The other night, I happened to cook dinner (something I do regularly since I have to feed my youngest) but this time it was a little different. I invited my friend over. It was an impromptu invite. In fact, I didn't think about inviting him over until I was at the grocery store. We both were headed to my house around the same time. So this gave me little time to prepare or do anything extra fancy before he got to my house. As a mom "chef", most of my recipes are about convenience and taste verses quality and art. This would be the first time I would cook for my friend, who so happens to be an Italian chef for over twenty years.
I had two choices for dinner: Vietnamese vermicelli noodles with pork and veggies (my version to save time) or korean short ribs (marinated the way I marinate everything with my key Asian ingredients) with stir fry on-choy and rice. I chose to cook the latter, since it is one of mine and my youngest favorites.
When I got home, I marinated the short ribs right away so it could sit while I prepared the other dishes. As I was marinating my short ribs, a little insecurity spilled over because I reminded myself I was cooking for a professional chef. My insecurities made me second guess my ingredients and the amount of spices I was using even though I've made this dish a hundred times. But that's what happens when we over think and allow our insecurities to get the best of us. We second guess everything and lose our confidence to produce great results. Well, I had to let that shit go. I really had to check myself and remind myself that I'm a fucking mom. My worse critics are my kids, unfortunately, and I've been chefing (I know, not a real word but bare with me) it up for over fifteen years now without even realizing it until now. Sure, my dishes haven't been presented in a five star setting with three or even a one dollar sign to follow. But my kids will tell me straight up the flavor of my food, what it's lacking or not, whether they want to continue eating it or not. As bad as they are critiquing my food, they also are the best at making me a better cook.
So once my insecurities crept in about someone else judging my food, I thought about my kids and said if it's good enough for them it's good enough for anyone else. Kids are just so honest and real. I am a better person because of my kids. My food tastes better because of my kids. Sure, I complained to my friend that I don't take the time or art to cook like "real" chefs do. But I think it is an art to cook a full course meal for four within thirty minutes that is healthy and tastes great on a budget. I didn't give myself enough credit for the creativity I display in my meals or in my life. I don't think a lot of moms do. Last night was a reminder of that. So guess what I did? I gave myself a shit load of credit for being such a great mom/chef (even before finishing dinner), and I think you should too! Because you know what? Not only was I marinating my short ribs and preparing my on-choy, I also did the dishes and put groceries away in between while answering my daughter's questions of the day. Now that is fucking art!
So yea, last night I cooked for a chef, and said to myself, "Fuck it. If it's good enough for the kids, it's good enough for him." And you know what? Everything was all good. He loved dinner and so did I and my youngest.
A little about me...
I'm learning how to look at everything with love, even if it seems impossible, like rush hour traffic. I want to share my journey of self-love so that others may want to emulate and pass it on into the universe. Ohh...and sometimes people call me Suzie.