Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The things you do for food!

So I have to start off by admitting that when Taylor and I first wed, I did not enjoy cooking all that much. I like to blame it on his mother!(Sorry Kate!)I grew up in a household where we were all having dinner at different times due to work, sports, and well... you name it. Anyways, my mom just didn't want to bother with fixing dinner for us all when she never knew who when or if anyone would be home...(can you blame her?! Nope.) so our traditional response to "What's for dinner" was "whatever you can find"... which usually meant cereal or soup if we were not too lazy to push the buttons on the microwave! haha! (Now that those daily distractions are gone, the Maynard house enjoys homecooked meals again... sorry I happened to be a sports junky growing up mom! Love you!)

Taylor on the other hand, grew up in a home where everyone sat around the dinner table... which was a foreign object to me... and ate "homemade" food. Homemade food? What?! Now some of you may have the same response.. "Like hamburger helper instead of take-out or drive thru?" No no no my friends... like made from scratch brownies, handtossed pizza crust, fresh out of the oven french bread, and spaghetti sauce without a screw off lid. CRAZY! I know... what was I thinking marrying a man with a mother like that?! What can I say, I love him... amazingly dangerous cook of a mother and all!

So anyways... we get back from the honeymoon and life begins right? I luck out the first week as we eat out at the local favorite restaurants, but our pockets told us this was not a sustainable habit, so to the grocery store we went. How naive we were... no grocery list or anything. At the time I knew all of about three recipes, all of which included some form of ready-made food and so Taylor and I were both eager to learn to cook. I had a trusty Julia Child cookbook now and was ready for the fun to begin! Yeah well, after some odd facial reactions and several failed attempts, I began to recycle the same recipes over and over again and then supplement with eating out here and there as well as open invites to dinner with the folks! Back then, if Taylor was craving some good cooking, we would go to his parents' home... even if it was just sloppy joes. Why? Because his mom made the buns from scratch... and no, the joes were not form a can either! Grr... this woman was going to be the death of me... or so I thought! Well... time passed and soon I began to get in the kitchen more. With the arrival of internet, came a plethora of recipes at my fingertips! I was so excited to try new recipes! I started menu planning and would go to the store with a detailed list of my grocery needs! I was so proud of myself. I was a coupon cutting, ad combing, recipe hunting woman on a mission... to cook at least as well as Taylor's mom. This way he would choose me over her if it came down to a tie.... because well, you know! ;)

By now, we are in the midst of our pregnancy with Corin and I am making homemade noodles from scratch! Yep... homemade! I was soooooooooo proud of myself. I had even made bread a time or two! Spaghetti sauce, forget about it...I had that down pat now, right down to the treasure bay leaves! :) So it looked like things were going to be okay between me and the MIL! I wasn't going to secretly hate her guts after all, now that I could halfway decently cook at least! But soon I became bored with it. Food was such a burden... cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning. Did it ever stop?! I felt like I was in the kitchen alllll day and it sort of bugged me. Okay, it really bugged me. Taylor would come home to me in tears about my struggles with identity outside of the kitchen and home. Of course by this time I had a two month old screaming at me from the sidelines, so I can't say that is wasn't a little emotional all around... but I took it out on the cooking! Plus... Corin would always act up right around 4pm everyday and so making dinner was my version of hell. When we moved into the house around the time Corin was 10 months old, he had outgrown that phase of being the little hellion, but had now moved to the mobile phase... which is a little disorrienting while making dinner. You have to run into the livingroom every three minutes and play marco-polo with the kid until you find him stuck in the laundry cabinet or jammed under a side table with an arm in a funny position.. things of that sort. With the easter egg hunt on 24/7, I was in no hurry to make elaborate dinners or meals that required much attention.

The various stages of infancy to toddler years have proven difficult in their own unique ways, but now that Corin is fairly self-sufficient... I am finally starting to fall in love with my kitchen. I am in there most of the day... and I love it! Of course the timing could have been a little better. Now that we are in Korea, I have no dishwasher or oven... or any of my appliances that I had neglected back home but now long for. None the less, I am and have fallen in love with food! I am making some sort of homemade bread at least twice a week. Most, if not all, of my meals start from scratch/ raw ingredients. I have made all my foods on stovetop and find great accomplishment in figuring out how to make foods I crave with out the oven. Of course the microwave has become our new friend if only because we can make a yummo chocolate cake in it and in less than 3 minutes!( It is a little dangerous to have this knowledge!... you want to make it all the time!) Anyways, I have become so obsessed with food that I find myself subscribed to various food blogs and always on the hunt for meals that are suitable for the stove-top. I even started a blog for my friends here in Korea who feel my pain in having loved and lost their ovens.

I suppose I am finally settling into my role as a stay at home mommy and beginning to thrive! Taylor is also excited about my new hobby/obsession! Haha! And don't tell his mom, but I think I have won him over! ;) I have been able to satisfy our cravings for hard to find foods like tortillas and don't get me started on Korea's version of pizza... Just say no thank you and move on. But... I have made us homemade pizza on the stove-top thanks to JD and am making all sorts of comfort foods that I thought we would just have to go without! Go me! :) haha. If you want to try some of the recipes we are enjoying here in Korea, just hop on over to the new blog and check it out!
The ovenless chef!
signing off

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