Love/Hate: Life in the Kitchen

My mother expected me to help out in the kitchen growing up. I was the oldest of six children it was required that everyone pitched in. This meant the oldest ones took on the majority of the work. I don't begrudge my mother this, but I have to say that in that context I really did not like to cook.

I have developed past that now, but sometimes cooking gets stressful.

One reason is because I feel overwhelmed when it comes time to choose a new recipe to try. There are just so many options out there.

Because nothing is perfect, I systematically modify recipes with certain ingredients and that be either a success or a flop. Though the flops are less frequent now than they used to be. When I got married we took turns cooking. My husband has never admitted as much, but I think he agreed to cook because he wasn't so impressed with my skills. But I guess we'll never know since he is happy to just eat now.

On top of that I've eliminated all dairy products from my diet. I am not lactose intolerant, though the change has had a dramatic positive effect on my waste line and overall health. Still I needed to replace them, I use "soy cream" and the various milks. To replace butter I only needed to pick out a good margarine that didn't have added milk products.

These changes also required me to adapt to the different ingredients and there were some mishaps, but only small ones. One thing that I noticed was that the amounts were drastically different when you remove dairy from your kitchen.

By going a different direction I was able to reinvigorate my interest in cooking. When I was growing up it was meat, potatoes and a hardy helping of fat either in the form of cheese or heavy creams.

All of my brothers still love their heavy meals but my sister and I have both switched up to a healthier diet. My husband was already further along than I was – one of the reasons he was willing to take a hand in the cooking department.

It was all about finding a balance and understanding what goes into making the task both enjoyable and rewarding.

When I was growing up it was a chore. When I was married it was hit or miss and I often felt like I just didn't know what I was doing, which made the whole thing stressful. Once we grew together and I found that balance things got enjoyable. Cooking for a child further strengthened my love of cooking

Our daughter was a pleasure to cook for, my son was a bit of a picky eater and it required further balance that I found with a little work.

I may share some of our favorites but every family is special in their tastes and you certainly have your favorite dishes.

More to come!

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