By Alison Andreasen
I used to love to cook. As a newlywed and as someone who did not have much experience cooking, I loved learning how to create something edible out of ingredients that are not considered tasty on their own. I enjoyed trying new recipes, I was thrilled to hone my skills, and I reveled in making something that my husband devoured. The latter task wasn’t hard as he seemed to love everything I fixed--except for one peanut butter, cinnamon, and chicken dish. That was just gross.
Soon I found myself at the stage where I attempted to cook everything I could from scratch. Bread, gravy, coffee creamer, yogurt--you name it, I made it from scratch. Did you know you can even make sweetened condensed milk from more basic ingredients? Been there, done that. I often dreamed of supermarkets filled with only basic essentials and where you couldn’t buy pre-made tortillas even if you wanted to.
Fast forward ten years and three kids with another in the oven (haha, get it?!?) and cooking has become less than exciting to me. That’s putting it nicely. Some days I flat out dread it. Part of the struggle is that it is a job that never ends. Hour after hour and day after day more cooking needs to happen to fill the little mouths that need sustenance. Another reason I despise it is that there is just not enough time in the day to do it all. I have resorted to buying premade groceries a lot more than I ever thought I would and to heating up frozen meals that I can pull out at a moment’s notice.