I’ve always been more of a reader than a doer.
I mean,I do too, but one of the best things about reading is the way it lets me experience adventures I’d never take myself. Case in point: I love Into Thin Air, but I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to climb Mt. Everest.
Cooking is not dangerous. It can require all sorts of special equipment and training, but it doesn’t have to. Millions of people do it – several times a day. But here’s my little secret: I would much rather read about food than actually cook it.
I am an armchair foodie.
Every year, my favorite Christmas presents are Best Food Writing and Bon Appetit. I read cookbooks and chefs’ confessionals, books about ingredients and books about feeding kids. I quote Michael Pollan like nobody’s business. I have a thing for Jamie Oliver, which everybody understands, and a thing for Mario Batali, which only my cousin-in-law Niki gets.
My bookshelves are way more crowded than my pantry.
But that may be changing.
I’ve been an at-home mama for almost three years (!), but it feels brand new these days. Ari works all day, for someone else. It brings a steady paycheck and health insurance, but there are no more lunches or afternoon coffee dates, and there’s no more coming home at 5 to make dinner for the kiddos.
For years, Tessa was suspicious of dinners made by anyone but Daddy. Once, when he was out of town for a week, she eyed me nervously and asked, “Did Daddy make this before he left?” I had to lie to make sure the poor thing didn’t starve.
I’ve been winning her trust, slowly, by getting her involved in the kitchen.
We started with snack, which the kids take turns bringing for the whole class. At her old school, snack was likely to be a bag of Booty and some juice boxes, and I felt more than competent. But no she brings home this beautiful basket, and I feel like we should fill it with something homemade.
We took it easy our first time, with cinnamon-raisin bread fresh from the bread maker and clementines.
This week we got fancy, with Hide and Seek Muffins from Pretend Soup.
Tomorrow is Calder’s turn, and we’re pulling out the big guns. Homemade Rye Pretzels.
Who’s a foodie now?