Friday, January 22, 2010

What Does Dad feed them? I'm sure it's not TOFU.

PICTURE came from HERE

***Liz is a Guest Contributor today. Read her post and make her feel welcome!

Driving home from play practice on Saturday, my daughter said she was hungry.

"You didn't give me enough to eat" she complained.

Just before we had left that house around 7:30 a.m., the DQ (that's my blogosphere nickname for her, and she's earned it) had thrown an entire box of wheat thins and a Clementine out of the bag as somehow unfit for consumption.

No wonder she was starving.

So perhaps it was predictable that she asked me whether she was spending the night at her dad's on Monday. When I said she was (she almost always does) she sighed hedonistically and said: "He makes great salads."

The truth is that, in almost every culinary category, my ex's cuisine apparently is superior to mine.

As my son, Mr. C. put's it: "You cook the healthy food, Mom. Dad cooks the food that tastes good."

Lest you think I'm one of those nutrition Nazi moms, let me reassure ya.

Though I insist on fresh vegetables and have been known to try to (unsuccessfully, by the way) sneak tofu into our dinners, I probably have enough chocolate to keep the entire neighborhood in dessert for a month.

But the truth is that their dad loves to cook, and I don't. He downloads recipes, has copies of "Cook's Illustrated" rarely eats out of a box. As for me, Trader Joes would go out of business if I stopped making my weekly trips.

I find cooking stressful, something that has to be done so that the children don't live on chips and pizza. He seems to find it relaxing -- and he actually follows a recipe. Imagine that!

I am well aware that the stereotypical gender roles are reversed in this case.
But I come from a family in which my mother, who was a fabulous chef, sweetly told her new husband that in her middle-class family, they paid someone else to do the housework.

So I don't mind paying the ACME, or the local pizza parlor, now and then.
While I don't feel jealous of my ex's prowess with the saucepan, I do suffer from occasional guilt about the amounts of salt and white flour my kids sometimes take in.

Last fall, dreaming of chilis and vegetarian stews and pastas, I bought a slow cooker.
My children were suitably impressed. In fact, my son said it's one of the first dishes, a vegetable-cornbread bake, was some of the best food I've ever made (which is really kind of pathetic when you think about it).

Then he left half of it on the plate.

I must find out what his dad feeds them when they stay with him.

I'm quite sure that it isn't tofu.

Guest Contributor LIZ, who also blogs HERE

P.S. I love to have Guest Contributors! Liz wanted me to add something to the end of her post. She needs help! Here is what she emailed me:
For a long time, I've wanted to begin a Friday column on my blog titled something like... "Ask Pastor Liz" (Title still not set in stone)
It's an advice column for folks who might never set foot in a congregation.
But I haven't had people to send me questions! I need questions from readers. If people have questions about personal, religious, sexual, political, or even financial etiquette, they are welcome to send them to me at They can be assured of complete anonymity and can use a tag like:
Baffled in Buffalo

So if you would like to ask some questions send them LIZ's Way!!! :)


Unknown said...

hmmm hubby and I both cook and there are certain things he can make that I can't LIke homemade milk gravy for biscuits..which irritates me to no end lol.. Check out Racheal ray she has some really simple recipes that anyone can make and some of them are like done in 30 minutes or less.
Coming from the country I was destined to cook lol..

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'm afraid before I got married, I was the same way. When we had our first child I was forced to learn how to cook. I wanted to make sure I provided some kind of nutrition in his diet. But I'm not gourmet chef.

In fact, most of my meals take 30 minutes at the MOST! I'm a lazy cook.

I loved your post. Excellent writing!!!

Elizabeth said...

Shelle, you make an excellent point. That's why there are so many "cook this meal in 30 minutes" books out there! ;-)

Anjeny said...

I am not a great cook, either. I hardly plan a menu. I usually just use whatever is in the kitchen and just throw some stuff together to make a meal...They don't always look appealing but they are nutritional and tasty. My family has learned never to complain or even utter any negative comments about my cooking because when they do, they usually go hungry the next since I am the only one who does the cooking.

Great post btw!!

Missty said...

Great post! I do the cooking here. My husband does the BBQing. lol And we have always lived together, so the only thing our kids know is my cooking.

I do like to try new recipes, etc.

And I NEVER have done "kid friendly" meals. You know the chicken nuggets and boxed mac and cheese for dinner.

Since our kids have been very little they eat what we do. Normal adult meals. The kindergarten teacher use to laugh at my boys sandwiches - a nice turkey with cheese, lettuce and tomato. lol Not another k student would show up with lettuce and tomato on there sandwiches. But hey I can make a mean PB&J as well!

And for your situation. I say just do the best you can, and that is good enough.

Wallacewriter said...

It's really nice to hear that we all do this cooking thing differently -- and that it's OK to be have some strengths and some growing edges. Thanks for the moral support and empathy! Back at you.

Chief said...

I say I am the superior cook at my house.. I just don't like to do it.

Duke does our cooking and I choke it down.

I think its great that your kids think he makes great salads... hmpf! Tell them each soul has their own talents and both of you are making them well rounded!

DGB said...

Welcome Liz. Great post.

Have you tried to talk to your kids about what they like about their dad's food? Perhaps there are ways to adjust how you cook to bring up the taste without sacrificing the quality. However, since they are getting two different types of cooking from two different sources, there will probably always be conflict between the two.

There are tons of resources for cooking and to find out how to create stuff that's good. I think you need some input from the ones eating your grub so you know where to go.

Good luck!

Elizabeth said...

Daddy Geek Boy --

I have asked my daughter. She's 14.

Need I say more?

Truly, I don't have the patience to be a good cook all the time, and he does (in that respect).

I go up and down with the homemade food.

I like the slow cooker because it gives you the illusion you aren't cooking.

Also, my ex is more lenient with the white pasta and butter than I am.

I'm gonna keep trying. Thanks for the good ideas!

Anonymous said...

Hell I wanna eat at your ex's house!!!!

Great post!

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, Southern Sage, so does everyone else. ;-)

Thank you!

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Domestically Disabled said...

Great post! My hubby does the cooking for us and my kids are very thankful. In fact, on the rare occasion that I cook - and the even more rare occasion that it is good - my kids go on and on about how great the meal was. They are absolutely impressed when I make anything that doesn't involve tossing things between two pieces of bread.

Crossing my fingers that they get some good cooking skills from dad :)

Just Jules said...

maybe your ex should just hire out. I for one dont like to cook anymore either. I used to love it.

but here is the deal. I don't like it anymore because my kids complain EVERY single time. before they even get to the table most times. No matter the tactics I use to change this behavior.......ggrrrrr

However, when my husband cooks it could tofu and they don't dare say boo. just sayin

Elizabeth said...

Just Jules --

Makes ya crazy doesn't it? But maybe they feel more comfortable being their real selves when you cook (smile.)

dadshouse said...

My kids are lucky because both their mom and I can cook. The fun and relaxing thing about cooking is when you get past the recipe, and start winging it without any instruction. It can happen! Start basic, and just grow step by step.

tysdaddy said...

Great post, Liz. Great to have you aboard!

Around my house, I am the breakfast cook. I do pancakes, bacon and sausage, fry a mean egg, and can even pour a decent bowl of cereal. Most of that takes place on the weekends . . . which brings me to my point: I wonder if the kids don't "like" his cooking better because his time comes when they have a break from the routine of school/homework/etc. They are together, relaxed, and there is no rush to get things done. I know that's why weekend breakfast is such a hit at my house. Everyone rolls out of bed to a house filled with the scent of breakfast, and there's no hurry or expectations.

Just a thought.

Hope you'll be back. It'll be an honor to read more of your observations . . .

Brian (The Cheek of God, or elsewhere as Tysdaddy . . . )

Denise said...

My husband and I love cooking, and we like to involve the kids. And we cook way better than the ex's... I'm just saying...

It probably has to do with having the kids help honestly, at least in this house. We rarely eat red meat and have a freezer full of turkey and chicken. We eat wheat pasta and rice and have at least 2 veggies with every meal. The kids prefer a home-cooked meal to pizza on most occasions. I guess we're pretty lucky.


i have only read the song of the lioness series and i loved's a lil hard to get her books where i am!! she's good though!

Another Suburban Mom said...

If you visit my blog on Fridays you will find recipes every week. They are tasty (so I've been told), inexpensive, easy and mostly kid friendly.


Great,, cooking together is great way to share some good feelings!