When Hubs and I first married, I fancied myself a good cook. And I suppose in comparison to my friends living in the dorms and the Chi Omega house, I was. I mean, if I decided to cook a "real" meal I could follow a recipe as well as anyone. And that I chose to eat cereal most meals had little to do with my cooking prowess. Shoot, I was an engineering student widow. The only time I saw the man was when I took food to the engineering lab and then I had to bring enough for everyone there. Which meant Five Soup Casserole was the norm and was also considered fine dining by those pasty skinned creatures that blinked at the sky once or twice a week when they ventured forth for those nasty general ed credits.
No wonder my cooking ego was inflated.
Any-hoo, Hubs survived and I burnt out on cereal and cold cuts. When I started grad school and he got a job, well, I still fancied myself a cook. But mostly I existed on Slim Fast shakes and Cup-a-Soup. The Slim Fast because it was actually cheaper than Carnation Instant Breakfast and kept me fuller longer. The Cup-a-soup because coffee mugs were relatively easy to wash in the lab sink with all the mouse blood monoclonal antibody paraphernalia.
I still cooked on the weekend when I didn't have a Rasmole project staring me in to suicidal tendencies. (I did NOT just admit that on a public blog. Actually I would call it less suicidal and more nervous breakdown tendencies. YOU try to figure Rasmole out on deadline.)
And when I dropped out of grad school and moved to this godforsaken wasteland of suburbia where people's ideas of "cooking" include the deli at Hen House and adding saute'd chicken tenderloin to Lipton Noodles and Sauce, let's just say I KNEW myself to be a gourmet chef.
Never mind that on lunch break I subsisted on Marie Calendar's Chicken Pot Pies. Which, I might mention, microwave beautifully. Because, let's face it, I could still whip out a tasty Verenikke or Chicken Cordon Bleu when the occasion called for it.
And then I had kids.
Hubs worked from home and I cooked THREE MEALS A DAY for several years. And my taste buds developed the ability to discern between "meals" and MEALS. And "meals" just didn't stack up.
I love cooking with wines. And sauces. And special vinegars. And spices. And fresh herbs. And free range eggs. And BUTTER. Oh, my stars. I love food. Good food.
My children have absolutely NO appreciation for what I can do with a chicken.
And my husband started going to the office.
And now even the kids are gone at lunch.
Who spends that much time cooking succulent food with no one around to appreciate it?
And I find myself subsisting on the Chex Mix Turtle bars. And Lo, though they are "made with whole grains" and are a little slice of store bought heaven...aren't food. And I find that I have been basically fasting until there is someone here to appreciate my cooking. And as Hubs has been galavanting around New York City for a week, I've basically eaten a handful of BBQ chips, a few candy corn, a glass of milk here and there, a Pepsi, a stick cheese, um, the random apple slice as I prepare school lunches, I'm catching on that good food, it ain't happening around these parts much.
I think it's time to stock up on Lean Cusine.