Why do I bother cooking at all?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm trying to be better about cooking more meals, planning ahead so I don't have to spend money on fast food, etc.

    I've been really good about making lunches every day for 2 of the 3 kids. Last year I could probably count on one hand the number of times they took their lunch to school. So I'm improving.

    I'm trying to use up what we have in the freezer and pantry and really put some thought into making meals that are good and utilize what we have on hand.

    Today, I took out a pork roast that had been defrosting in the fridge (I'd bought at Costco and cut in half since it was so huge). I put it in the crock pot this morning with some good seasonings and it's been going all day, making the house smell great. I'm making mashed potatoes and some frozen veggies. I already know easy child won't eat the mashed potatoes, and that's fine. All three kids will probably eat the veggies because they like the broccoli that's in the mix. But difficult child 2 just gave me a royal tirade about the roast and is warning me not to serve it to him... because pork just isn't his favorite!

    Well I've got news for him, I said. This ISN'T a restaurant so you can't have just whatever you want, and we have to make do with what we have! So THERE! NYAH!

    It just really pushes a serious button in me when I make the effort to do something like this and I get nothing but flack. :mad:
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Oh I hate when they do that. And I'm one that won't force my kid to eat/try something that I KNOW he doesn't like. My mom always did that and I hated it. But, if it's something that I know he's eaten before and not had a problem with then sorry.....eat this or wait till the next meal. Or there's always the PBJ solution...whichever you prefer. I do make sure I have stuff on hand for those times that I fix something I know he truly doesn't like but otherwise...tough cookies.
  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I hear you. difficult child 1 only eats about 2 different things and nothing with sauce or mixed. Then she complains about eating the same thing all the time and it is plain!

    I used to have a song "Oh no, Yucky Dinner Again!" that I would play when people complained. Everyone else was annoyed but I made myself laugh.;)
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Couldn't begin to count the number of times I'd said that in 25 yrs. And ya know what? They learn to fill up on what they do like in the meal when they have to wait til the next meal to eat again.

    I'm also not one to force someone (even a kid) to eat something they really don't like. But I do force them to take one bite each time it's served. Not to be mean, but in appreciation for the work involved in putting a meal in front of them, and because our sense of taste changes as we grow older.

    And that's how Nichole became a sweet potato cassarole lover. :D She swore she hated it from the age of 2-10 yrs. Each time I made it she had to eat the required bite. Suddenly at age 11 she LOVED it.

    When my kids complain about the menu, I tell them about my step dad. He grew up in the Great depression in a huge family. As kids there was so little to eat they broke open chicken bones and ate the marrow.

    Some responses I've used:

    Yes, dear. I'm doing it just to poison you.

    Of course, my main goal in life is to make you throw up something I've spent hours cooking.

    Why, didn't you know? I cooked this because I knew you didn't like it.


  5. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    been there, I make a meal and difficult child II announces he wants a hot pocket! I say no and no dessert of you do not eat what's available. and 1/2 hour later he's in the closet eating junk, if it were my own home I would have locks on the cubbard and fridge, but alas it's not my home.....sigh.....
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I'm sorry. It is such an insult when they do that. I just tell them no other food, and no snacks between meals the next day if they don't eat. I know they each have likes and dislikes, as well as sensory issues that really apply to food, but if I have gone to the trouble of cooking it, they dang well better at least try it AND not announce how gross it is.

  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I grew up with my own very strong dislikes of certain foods. My mother wasn't the greatest cook, although perhaps to be fair, it's not easy when you have ten mouths to feed with what you have to grow yourself, and no way to reheat food without it drying out to the consistency of boot leather. Also when you have ten mouths to feed, you can't pander to a range of different tastes. You eat what is available or go hungry.

    So I went hungry. Food was never wasted but there are only so many times you can reheat food on a plate in the oven. Generally the food would be given to someone else and my mother would avoid giving me a serving of food I would refuse to eat anyway.

    However, this only applied to food I absolutely refused to eat because I loathed it. Food I had eaten before at any time, or food which they knew I would at least tolerate, had to be eaten. Not eating the main meal meant no dessert. There were no between meal snacks, either. We could request certain foods, but if the budget didn't stretch or the food was out of season, we wouldn't get it.

    Something I have done with my kids - if a child of mine complains about the menu (especially if it's just "I want a change") then I magnanimously give the kid the job - "certainly, son, you want roast chicken stuffed with wild truffles on a bed of foie gras? It's yours - but YOU have to organise it, budget for it, shop for it, cook it and clean up afterwards. You also have to deal with the complaints of those who don't like it or who would prefer something else - especially if they complain AFTER you've put in a lot of effort which seems to be unappreciated. Also important to remember - you could spend hours cooking a meal but it will disappear down gullets in minutes. Often with no comment about how it tasted or even if the diners had time to taste anything. And you have to prepare the next night's meal, and lunches the next day, and on into the future, all without getting monotonous and still staying within the budget."

    You give him the task of preparing ONE meal, entirely. Sit with him and explain the cost per serve limitation, and exactly why - you need to pay for cable, of the internet connection, or the power bill, the heating bill, the medical bills, the mortgage... whatever you need to budget. It's also important to make sure that the desired meal is balanced.

    Seriously, this can be a valuable lesson. And occasionally, the child can come up with a workable alternative you may not have thought of, and also he may be able to help in practical ways.
    For example, one day difficult child 1 said he wanted hamburgers. I didn't think it was practical or viable, but difficult child 1 felt it was. He was so keen to have a hamburger that he was prepared to put in the extra effort. He bought some ready-made rissoles from the butcher (a good deal) and some hamburger buns. It was an interesting exercise - as he proceeded, he kept finding ingredients we didn't have, which meant yet another trip to the local shop. He did a good job with the burgers but it was a lot of effort and wasn't as cheap per serve as we really needed. However, we did a debrief and calculated that if we planned ahead and bought in bulk (and cooked in bulk) we could cook one large batch of rissoles, freeze them cooked, and then when burgers were requires it was a simple matter of quickly adding the other ingredients and reheating the rissole while the buns toasted. If we baked our own bread this brought the serving cost down even further.

    Sometimes this offer, to let the child take charge of one meal, can shut up the complaints. If he keeps complaining then tell him to put up or shut up. If he's not prepared to have a go himself, then he has no right to whine about it.