While I am concentrating on food in this particular essay, the general sentiment can be applied to life in general. Secondly there are no special needs in my household, with the exception of an intolerance to red dye #40. If you are dealing with special needs, whether physical or psychological, I advise you to seek professional help for your situation.
I cannot please everyone all the time. No matter how much effort put into menu planning and meal preparation not everyone will be perfectly content with every meal, not the children, not my husband, and certainly not myself. I spent a lot of time learning to cook in a high end commercial kitchen, yet it is a world apart from cooking while entertaining three small children while my spouse works long hours.
I am not a short order cook; I did that for a brief period after highschool and if I can help it, it is not a resume bullet point I plan on revisiting. Ever.
Each day, three meals, and a snack are prepared. Over the course of a week carbohydrates generally balance with protein, a healthy variety of fresh, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables are prepared and consumed. I know my family’s diet is nutritionally sound.
Cooking for a family is a learning process, if there is a financial blow the grocery budget is often the first to be slashed. If learning to prepare meals for a family is an undertaking, doing so on a tight budget can feel daunting. Be flexible and mature: take reasonable portions, eat your vegetables, even if they aren’t your favorite, don’t make faces, and don’t complain. Additionally, don’t allow those behaviors from others at your table. If your spouse is the main culprit, address the issue privately and in a nonconfrontational manner, ask for help and remind him or her that they are a role model.
I test a lot of recipes for this site. I think some of you would laugh to know exactly how many weeks we tried biscuits before I found the recipe that was simple, cost effective, and tasty. There were a couple nights where my husband and I joked that this or that particular recipe may be banned in fifteen states for its potential use as a lethal weapon.
Last night was another such night. I was testing a recipe for Cuban pork tenderloin that looked inviting, but proved to be beyond underwhelming. I don’t know about you, but we can’t afford to waste food. We didn’t complain (in front of the kids, anyhow) but no one took seconds and the leftovers will be transformed, with a lot of seasoning and cheese for tomorrow’s stuffed peppers. The next time you have a stinker of a meal, provided it isn’t burnt to a crisp and inedible, take it in stride and be the example. Use it as an occasion to model patience and resourcefulness.