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Battling through the cooking block

Submitted by on Thursday, 21 August 2008 No Comment

“You know the cooking slump’s reached housing-market crisis proportions when your kid calls you out on it in the grocery store.

“”Mommy, why don’t you ever make this anymore?”" Big Guy asked Friday, longingly stroking a bag of elbow macaroni.

Overlooking the fact that the last time I made mac and cheese both guys went on hunger strikes, I had to admit he had a point. I’m deep in the throes of at least a two-month, maybe three, cooking block. It’s like writer’s block, but worse, because if I stare at a computer long enough, my fingers eventually will put prose on the monitor. Not always eloquent prose, but prose nonetheless.

Nothing has seemed to snap me out of the cooking slump. I’ll thumb through a book case full of cookbooks, and nothing sounds good. I’ll click through 4K of electronic recipes, but none of it is appealing.

It’s an easy trap to fall into in California’s Central Valley in the summer, where fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful and there’s a produce stand or farmer’s market on every corner. And we always have homemade bread, cheese and lunch meat on hand. It’s a pretty stress-free meal in a hurry, and even picky Big Guy doesn’t object.

I also batch-cooked my butt off during an April vacation, canning marinara and freezing chicken nuggets, fish sticks and meat loaf, so we’re still riding that wave.

And I have been keeping up on my breakfast baking — scones, mupcakes or pancakes. Can’t let the guys backslide to Pop Tarts, you know.

Otherwise, I’m bored, bored, bored with the sameness of it all. Monday, pizza; Tuesday, spaghetti; Wednesday nuggets, repeat weekly as necessary.

Elbow macaroni aside, Big Guy actually likes the predictability. Little Guy is starting to rebel, though. The other night, he begged me to buy broccoli.

I think that’s a sign I need to snap out of it.

So would someone please lead me to a kitchen and lock me in until I’ve cooking something you don’t eat with your hands?

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Alison said:

    Try our Dinner Tonight website/newsletter — we’ll email you an easy recipe at noon to try out for supper that night.
    Let me know what you think of it!

  • Debra said:

    Hmm … This could work out! I’m signed up.

    I already downloaded the corn soup recipe I’ve been slobbering over since I saw a tweet on it earlier today. And I bet I can sell Little Guy on the broccoli sandwich.

    At least it gets my brain and my taste buds inspired again.