Roughly translated (and forgive the spelling) the title means "Oh my! What luck!" At least that is what I remember from high school spanish class. I thought I'd write a wrap up post for this adventure and that phrase popped into my head... being 'what luck!' I finally really dedicate some brain cycles to cooking better and I pick a book with recipes that turn out, well... bland! I, personally, tend to the bland end of the flavor spectrum. The recipes from this book were too bland for even me.
There were some valuable lessons learned from this experiment though:
1. Cooking with 'real food' is better than the prepackaged stuff. Doing these recipes reminded me of a book the kids and I read this year titled Across Five Aprils. It's a book set during the Civil War although not being directly involved with the war itself. It's based on a journal kept by a young boy(about 12 I think). It spoke of how father knew which woods to use for different parts of a chair, for example, based on the needs for that part. Likewise, the mother knew and cared for each vegetable and spice/herb she used when cooking. She understood which would be good combinations, when each would be at their peak tastiness, etc. Gaining this experience will take time but seeing real food going through the kitchen is terrific.
2. Cooking this way does take more time. This is a bit of a sticky one for me. Between homeschooling the kids, running the house (laundry, cleaning, repairs, errands, account balancing, etc), working part-time out of the house, running the kids to activities... I'm a bit short on time most days. I'll need to be more pragmatic and more organized in order to do this sort of cooking. With the official school year being over, I should have more time for this sort of thing.
3. The kids like things they helped make. Even when the food didn't turn out great, they liked it. The more involved they were in making the food, the higher initial score the food seemed to get. This goes to 'work put in resulting in accomplishment regardless of outcome' which seems like a great thing for them to experience.
I utilized my experience from this cookbook already. I added finely chopped bell peppers and onions to pre-made spagetti sauce the other night. The color and texture was good and it wasn't 'just jar' sauce. I think with that I'm moving in the right direction regardless of how long it will take to get there.