I was in a bit of a snit yesterday, and I'm not sure I've finished with it yet.
Day in and day out, meal planning and most cooking is up to me. I don't like to cook. I'm not particularly good at it. It brings me little satisfaction and no joy. I didn't have a great role model for cooking, and I've never felt the urge to experiment. I love my handful of dishes that I don't screw up; make enough of them to eat off the leftovers, and bam! -- the week has flown by.
In reality, though, I can't do this anymore. Everything takes longer to make when you can't reach in the pantry for what you need because you can't have the four ingredients that are in almost everything store-bought. (Baking, now, is a completely different story. I could bake all day and be quite happy. In fact, that's what I did today: pumpkin bread and "Cheez-Its" added to yesterday's sandwich rolls on top of the zucchini muffins earlier in the week.)
Anyway, back to the snit. Since we're GF/CF/SF/CF around here, I've been teaching myself about cooking foods I didn't even know how to pronounce before November, when this all started. (Please explain to me how quinoa comes out "keen-wah" -- I just don't get it.) So I ordered a gas grill. Lots of recipes essentially say to just toss whatever on the grill, maybe flip it once, and you'll have this fabulous, colorful, tasty, and nutritious meal to wow your family and friends.
I have zero experience with a gas grill and only a little with a charcoal one -- usually I light it up just for the S'mores -- so this is a pretty big deal to me. I put this new grill together yesterday -- by myself -- and despite the threat of rain, fired it up. I made burgers (to go on the homemade rolls) and grilled summer veggies -- again, by myself -- and served it all up sweet as you please to my family. (Well, not to my son as his lunches and dinners consist entirely of Doritos and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. (Breakfast is minus the Doritos.))
The reviews were... tepid. The rolls were too... too... too gluten-free. The burgers, according to my daughter, had too much black on them. The veggies were, well, veggies. My husband said he'd finish what was on his plate, but he wouldn't want the veggies as leftovers.
Today I tried a recipe I've had for 20 years and never made: Cream of Peanut Soup from the King's Tavern in Williamsburg, VA. That and the peppermint ice cream I had there were, for me, the highlights of the trip. Anyway, I made it. It wasn't as good as what we had at the Tavern, but then, I had to substitute almond milk for light cream. (I'd be really grateful if anyone could tell me a dairy-free, soy-free substitute for cream that is also corn- and gluten-free.) I served it with a garnish of crushed peanuts and the still-warm pumpkin bread.
"It's OK," from my husband. "Blech!" from my daughter, adding for good measure, "That's disgusting." I've had enough. Yesterday's complete lack of enthusiasm was the tipping point; today's response just ensures I'm down.
Figuring out what to make meal after meal is, to me, an often-times overwhelming chore. I frequently ask my daughter and husband what they'd like for dinner; the response is an underwhelming, "I don't know." I slog my way through it, but I would be so grateful if my family would tell me what they'd like for dinner instead of telling me they don't like what I've made.
I know that I need to focus on the fact that I have both a family and food. I'll shake off this snit soon, at least until dinner tomorrow.