Are you sitting down for this? There’s a chance I’m gonna rock your world here. 
This week’s blogging prompt from Gussy Sews’ Inspiration Workshop is the word KITCHEN. We can write about anything we want related to that word…and this one has been nagging me all week. Taunting me, really. Daring me to reveal a glaring character flaw to you. So, here goes. 
I don’t like cooking. {Oh man! I totally just heard that collective gasp from all of you. Dang.} 
When I tell people this truth about me, I am often met with blank stares, furrowed brows or nervous laughter. It’s as if I’ve said, “I don’t like air” or “I don’t like human beings.” I mean, I do love food – especially gorgeous, scrumptious food made by people who know what they’re doing. Even better if I get to enjoy it with a loved one {the croque madame + field greens pictured above from cafe barbette was divine, as was the company}. 
Most people ask if I’ve TRIED cooking. Like that thought has never occurred to me – oh, actually try it!? ooooooh!! brilliant!!! Yes, I have taken cooking classes. I have lots of cookbooks. Hell, I used to work for a food company. None of it rubbed off on me. I have wanted to fall in love with cooking – but for all the wrong reasons. 
Me, loving my friend Lori’s soup
Many times, I’ve wished I fit into the cool kids’ club – do you know how many dinner parties and girls nights out turn into recipe talk? Friends start chirping back and forth about EVO, farm-to-table and homemade baby food…and I freeze. I try to look interested so they’ll keep me in the club. But after one too many catered occasions or store-bought desserts, I bet they’ve caught on.
I feel guilty for not carrying on a long family tradition in which homemade food = real love. My mom and my grandma really do add a heaping helping of love into the food they make for others, partly because they love doing it. I think they wonder  – probably aloud to each other – how on earth this did not make it into my DNA. For many years, I tried the “fake it till you make it” strategy, but it resulted in lots of burnt crusts and disappointment all around.
I do have my staples – things I know I can make and people like. But the list is fairly short and might include grilled cheese {the little people in my house think I’m awesome at that one}. When I have anyone over, I show love for them in other ways: welcoming hugs, good wine, pretty flowers, cute napkins, fun music, lots of laughter and the best food my money can buy. 
I want to be authentic – even in the kitchen – and prioritize the things that bring me joy. Brad often says, “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” But there’s a nagging gremlin in my head who tells me I’m not a good enough mom if I don’t whip up something amazing for dinner using freshly picked ingredients from the backyard vegetable garden that doesn’t exist. I’m getting better at standing up for myself and reminding that pretentious gremlin that no amount of fresh, homemade food can make up for my kids living with a crabby, frazzled mom. So, I choose to be happy and relaxed with my loved ones, even if that means sticking a frozen lasagna in the oven. 
That, my friends, is the truth. And if you can’t handle the heat {which could very well be coming from the microwave}, then get out of my kitchen.