Oh get your head out of the gutter. I’m talking about the joy of cooking. The majority of my family members can cook. I mean, really cook. My mother cooked fresh meals nightly when I was growing up. To this day, my older brothers and I are quite proficient in cooking. Each of us are creative, experimental, and healthy in our own ways. Let’s just say our major family downfall is that we have too many cooks in our kitchens.
These talents and perhaps cultural ways of exploratory cooking extends to my cousins as well. When my extended family gets together for holidays and family celebrations, we are never disappointed. We enjoy nutrient dense soups, exotic salads, creative grain dishes, or delicately prepared fish. There is always something new, and we enjoy pushing our limits in the kitchen.
While on my family vacation this week, we made a stop at my cousins home for dinner. I neglected to make concrete plans in advance so sadly (and embarrassingly) she had only a few hours lead time before our arrival. Generally hosting a family of five would send most people to their nearest take out menu. (And that is completely appropriate!) But not in my family.
We walked in to my cousin’s home to find a simply prepared feast. She expertly grilled steak, steamed corn, roasted asparagus, and displayed a fresh salad and sliced watermelon. (Oh, and Melbec too). My family was in heaven. I loved watching the kids grab their buffet-style meal and enjoy the time together.
Here’s the thing. Cooking doesn’t have to be exact. Or perfect. Or even pretty. But we should all remember to stop being so hard on ourselves and get creative. It’s good to branch out and learn to make meals, even if you didn’t grow up that way. The best way to get your family interested in eating well is by all cooking well, together. Trust me. It doesn’t have to be nearly as hard as you think, and your family will love it. I know that mine does.