There’s no need to add additional stress to the often daunting task of feeding your family tasty, healthy meals (that also will satisfy all of those diverse, often changing palates, no less). This is why we really appreciate this little bit of wisdom from a mother of four in Alameda whose low-stress cooking philosophy makes life seem a little less crazy.
“I recently decided to stick with my strong suit – i.e., cook the cuisines that I make really well and can improvise on. For example, I know many Italian recipes by heart and have a lot of the base ingredients for them already. If I want to try a new dish, I can pick an Italian one because the odds are good that I will already have the ingredients on hand or that I will use up any ingredients I buy for that recipe in other dishes I make. Then, for exotic food (like Indian food) that calls for ingredients I usually do not have on hand or use up, I can go to an Indian restaurant for a special occasion or a date night.”
Take a moment to do a quick self-assessment of the cuisines, spices, and ingredients you feel the most comfortable cooking with. When you see a recipe that calls for a list of ingredients that you would need to buy, be honest about whether or not you feel comfortable with or know how to use up the rest of each ingredient. If not, consider finding another recipe with ingredients you’re familiar with, or go back to something you know.
If you want to be adventurous and try out new herbs and spices, consider asking friends or neighbors if they have some to share. They may even give you one of their own recipes or show you tips for using up these new ingredients!