|R.I.P. my beloved apron...|
My children used to love my cooking. I used to enjoy cooking for them, too, despite having to do so under extreme circumstances. (I talked about this in my post Cooking in Peace) However, after my daughter discovered her dietary restrictions and my son started to find my cooking too 'healthy' for his maturing tastebuds, I was hard-pressed creating a menu which could accommodate their new partialities. (Check out Revamping the Menu to see my valiant efforts)
As time goes by, in spite of being able to FINALLY cook in peace because the children have grown old enough to leave me alone in the kitchen or help with the preparations, it has become incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to please everyone. The four children have all developed very different likes and dislikes and, worse still, they keep changing their minds. As I mentioned in Pampering with Food, I do try my level best to prepare meals taking into account all their preferences or food restrictions. But more often than not, I find myself whipping up so many different types of dishes to cater to all. Even then, I still hear grumbling. It became so terribly disheartening to have at least one of the kids complain about the ingredients I lovingly put together.
At first, I tried to oblige by going back to the kitchen to rustle up something else more to the grumbler's inclination. However, the hard work I put into cooking became disproportionately greater than my children's satisfaction of the end product. I lost all motivation to put in the mammoth effort and it is no longer worth my while.
Even though the children still agree that I am a good chef, they simply cannot agree on what they want me to dish out. It is utterly ridiculous for me to run the kitchen restaurant-style every single meal. It is so much easier to please everybody if we were to eat out or pack back whatever they want. This way, everyone gets what he/she fancies at any one point of time. That is not without problems though. There were many times when they had the audacity to change their minds last minute and accused us of getting the wrong order! *faintz*
I have grieved for a long time over how the food situation at home has evolved. Of course, I could have enforced 'martial law' and arm-twisted them into grudgingly eating whatever that is served or otherwise go hungry. Or I could have constantly lectured them on starving children all over the world and shamed them for being spoilt, ungrateful brats each time we gather at the dining table. I just didn't see the point in all that struggle anymore.
My dream of cooking for my entire family has met a gradual natural death. Unless there is a special unified request from all my kids, I am hanging up my apron for good.