is freeing.

This is my year to cut down on stuff. To worry more about the four little people in my life than all the neighborhood. Sad this seems so obvious, but it hasn't been for me. Too many times I was short in the kitchen while trying to finish dinner. That kinda loses the point. Yes they help dump and stir, but I remember Luke saying one nite, "What is more important, the food or our baby crying?" Because I couldn't pick her up while I was in the last five minutes of dinner preparation. Well something had to be fixed. And each new baby presents different challenges. I have tried lots of methods. For example, sometimes I will make the dinner at 9 a.m. during the first nap and then put it in the fridge so I can just put it in the oven at 5 when things get crazy. That is a good trick. Even if taco smells in the morning is just wrong.

My family still loves me even if the alfredo sauce isn't from scratch. But the thing is, I know how to make it. I am a good cook. Its taken me ten years to be able to say that. I started at hamburger helper (no I thought that was real cooking) and now have a mean pork tendorloin. A few years ago I took a cooking class from a guy named Paul. It elevated my standards. I learned what gray salt is. And the difference between walnut oil, grapeseed oil and olive oil. That class was just the push I needed. Something I've learned about myself, (this is turning into my diary) is that I am a conqueror. I like to figure things out....probably from my mother who is the queen of figuring things out. So while I've had years of rock-like bread rolls, I will not stop until I have conquered it. And I conquered bread. Now I need to conquer home management.

Maybe thats why I feel okay leaving it for a little bit. Boy is my family going to be happy when 2011 hits...hehehe. Let me tell you something about my husband. He might not bring me flowers or gifts, but the man would never say anything about me deciding not to cook for year. That is a good husband.

Who knows, maybe I'll break it. My focus is on my family this year. Conquering all the things in the world that try I pull us apart. Baseball and cooking didn't make the cut. When I was visiting teaching my friend who is a young mom with two kids the subject of no cooking came up. "No, this is for me, you still need to learn how to cook!" And I meant it. I feel like the only reason I can temporarily put it on the shelf is because I know how to do it. We need to know how to feed our family. We need to know how to look in the cabinet of nothing and turn it into an amazing meal. That is an important skill. And you need to be able to do it with two cents. Or know how to buy food for two cents. Or how to use that whole wheat you are saving for a rainy day. Thankfully I have conquered it. At least partially. Here's to 2010 being full of less dishes. On to the next....lately it's been sewing.

And cause I always have to end with church stuff cause its the reason why I do anything, here is a good talk by the General Relief Society President, also known as butt kicker Julie Beck (oops is that super disrespectful? Sorry, its an endearment for me. I love butt kicking women). She talks about the need for us women to access personal revelation in our lives...which is what I'm trying to do. And personally, that including no cooking. Go read it.

Baby is up got to run. Spell check this yourself please


christy said...

simplifying is important. i have learned that. quality time is important and i'm just not happy if i feel like i'm just driving kids from place to place and never really around them. school takes so much of their time. they need time to just chill and be with their family. that's most important right? family not sports or music or dance or whatever. i let my kids do things only if it is really important to them. now that my kids are older i haev more time during the day but once they come home from school it's busy so crock pot cooking comes in handy.

Lisa -- said...

i have been cooking the way you describe for a while now. I love it! I can send you some our favorite meals for ideas. Generally everything I make is 30 minutes or so and semi homemade.

Tanya said...

cute, post. I love the simplifying idea, You are awesome in that you love to cook, because I have to force myself to do it. I hate cooking, baking I like much better but cooking puleeze. I admire people that love cooking. in 2011 can I come eat at your house :D

Renee said...

Good for you! You are a great cook by the way. Hope your kids get better soon. Ugh... cake balls they do ruin your diet. Love em'!

brandon said...

at first i was like what no cooking. then i was like, yay brooke, about time. maybe you can rub off on court. our family is crazy about complicating life. i'm gonna tell you there are a lot of church books out there that are more wild and enjoyable than fiction books, this is my you've got to do it before luke does segment. our search for happiness is a good start. Also, Pres Monson has some good books out. I have more info, or you can ask mom. not sure if you ever read Fire of the Covenant which greatly combines fiction and the Church, written by a seventy.

Beth said...

The sad thing is I cook like you do now, but don't consider it a cooking boycott. Oh well.... I didn't grow up in a house where alfredo sauce was made from scratch or we made homemade bread bowls. So I'm cool with that. I can't even imagine making all that stuff every night with your kids around. Whether it be one kid or four. That's intense. It is important to know how to cook, but I never missed homemade rolls.

Absolutely you should enjoy your kids more, and be in the kitchen less. Especially when they're small. When they're older they can help you make all that homemade from scratch stuff.

Darek and Amberli said...

So most importantly, can I have the cake balls recipe? Once upon a time I had some awesome cake balls and I'd like to relive that day. Darek--