I really wish I was a better cook. Generally, I do ok, but it’s not a strong skill of mine. I follow recipes really well, but I don’t know a lot about anything that requires any degree of discernment. (So baking generally suits me better than actual cooking.) It’s a skill I admire and envy in others, especially since I’ve become a stay-at-home mom. It would be such a nice way to show love and caring for my family, but I don’t really possess the patience to put up with the learning curve, nor the time it takes to practice and get good. So, I only really make a few things, and they have become routine (and thus, not very interesting).
Dan has become our main dinner preparer since we’ve lived in Vienna. Mostly because he enjoys doing it more than I do, but also because when he spends an hour in the kitchen, the kids are happy to play with me, but if I try to spend an hour in the kitchen, I usually do it with one child wrapped around each leg, and that does awful things to my stress levels.
But, one of the amazing fringe benefits to having “Jo pair” here with us is that she likes to cook. She loves to cook, actually, and she’s really, really good at it. In the past 2 weeks, we’ve been regularly treated to yummy meals for lunch and dinner: lasagna, caprese paninis, salads and pork medallions. And, equally as cool, having her here has freed me up to cook a few meals that I usually don’t have the free time to prepare (like chili) and has made it so that when Dan cooks for us, it’s more of a treat for him, and less of a chore, because he’s doing it twice a week instead of five times a week. She takes requests, input and the kids’ preferences into account, too. We’re all eating really well.
So far, Jo’s time here has been (in my mind, at least — we’ll have to ask her) a real success. She’s gotten to see some of the city, I’ve gotten to have some help with the kids, Dan’s getting in to work earlier and coming home earlier, which is nice for all of us, and we have the largely unanticipated benefit of having one of the day’s major tasks (feeding everyone) no longer occupy such a large part of my mental energy. Life is good (and so is the food).