I miss cooking. Something horrible. It’s a “Sin and a shame” to borrow a line from “How to Marry a Millionaire,” how I long to spend a whole day (or even week) prepping for a party the way I used to. I have actual dreams of cooking up intimate, delicious, wine-soaked dinner parties as I snooze curled up in the chair next to Cooper at night.
And then I wake and go into the kitchen to “cook” the way I do now, by firing up the bottle warmer to take the chill of the fridge off his Dr. Browns.
Sure, it’s partly my fault – part of having a child is learning to go on doing the things your family loves doing and incorporating junior into those activities. But getting 1/2 way through a recipe and having to stop to answer the call of an angry baby just doesn’t work. You can’t babysit a complex and needy dish AND a complex and needy little human at the same time. Or at least I haven’t truly figured out how to do so as-of-yet.
BUT – I am resolving to make an effort to try. Last night I cooked actual pork chops, from a raw state (not the usual defrosting of pre-cooked protein that I made and froze at an earlier time,) and managed to make a special, delicious, AND fairly hands-off cooked meal by placing the 1/2-3/4 inch thick bone in chops in a wrap of foil with a mix of brown sugar and a shot of Jim Beam poured over the top, and popping the package into the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Then I spooned the delicious drippings down over the chops next to some steamed carrots and cauliflower. A glimpse of my former self shown through the weeks of heat-and-eat freezer meals, pasta-and-canned sauce dinners, and (the horror,) more chicken nuggets than I honestly care to confess.
I was proud of it, for sure, as I snarfed it madly down in preparation of a wake-and-meltdown meal interruption erupting from behind the nursery doors. It didn’t come, however, and the fog of “how will I ever do anything normal again?” lifted, even if just the tiniest bit.