Once again, Bob del Grosso has written something that I wish I had. He compares cooking for his family with cooking for strangers (aka “paying customers”). Whether it’s the delays of your family getting to the table, bickering carrying over to mealtime, or the inherent pickiness of each family member, he starts to believe that cooking for strangers is more rewarding. This paragraph really nailed it for me:
Cooking for the same people every day is even tougher if you like to cook a wide variety of things. It seems that everybody besides you has a laundry list of ingredients that they don’t like and arcane, but perfectly valid, reasons to dislike them. The net result of years of not cooking all of the things that my family collectively does not like to eat, is that my repertoire of dishes is about as sparse as the hair on my head.
Yes, I do enjoy cooking for my family, but I’ve nearly lost it several times when, after I’ve worked hard to cook something that I believe everyone will enjoy, I get that “What the hell is this crap” look from one or more of the kids. Or when they ask me to make a particular dish and then they only eat a bite or two.