Hello Mama, this is for all of you out there who are killing it in many areas of your life, but not so much when it comes to cooking. And let me say, for those of you who naturally can whip up dinners for your family without breaking a sweat (literally and figuratively), I offer you a big, virtual high-five! I truly admire your ability to rock the kitchen with recipe after recipe like your are in the finale of Top Chef. But, for those of us, who have had a fear of entering the kitchen and trying to cook, this is for YOU!
Every year I choose one word to be my intention for the year. For me, it's more than a resolution, it is something that I set my mind to focus on and it helps to keep me centered. Last year, my word was "fearless" and it helped me to take on some scary and intimidating projects. I signed up to face my fear of going back on a theatre stage by joining an amazing cast of actors and activists for Vagina Monologues. I said "yes" to taking on President of a non-profit board that was close to my heart as my way of living my truth and my journey with my mother's Alzheimer's AND...(dramatic pause), I signed up for a food delivery service to learn to...COOK!
Ok, so right about now, any one of my close girlfriends just did a genuine gasp and laughed out loud while reading this because they know me, I don't cook. Sure, I can manage a big breakfast or rotate my few meals of spaghetti, grilled chicken or tacos (Taco Tuesday is everyday right?!). But, when it came to good, healthy, family dinners, night after night, I was at a loss. Enter Hello Fresh (and no, I am not a paid spokesperson for the company). I tried a few of the other "cook at home" companies but they just didn't seem to fit my skill level and the dietary needs of my kids (aka too fancy for the Capra kids!).
I started out slow. Trying just a couple new recipes once a month. I found myself starting to enjoy the process and it even felt meditative after a very busy day at work. I would simply tell my kids, "okay, Mom needs to make dinner now" and it was like a magic button where they would leave me alone. Not all the time, but for the most part, it became a solo sport for me to enjoy, for my family to enjoy and for all of us to connect just a little more around the dinner table.
I had found my own zen in the kitchen, even without a glass of wine! My daughters are 16 & 12 and while they have had their time in and out of helping me cook through the years, it was my six-year-old son who has really shown an interest in it. Who knew that we could spend this time together, bonding over cooking dinner? Okay, again for any of you out there where this is a no-brainer, please just smile and welcome this "non-cook" into your club because it REALLY has helped me to learn to love...cooking.
It is no coincidence that my word for this year has been "truth." I am finding my truth in the kitchen with help from my little sous chef. He helps me organize the ingredients, reads and re-reads the recipes to me and helps me plate the meal with a smile of accomplishment. We love to then announce to the rest of the family, "dinner's ready" as we give each other a big thumbs-up for yet another great meal.
And, if that is YOU. If you are afraid to enter the kitchen without take-out or your arsenal of five meals, I highly recommend that you too try a company like Hello Fresh. It's funny, my oldest daughter once wrote in her journal for a school report that, "My mom is going to be an awesome chef someday!" It makes me giggle a little just thinking about it. I mean, I did make that crock pot "juicy meat" that she really liked. And, while I do not currently have any plans to be on Top Chef or anything, it does make my heart smile knowing that I am learning to find true joy in the kitchen and even learning to love to cook.
Are you a rock star in the kitchen? Got a "go to" recipe? Let's keep this conversation going! Please comment below and join us on Facebook @hellomamatoday