“Gotta go put away tonight’s takeout. I’m a great mom aren’t I? Another fabulous non-home-cooked meal.” I was talking to my friend who actually felt bad about the fact that she served her kids takeout for dinner that night.
“No shame in that. Seriously? Don’t tell me you feel bad about that!” I screamed over the phone as my friend was putting the food away.
“THERE IS NO SHAME IN TAKE OUT.”
Takeout’s hot. And haute.
And it’s true.
It’s awesome and admirable to cook a home-cooked meal for your family. Every night. One that’s organic. And from scratch. And, hey if it’s coming from your own vegetable patch then, GO YOU!
But this is not a regular occurrence in my home. Nor does it regularly occur in the homes of so many others. Others that I know and deeply DEEPLY respect. And they’re just as awesome and admirable.
A big shout out goes out to ANYBODY who is able to put any kind of meal on the table. Any meal. Every night. Even if it is (deep breath now) TAKEOUT!
Yeah. Whatever. Some of you are simply aghast at what I just wrote. The dreaded “T” word. But takeout is not a four letter word.
Go ahead. Cringe all you want, you take-out haters. But I am a staunch takeout advocate and enthusiastically endorse the practice and salute others who rely on takeout in any capacity. There is no shame in not cooking up a meal – especially from scratch.
(Btw, do you know when my cringe reflexes kick in? When I hear a self righteous individual say, “My child would never eat that. I just make my own from scratch. ”
Your kid would totally eat it. Actually your kid did eat it. And loved it. Finished it. And then complained that you never let them him or her have it. But I’ll get to that in a later post.)
I was a product of home-cooked meals every single night. My mother is a phenomenal cook. Real old school goodness. She continues everyday to hone her craft.
Friends always envied that of me. When a school friend one time told me that her mother didn’t have time to cook her breakfast and just shoved a piece of dry toast in her hand…why I thought she came from a family of savages.
But behold! I have become…the savage!
Like, my mom makes this pasta for my kids that they wolf down. It’s loaded with all kinds of vitamins and protein. But they’re oblivious. I don’t know if it’s the sauce (homemade) with fresh tomatoes (from her garden) or the pasta (organic, protein)…darn! (OK, so this probably wasn’t the best anecdote to bolster my Defense of Takeout argument.)
I’ve tried replication…but failed. The proof is in the leftovers. In my mother’s house there are none. But peek into my refrigerator and you’ll find aplenty.
Of course growing up we had the occasional pizza pie and even some Chinese. My mom needed a cooking break too. But most of my meals were made from scratch by my mother. (With vegetables from her own aforementioned garden).
And I watched her shop. And cook. And clean.
Every single day.
And the tedium of it really got to me.
She often kicked me out of the kitchen encouraging me to help her in other ways lest I become a slave to the kitchen like she feels she is. Except that she enjoys it. She has often said that cooking for her is therapeutic.
So now I don’t cook. Well not like her anyways, to whom cooking comes so naturally. Sure I’ll call her and ask for recipes. But she’s Eastern European so she doesn’t quantify her ingredients. If I deign to ask her how much salt to use, I get something like, “I don’t know…whatever…to taste…and then some.”
And the food never comes out as good as hers.
Hence my undying enthusiasm for takeout.
I’d also now like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my good friends Betty and Duncan who make perfectly pleasing cakes and cookies in various stages of preparation. Booyah!
For desserts especially, I see no reason to encumber myself with more dishes to wash when for a buck- if that- I can prepare mouth watering sweets with minimal effort and even less mess.
And I get to prepare those goods with just as much love Hassle free! Ha!