Monday, January 23, 2012

Sometimes we get wild and crazy around the nest.

We cook.

Confession: I can cook and in cook I mean put lots of ingredients together from scratch and make something delectable and I used to do a great deal of it. My kitchen was permeated with the smells of chicken, soups, chili, roast...the list is endless. I would lovingly prepare foods that my husband enjoyed and my children tolerated. The chicks are not meat (any color) and potatoes gals most of the time. They eat, like, well, chicks. They go for fruits and veggies, salads and whole grains. They love lentils. The prof often shakes his head in amazement. It's not that they don't enjoy the occasional carnivorousness meal, it's that when given a choice between a grass fed burger and a bowl of lentils with peppers. It's lentils. Every. Time.

Dinners are healthy. Nutrient packed. Full of protein, minerals and vitamins, carbs and enough fat to keep little bodies growing. Food is usually natural and rarely processed. We do not often eat out to save money ... money that goes to keeping dance studios in business. Healthy but simple...Lentils and rice, hummus and pita, whole grain bread with peanut butter, pasta and fresh tomato sauce, soup and lots of it, gluten-free mac and cheese. We live on the wild side.

When my Daddy-O sent me a bean cooker shortly before Christmas, I laughed. OUT LOUD. Beans are his thing...he's into food marketing and sales and knows all sorts of things no one else does about that little protein and fiber packed food. Our family started eating a ton more of them since he took over this specialty; we've even grown quite fond of them. My Dad? He's amazing at soaking and sorting and spicing them so that they taste like the ones that come out of a can. I cheat. I don't use dry. I want my lentils ready-to-go. Poor dad...I must be such a disappointment to him.

I could've taken the gift one of two ways:

(1.) My father had given up on my ability to cook and was trying to show me the light
(2.) My father loved me and wanted to make my life easier and save my wrists from a can opener.

I went with the second option.

It took awhile with the crazy that was November and December, but Little Bit and I finally got our cook on this past weekend. It was the easiest thing I've ever done. Seriously. I decided on step two that if this bean cooker ever quit on me I'd promptly purchase a new one. I liked their page on fb (yes, it has twelve whole fans) and felt incredibly geekish. Friends, I've got to tell you...I'm never going back.

Not only did the entire process take less than an hour, it is healthful. There are no preservatives. It's so easy even a child can do it. I can make rice, soups, and a variety of other good things in it easily.

I'm in food love.

Little Bit and I sorted and rinsed and laughed. We spent an hour in the kitchen on a wet Saturday and made memories she'll treasure forever.  My wrists didn't ache from a can opener and we have dinner for three different nights next week.

I'm thankful.

My Dad texted me the following after I messaged him pictures of my girl cooking and the beans we made:

After writing this...I'm wondering which of his girls is "getting so grown up"...his daughter or his middle grandchild.

Counting gifts:
-For a dad who loves me enough to send me a "just because present"
-For time in the kitchen without winces
-For dinner ready for a week to come

*Disclaimer: In no way was I compensated for my opinions or pictures of the EZ Bean Cooker. Yes, that's it name. Seriously. I am just a girl who received a gift and fell head over heels. No kickbacks for this whatsoever...

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