My dad jokingly suggested “Gestalt Gastronomy” as a name for this site, to which I replied: “I’m not using anything serious like ‘gastronomy’ in the name! I’m just some chick in the kitchen.” Aha! I had a name. I’m not new to writing online — I started my first blog in 2000, but it and its predecessors have been defunct for several years now.
I have always liked to cook (and eat!), but I hit a wall when my oldest son, A., turned 18 months. My formerly good eater kept eliminating items from the list of foods he’d consume, and I was too concerned about him being hungry to press the point about eating a variety of foods. And I was too tired to fight it. Silly new mommy. Two years later, my little boy G. was reaching a similar stage, eschewing the fruits and vegetables he used to love and self-limiting the foods he’d accept. I knew things had to change.
For a long time, I was paralyzed by the thought of finding recipes my husband J. (also picky) would enthusiastically receive, and that my boys would clamor over. So I just didn’t cook. The kids ate pasta most nights for dinner, we shook things up by branching out into different shapes. It was easy, but it didn’t make me happy (though to my boys it was nirvana). J. works very hard and has a long commute, so he is not home for dinner and was usually just as happy as the boys with some pasta.
In March 2007, I let go of the idea of presenting a “perfect” meal that everyone would cheer over. I also realized that not every meal has to be a memorable, gourmet adventure. It’s just food. So I decided to start by cooking things that at least I would eat, and introduce them to my boys that way. I joined a CSA, Roxbury Farm, as a challenge to myself. Twenty-five weeks of produce I might be unfamiliar with, certainly more than I was used to buying in the supermarket. I made a commitment that I would not let this produce rot in my fridge, a fate that has befallen more than a handful of grapes in my past. As the vegetables rolled in, I started cooking again as well. I also found willing test subjects for my cooking: my mom, my mother-in-law, and my grandma-in-law. They visit weekly to see the kids, and are happy to eat pretty much anything I put on their plates. It is incredibly satisfying to serve a home-cooked meal to my family (channeling a 50′s housewife much?) instead of deciding between ordering Japanese, Chinese, or pizza… again.
There is one drawback to doing all this cooking: the dishes. I’ll cook you anything you’d like for dinner if you promise to wash up for me afterwards.