Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not My Momma's Cooking

Cooking is a passion in my family. Growing up we spent time in the kitchen as a family. We sang, we laughed, we ate! Eating good food was an experience we all enjoyed, we savored the moment. I remember when I was about 13 and my Dad was in the middle of transitioning into a new job so he was home for several weeks that he made eggplant Parmesan. I don't mean a dish of it, I mean a kitchen full of it. My mom and him had gone to the farmer's market and bought tons of fresh eggplant, made their own sauce and covered every inch of available counter space with dishes of eggplant Parmesan. I got in from school and the house was filled with the incredible aromas of garlic and tomatoes. Yum!

My grandmother, Nano, was also in the middle of planning or making the next meal. Cooking took all day, from before sun-up to late evening. Everything was fresh and homemade. I don't remember too many canned goods in my childhood except for the ones we canned ourselves. Vegetables were frozen or fresh and the only meat that came ready to eat was the tuna fish my mom and sister loved to eat for lunch (the mere smell of tuna fish grossed me out when I was little).

Two things that you'd never find in my parent's kitchen---crockpot and pressure cooker. That is why I've had such a hard time with both of these appliances in my kitchen. But times have changed and I have decided the crockpot is my new best friend. I leave the pressure cooker to my husband who makes a wonderful chili and also beans using this method. With Little One I never know what frenzied state we may be in at supper time so I've learned to throw dinner and the crockpot during morning downtime and waalaa hubby walks into the door to a dinner that's ready to go. I've made peace with my decision to take some short cuts in my cooking in order to preserve my sanity, or what's left. My compromise is that we will cook as a family on the weekends and holidays. I will plan those gourmet meals for times when someone can entertain Little One for me.

The challenge right now is finding healthy crockpot meals that don't use so many canned items that tend to be high in sodium etc. I've found a few sites that offer some good recipes in this area and am beginning to experiment with them. I'm also, now, a huge fan of Sandra Lee's semi-homemade on the food channel. It lets you cook without completely giving up everything to pre-made, pre-cooked foods.

My two oldest have decided to star in their own cooking show. We taped their first session this weekend and they had a blast. I need to hurry up and edit it to put on my blog, so be looking for the Divas in Training Cooking show!! They have told friends they have their own show on the Internet so I better get on the ball:)

So I guess I'll pass on some new traditions to my girls in the kitchen, along with the old way of doing things, and that's okay.


Sasha said...

There is nothing like momma's cooking - and it is lovely to think of our daughters feeling the same way. But I am with you - love the crock pot for crazy baby days!

kpottlitzer said...

hey, i just tried to post without making a comment! think i have too much on my mind?! i can't wait to see the divas. maybe you should send it off to the foodnetwork and pbs. people love cute kids that do stuff that's cute. i haven't used my crockpot in a while. but, i used to throw boneless, skinless breasts in there with salsa and then you can make chicken tacos or salad. you could also use skin on bone in. would probably taste better and discard the skin later. i think you can just get creative and throw whatever you want in there. if you want to use fresh veggies just wait till closer to the end to add them.

Gramp said...

I had forgotten about the eggplant cook-off. I think we actually went out and picked most of the produce fresh. Now that I'm retired I have started to cook more complicated meals. Who knows maybe the divas will be joined by their grandfather! Or better yet I may challange them to a "throw down ".

Kara said...

They'd love that Gramp! Good idea Kim:) Crazy baby days..I'm with you Sasha

Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

I can't wait to see the video! My kids would love it, too. Cam was just talking about Em yesterday!