A few months after my first child was born, I got a call from Luke, my former sous-chef, inviting me to check out a new restaurant project. He and the head chef, Andrew Carmellini, were working on an Italian neighborhood concept in the Greenwich Hotel, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They needed cooks for every shift. I mentioned that I had just had a baby but still wanted to come in to chat about opportunities.
When I met them at the hotel, we talked about how time-consuming it is to open a restaurant and AC said he needed seriously dedicated cooks. Could I work 17 hours a day, six days a week, and still witness all of my daughter’s milestones? I exhaled and looked down at my hands. Short of propping her carseat on my cutting board, there was no way I could cook full-time and be the mom I wanted to be.
I think he sensed my disillusion. “You should start a blog!” he blurted, “A baby food recipe every day for a year!” It was a good idea, but at the time it felt like a consolation prize for choosing family over work. I didn’t hear a word he said after that.
I went home and took some time to try on my new life as a mom. I played with my kid. I thought about blogging. I made some baby food – thick purées, thin purées, roasted vegetable purées. I thought about blogging some more. I finally realized that I couldn’t write about baby food because I hated making it almost as much as my kid hated eating it. The broccoli and pear compound-purée was a fantastic failure, but all of them were bland and lacked texture. All of them came back in my face.
We abandoned purées, moved onto finger foods, and now, 4 years and two toddlers later, I cook one meal three times a day. Finally something to blog about!
It’s not always pretty or easy to cook with kids in tow. (Imagine sautéeing chicken while also playing Twister with one kid and removing glue sticks from someone else’s mouth). The goal here is to write about tasty, healthy, and uncomplicated meals that everyone will eat. Get your kids involved, make it fun, and who knows? maybe one day they’ll take over.
Thank you to AC and Luke for planting the seed and to friends and family for prodding me along. Here we go!