Pull up a chair…

So here’s me in a nutshell:

I am a meat-eater, albeit trying to consume less of it.

I am also a fiend for dairy products – butter from Ireland, mint-chip shakes, Monocacy Ash.

Thus I believe that someone up there was chuckling when I married a 6’4 vegetarian – and when, years later, we adopted our son, whom we discovered is lactose-intolerant.

Cooking and writing are two of the ways in which I attempt to come to grips with this interesting confluence of events. Cooking, because a) I am obliged to come up with something the family can eat each night ‘round 6 o’clock; b) I genuinely enjoy fooling around in the kitchen; and c) I have this weird schedule that lets me shop on Mondays at 10am and assemble the quiche at 2pm, right before I run out to pick up my kiddo from school.

I love writing about feeding my family because it lets me document the culinary home runs (Peanut sesame noodles! Huevos rancheros! Salmon cooked in the dishwasher!) and the epic fails (Panko-crusted black-bean patties! Watermelon-cuke smoothies! Too many to tally, really).

When dinner’s a flop, I pour bowls of Cheerios and slice up a couple of oranges for the lads and immediately begin plotting how I’m going to exploit the mishap right here in the WordKitchen. Even as I scrub the pot with the burned-on sauce or try to salvage at least a portion of the pie crust, I am dreaming up tweets, posts and statuses. For all the pitfalls of life in the Information Age, it’s easier than ever to find someone who’s been right where you are, spatula in hand, staring in horror at the seized-up ball of gunk that was supposed to melt into cheese sauce (and all because you replaced Cheddar with mozzarella. Oopsy-daisy!)

It makes me a bit giddy to know that most of the time, when I share my tale of culinary woe, someone will shout back across the e-chasm, letting me know I’m not alone. It reminds me constantly how much we are all in this crazy life together, whether or not we happen to be standing in the kitchen at the same time.

I know there are a million people better than me at juggling the demands of family, work, and getting dinner on the table. The beauty of being only so-so at it is I have a bottomless source of material to draw upon, so come again to read about my exploits – and share with me yours.

Amy Rogers Nazarov