So, I saw a really great movie last night called "Julie and Julia". If you haven't seen it yet, be prepared to laugh til your sides hurt at Meryl Streep playing Julia Child. I knew nothing about Julia Child before the movie, and now feel like I met her and spent a few hours enjoying the world behind her rose-colored glasses. Meryl Streep makes you want to BE Julia Child.
I got to the movies a few minutes before my friend Linda, giving me time to look at all my choices behind the refreshment counter. Linda had already told me she was getting a tub of popcorn, so I dutifully promised I would enjoy a sinful snack with her. I looked at all the choices and felt my mouth watering over the possibility of a cinnabon pretzel with cream cheese icing, or a mega-sized Reese's cup (my personal favorite), or a "combo" that would get me both the pretzel and the Reese's AND a super-sized drink. I finally went with the Junior Mints and a bottled water, because the Junior Mints said "A Low Fat Candy" on the side, and well, you can't get any lower fat than water. I still had a few minutes before Linda arrived, so of course I looked at the Nutrition Facts on the back of the box and found that, much to my dismay, a box had 3.5 servings in it and 1 serving alone had 35 grams of carbs. I really wished then that I hadn't looked. Why couldn't I just enjoy my box of "Low-Fat" Junior Mints and remain blissfully unaware that while I was missing the fat, I was picking up the carbs, and HELLO, I can't just eat 1/3 of the box.
The movie was delightful and heartwarming, and actually made me quite hungry imagining all the wonderful tastes they were enjoying on the screen. On the way home I started contemplating all the reasons I don't enjoy cooking like I should. It's so gratifying to make something that actually turns out edible. I didn't have to think very hard, though, to come to the conclusion of why I don't cook more delectable dinners. You're going to think I've gone insane, but the truth is. . . . I'm afraid. Very afraid. Afraid of failure in the kitchen? Maybe a little. But not really. Afraid of food? Well, sort of. Okay. I'm afraid that if I start cooking and spending time in the kitchen, I'll be the size of a WHALE. I really can just see myself getting in there, all Betty Crocker with an apron, tasting a little of this, trying a little of that, and the next thing I know, I'm having to buy a bigger apron because I can't stop eating. I really can see that in my mind.
I guess I've had a love/hate relationship with food for a long time. I do love to eat all kinds of foods. But if I eat what I think of as a "bad food" (aka Reese's Cup, buttered popcorn, brownies, pizza, lasagna, burritos. . . now add Junior Mints to the list), I feel like a rotten person. If I eat what I think of as "good foods" (steamed veggies, grilled chicken, fresh fruits, rice cakes), I feel like a wonderful person. And let's face it: the things I will want to master cooking in the kitchen will be lasagna, meatloaf, and better yet, truffles, creme brulee, tarts, pastries, cobblers, cakes, and mousse. What happens if I start making all that stuff and I gain 100 pounds?? Will it be worth it???
Once I made the realization, I've started dealing with it and trying to keep it in perspective. I do love the thought of having at least one thing in my repertoire that my grown kids will tell the world about "My Mom made the best ----- in the world". And my husband, my wonderful loving, supportive husband, would LOVE for me to cook more delicious foods. In fact, he's already offered to watch the kids for me one night a week so I can cook something new and exciting without interruption. And Lord knows I've got enough recipes lying around to choose from. I just need to try it. Now, don't be expecting any Julia Child/French gourmet/ingredients no one can pronounce. I'm not going that far with it. :) But maybe I can try a few things. Let me know if you start seeing a few extra pounds, before I get to complete WHALE size. :)