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The Simple Cook

By Chrystal Evans Hurst on May 04, 2014 11:14 pm

May 04, 2014 11:14 pm | Chrystal Evans Hurst

The Simple Cook

Pinterest is driving me insane.

Seriously.

Between the food artistry “pinned” and available for anytime viewing and the large variety of food blogs at my disposal – I’m going nuts.

I believe in food.

I mean… I really do love food.

But there is something about having to get dinner on the table every night that takes my food level involvement to a point of saturation.

And that doesn’t include breakfast, lunch, and in-between snacks.

I know what some of you are thinking: meal planning is the answer to all my woes. I’ve done that too, and let me tell you, after awhile… even the planning can get monotonous.

Yes. I want to feed my family well.

Yes. I want to keep them showing up to the table in anticipation of what’s-for-dinner.

Yes. I want to give the people I love food to eat that’s good to them and good for them.

But can I just say what I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking? Mealtime can be an ongoing, overwhelming and inescapable responsibility.

So I’ve made a decision: I’m keeping it simple. At least for awhile… I’m taking the easy road.

Chicken, green beans, and roasted potatoes.

Spaghetti, salad, toast (the toaster kind not the fancy garlic bread)

Beans and rice.

Stuff like that.

Why?

Because a simple non-stressed mom is better than a gourmet stressed-out mom.

Because a woman who learns to live outside the light of comparison with other pinnable cooks is a woman who walks free.

Because a keeper of the home can be a perfectly fine maker of wonderful memories without having a viral blog post with beautifully crafted foodie photos.

I have nothing against Pinterest.

I have nothing against food blogs.

I still have a strong admiration for the Pioneer Woman, and absolutely positively want to be her when I grow up.

I won’t always be in a season were simple, easy-to-prepare foods are the order of the day.

And while I’m here – in this place of needing the simple – I’m not going to feel guilty about it either.

I need to be honest about my life and know when it’s time to put the specialty pastry tools in the back of the drawer, cease the search for gourmet ingredients only available on the other side of town, and break out the paper plates.

We all need to be reminded sometimes to keep what’s first in the forefront.

Simple can be good.

Simple can be freeing.

Simple can make room for other things that hours spent scrolling through Pinterest can steal away ever so quietly.

I may not always need to aim for the simple; I may not have to exercise restraint when scrolling through Pinterest; I may not always require a simple meal routine into which I don’t have to invest much mental energy.

But right now I choose simple.

I choose to be unswayed by the extraterrestrial cupcakes, the blog-beautiful digital SLR pics, and the magazine covers that scream “try this!”

I choose to exchange smartphone browsing with more people watching… my people.

I choose to believe that filling a stomach must be complemented by feeding a soul.

And if keeping it uncomplicated for a time is a pathway toward those possibilities, then I choose to be a simple cook.

And if you need somebody to give you permission to do the same… consider it given.

The people you love will have full tummies and full hearts even if you serve the same spaghetti dish on a regular basis.

Blessings,

Chrystal Hurst

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